For the past few days, I've been trying to install Squueze on my PC and have experienced very similar troubles. My card is a GeForce 8400 GS. The screen and the whole system freeze as soon as gdm3 starts. I installed the Nvidia module "the Debian Way", and also (after some reluctance) used the Nvidia installer. For my despair nothing worked. People from this community have suggested that it might be a hardware-related problem, but I am not so sure. The older Debian release lenny worked just fine with this card (I'm using it now, while I don't fix the problem), perhaps due to the non-use of 3D Acceleration. I performed RAM tests, and no errors were reported. I also removed all the expansion boards, cleaned the contacts and carefully re-seated them all.
Of course my situation is a little worse than yours, because, as you said, everything was running well until you installed the Nvidia module. I also tried Ubuntu 11.10, and again the screen freezes as X server is loaded. But, again, I'm not convinced this is a hardware problem.
With regard to your concern about dirtying the system with Nvidia installer, I think it's possible to cleanly switch back to the Debian way. The major modifications that the installer does are:
- it adds the file /etc/modprobe.d/nvidia-installer-disable-nouveau.conf, which disables the "nouveau" module, in case you have it installed. Nvidia installer says that you'll (just) have to delete it to re-install nouveau.
- it edits a xorg.config file (with your permission). But you can get a new xorg.config file after installing "the Debian way", by running:
- it requires gcc-4.3, and the newest version available is 4.4. If you will need gcc-4.4, you can easily reverse the situation using apt or aptitude.
A friend of mine that has installed Debian in many PCs at his Department also reported troubles with Nvidia cards more than once. I'm willing to change my video card, because my ideas are running out and I would like to continue using Debian
I wish you luck.
--- Em sáb, 14/4/12, Stephen Powell <firstname.lastname@example.org> escreveu:
> De: Stephen Powell <email@example.com>
> Assunto: Re: Trouble with Nvidia driver
> Para: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Data: Sábado, 14 de Abril de 2012, 8:57
> On Sat, 14 Apr 2012 03:27:06 -0400
> (EDT), Eduardo Bearzoti wrote:
> > I'd like to thank the kind replies of Bob and Daniel.
> > With regard to their suggestions, they might like to
> know that:
> > - changing 'nvidia' for 'vesa' unfortunately didn't
> > - I had memtest86+ run for a long time, and no ram
> errors were reported.
> > But Bob's guess that perhaps it is not a driver-related
> > may be correct.* Today I finally decided to try
> Nvidia installer,
> > and had the newest driver installed.* And -
> unfortunately - the system
> > continues to freeze.* Therefore, the cause must
> lie somewhere else
> > (if it is not a bug).
> > I'll keep trying, but my ideas are running out.* I
> would greatly
> > appreciate fresh suggestions from the community.
> In my experience, these types of system freezes are often
> problems, and from what you describe (i.e. independent of
> driver is being used) that would be my guess here.* If
> I were you
> I would shutdown, power off, disconnect the power cord, open
> case, and carefully clean (without water!) everything.*
> Then I
> would carefully remove all the expansion boards, clean the
> and carefully re-seat all the boards.* Do the same for
> the memory
> boards.* Then, put everything back together and hope
> for the best.
> * .'`.* ***Stephen Powell*
> : :'* :
> `. `'`
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