Welcome to Our Video Page!

We just got a new nVidia card for our machine. The original one was an nVidia GeForce 7300LE. It has served us well for most of the past 7 years. However, we started having troubles about 2 years ago. Random lockups. These were attributed to the Video Card -but- not exactly sure if it was Hardware -or- Software. We kept 'updating' our drivers in hopes that things would get cured and we kept getting the newer releases of openSuSE. The problem occured only when we were in Linux mode. And as it turned out... only when in Linux mode and in VMware. It was random enough for a long time that we kinda ignored it. Now it is happening more often.

So, we investigated and found that we have been working by the skin of our teeth!! As stated we have been getting updates. Well that includes newer versions of VMware. Starting at about version 5.9 or 6.0 is when VMware stated stating higher video requirements. Naturally, since we didn't read the manual, we didn't know it. Anywho, cutting to the chase, they started requiring an nVidia 8800GT or better. Well, our little 7300LE didn't even come close to those specs. However, it for the most part worked!!

 Just an FYI:   x16 lane bus compliant slot. Is another name for a PCI-e video slot.

Find out which agp module is currently loaded by running

# lsmod | grep agp
Typical names are intel_agp, sis_agp, via_agp etc. Please ignore agpgart here.

Now to find out which pci module is currently loaded execute

# lsmod | grep pci
What we got was:
pci_hotplug            35160  1 shpchp

  PNY GTX 560

As mentioned above we had to get a new Video Card. the one that we got was another blessing from the Lord. We were blessed with this machine originally and it has served us well over the past 7 years. We were over joyed when we first got it cause of it's features. We were mainly interested in the Processor, RAM an Hard Disk space. The rest that we got was just benefits from the Lord. When we got the PC, we had stated to our wife that it would be the last PC. Only thing that we possibly would need would be a graphics card upgrade. And guess what??? Here it is.

Now then, according to nVidia, we need to remove the drivers for the 'old' card. In Windows you perform the following steps:
  1) Go into your Control Panel
  2) Double-click the Add/Remove Programs icon
  3) Select the NVIDIA Windows Display Drivers from the list of programs.
  4) Click Change/Remove or Add/Remove button.
  5) Confirm with Windows that you wish to continue with the uninstall

 Windows Install  Naturally, we get our 'Base System' set up first. After all, that is what it came with. We tried to use the 'Windows Install' -but- did not. It would not let us choose. So, we dumped that idea and ran the installer on the CD. There we could select and install what we wanted... and we did not want the nVidia HD Audio Driver. Elsewhere in our documentation you will see that it caused us problems before.

Well now, we have a problem. Upon re-boot or a re-start it keeps telling us that it found new hardware and wants to install drivers... We did!! Well it was wanting to install the nVidia HD Audio Drivers which do NOT work properly on our system. What we have, has been good for years. We ran into this problem when we tried the nVidia GeForce 210.

 'The Fix'   After installation of this card, the onboard Realtek audio, for our sound system, disappeared. The solution, which the 'Lord' directed us to, was to go to the BIOS and Permanently Enable the Onboard Audio. It 'was' set to 'Auto'. Changed it to:
    F1 on reboot, Advanced --> Onboard Audio --> Enable  
Refer: GeForce Dev and Video Card Benchmarks

The problem was:     an     NVIDIA High Definition Audio     Driver ....
Four copies of it. Need to learn more about it -but- it is not important -cause- we don't have any use for it now, nor in the fore-see-able future.

 Linux Install  The first thing we do is... nothing!! It is using the GeForce 7 driver... and it is looking pretty good! We are sure that we must unload the 7 Series drivers -but- it is interesting that they are working.

 DISASTER!! - October 9th, 2013/7:47am  Actually, the disaster was last-today. Yesterday, in adult terms. Needless to say, things did NOT go right. We got totally disgusted and frustrated -and- mad... and quit!! We were messing with Vista and tried to "Update the VMware Tools" contained in it. They would not update! So, we tried the "Upgrade this virtual machine" and everything went to hell in a hand basket thereafter. We do believe that a 'Clean' install of everything is required. We have made just to many harware changes to our system.

The next section is a 'copy' of the verbiage from our openSuSE 12.3 Page. We feel that this is imporant enough to have in multiple places.


  VMware 10 ...   -and- Long Overdue Fix

This section is a 'copy' of the verbiage from our openSuSE 12.3 Page. We feel that this is imporant enough to have in multiple places.

 At 2:53pm  Our joy was shattered. We had been in VMware 10 for a number of hours, jumping between Systems and here in Homesite editing this and the openSuSE 13.1 Web Pages. -- Now then, things got reversed. -- Used to be that we could work successfully in Windows 2000 -but- not in Windows 7. Vista was in the middle, naturally, as it sometimes worked ok and not others. Now, Windows 7 is working -but- Windows 2000 Freezez/LocksUp. This is with 'ALL' the latest fixes. Oh... and there is another peculiarity. Windows 2000 and Vista VM's have:
   Start up this Guest operating system
at the top of their menu and Windows 7 has:
   Power on this ^^^...
.... virtual machine

The 'interuption' above was a Freeze/Lockup... IN Windows 7!!

   October 25th, 2013 / 12:46am     Ok, we are back at it after work. This time we are using the Win2K path. Same inside, inside bla, bla. This time the 'Lord' showed us another "fix". The 3D Accelerator was just to show us that there is hope and the problem can be fixed. This one is down in Linux... To disable the nmi_watchdog interrupt.
     cat /proc/sys/kernel/nmi_watchdog (to check if it is set)
     echo 0 > /proc/sys/kernel/nmi_watchdog (to disable it, if it is)
     cat /proc/sys/kernel/nmi_watchdog (to confirm the change)
Refer: Geek 2.0 and Linux NMIs on Intel 64-bit Hardware

Now then, there are some who will worry about this change. Actually, the only ones who should worry about it are the kernel developers and maintainers. IF your System is working fine, other than these "Freeze/Lockups" then there 'shouldn't be any worries. It appears that this particular NMI, the nmi_watchdog, is causing more harm than good. You could also write a script that disabled the nmi_watchdog before starting VMware and then re-enabling it after exiting VMware.

Now the proof is in the pudding. We got some false hopes over a couple of the previous fixes, which lead to sadness. This "fix" may lead to Re-activating the 3D Acceleration in VMware. -But- that needs to be tested first. BUT first we see how long this 'fix' can keep us going. So far it is a 'temporary' fix using the instructions above. Cause at next ReBoot of the System it, the nmi_watchdog, will be Re-Enabled. So, we need to make choices here...    Permanent -or- Temporary.??

We are gona be daring and make it Permanent. This accomplished by placing:
on the Command Line in the Boot Loader. The following is performed as 'root'.

  • Edit /etc/default/grub and add nmi_watchdog=0
        GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX="nomodeset nmi_watchdog=0"
    We had already edited this for the nomodeset now we add the other.
  • Execute:
        /usr/sbin/grub2-mkconfig -o /boot/grub2/grub.cfg
  • Execute:
        grub2-install /dev/sda

ReBoot and enjoy....

 October 25th, 2013 / 8:18am  Ok now... we have experienced success before... only to get disappointed later. Sooooo... we are gona 'acid test' this. We have three VM's setup and we are gona go in and out of each -and- even have two of them up at te same time. After reading and investigating all this we have realized that our troubles really started when we switched from 32-Bit to 64-Bit. And in case you haven't read any of our references, nor have reasearched on your own, you will find that the NMI in question is NOT used in the 32-Bit versions!! That was when we had our successes and ran multiple systems a couple of times. We only entered into this 64-Bit world by force... not by choice. But that is another story ... here somewhere. Now we have already been greatly enthused by this latest fix cause we have used two different VM's -and- jumped in and out of Linux and Windows without a Freeze!! Now to really, really work it.

Wooohooo... this paragraph is being written in(here we go again) Homesite inside Win2K inside VMware 10 inside openSuSE 12.3 ... WHILE ... the Windows 7 VM is still running. We did of course exit Homesite before starting up Homesite in Windows 2000. Now we did, however, get this message when we started up the Win2K VM:

We clicked OK and continued.

 October 25th, 2013 / 8:56am  Allllllrighty now.... We just closed out Homesite in Win2K and jumped over to our "already open" Win7 VM and started up its copy of Homesite and are writing/editing this paragraph. So... we can have THREE Systems going again:

  • Linux Host
  • Windows 2000 Guest
  • Windows 7 Guest
  • No... We are NOT gona push it for FOUR!! We only have 4GB of RAM.

 October 25th, 2013 / 12:55pm  And we can't forget about our Vista. We really kinda like it. Mainly cause of the graphics and the way it looks. NOT because of the way it operates. Not enough thought in it before they released it... but then that is what everyone is saying. MS took a bad rap on that one. Anywho, it works ok and this paragraph is being written inside it. All the 'other' insides are presant also.

We do believe that there is another benefit to 'all' these fixes. Our System seems to be faster!! Just an FYI.

As stated further down, this was started in our openSuSE 13.1 page cause, well it was/is a disaster anyway, so why not.?.? I'm sure that statement may irritate some developers IF they read this -but- it is a fact. During this latest phase of our "Linux trials and tribulations", we have tried the Milestones and the Beta and RC1. None of them would function well at all. Used to be that by RC1 we would get a vesion good enough to almost make it our main. Not this time. So, our openSuSE 13.1 page didn't have a lot anyway. We haven't been good testers of this version because... because we had to replace our Motherboard and found that we also needed a better Video Card which would require a stronger PSU. Also this Freeze/Lockup Problem has been creeping up and getting worse and worse. The fact that we "finally" RTFM and learned some things we also want to give credit to the 'Lord' for answering our feeble prayers and guiding us to the answer..

So long, so long we have been fighting this problem. Screen Freezes/Lockups... requiring a PowerOff ReSet. -And- it was only when we had VMware going. We have looked and looked for answers. Contacted nVidia, tried to contact VMware -but- they went from free, back in 1999/2000 to greedy. Now it costs money just to talk to them about an issue. I refuse to pay becuase of 'their' problems.

Well, the 'Lord' finally gave the answer... 'He' implanted the correct search words in our head (and possibly yours, IF you are here because of a search) and we came across a couple of sites that claimed to be able to stop these Random Freezes. The first one talked about things that we had already tried -but- they may be of help to others. It is at: MustBeGeek You can go there at your leisure. However, the Lord's real gift was in this next site, cause they have the fix: ValCo Labs. It involves 'unchecking' the "Accelerate 3D graphics"!!!

This VMware 10 section was created and edited in our openSuSE 13.1 page cause we didn't trust everything... yet. After so long you learn, well you begin to understand that NOT all fixes work. We have lost work many, many times due to this Freeze/Lockup problem. So, since this WebPage was in its infancy, we decided we could 'test' the fix in it. It seems that the Freezes/Lockups were always when we were in Homesite, inside a Windows Variation, inside VMware, inside openSuSE. So to test the 'trend' we are in that path... -and- it is working and NOT breaking. We have even jumped around in the System using it like we had in the past... the further back past. Not sure when they made this '3D Acceleration' a default check of the box -or- when we somehow checked it... -but- it can be, and is, a bear. -And-, unlike the person relaying this info, our latest nVidia card is up there in the performance ratings!! Needless to say, IF you are reading this on our openSuSE 12.3 page it is cause we copied/pasted it here.

We are so happy again. Can bounce around from Linux to Windows and back and forth WITHOUT all the worries!! It was not good for our heart and blood pressure.

We have the Main Machine again!!!
We can even go into Screen Saver/VMware Sleep mode -and- Resume.

Now thanks to the 'Lord our God' and His intervention, we can enjoy the benefits of our System again... -and- it is going to last us longer, like we had said in the beginning. We were worried about loosing it cause it was 'old' and 'behind the times'. -But- it is not!! We like the cabinet -or- case that it is in and don't want to loose it. In fact IF we have to UpGrade, we may just buy another new Motherboard, that has i5 or i7 capabilities, and a greater max RAM that will fit our case. -But- for now we are happy... the VMware Freeze/Lockups are gone!! We no longer operate in fear!


  nVidia 7300LE


  GeForce 210


  nVidia 7600GT


  nVidia 9800 GT

Product Features:
  • Brand: EVGA
  • NVIDIA e-GeForce 9800GT Graphics Processing Unit (GPU)
  • 512MB GDDR3 Memory
  • 112 processor cores
  • 600 MHz core clock
  • 1500 MHz shader clock
  • 256-bit memory interface
  • PCI Express 2.0 interface
  • NVIDIA Unified Architecture
  • NVIDIA nView Multi-Display Technology
  • NVIDIA 2-way SLI Technology
  • NVIDIA GigaThread Technology
  • Full Microsoft DirectX 10 Shader Model 4.0 Support
  • True 128-Bit Floating Point High Dynamic-Range (HDR)
  • NVIDIA CUDA Support
  • NVIDIA PhysX Ready
  • NVIDIA PureVideo HD Technology
  • OpenGL 2.1 Support
  • Dual slot design
  • Heat sink and fan attached
  • Lead-free components (RoHS compliant)

  • Connectors:
  • Two (2) Dual-Link DVI-I ports
  • S-Video TV-Out
  • Condition:
  • Manufacturer Refurbished
  • Packaging: Bulk
  • OS Supports:
  • Windows 8, 7, Vista, XP - (32 & 64 bit)
  • Linux

  • Product Requirements:
  • Available PCI Express x16 slot
  • 400-watt minimum system power requirement
  • Available 6-pin PCI Express power connector
  • DVI display
Package Includes:
  • EVGA e-GeForce 9800GT 512MB DDR3 PCI Express Video Card ( Card Only)


  Samsung T260 on ATI 9700

 17 Nov 2010  I spent 4-5 hours on this and I need to re-late this story before I forget the details, somewhere, and here is best I can find for now.

As it happens I was called by the gentleman mentioned above who gave me the FPD1830 monitor. His call was concerning the monitor that he replaced it with, a Samsung T260. As it turns out, both monitors have a VGA and a DVI connection. The video card in his Gateway, an ATI Radeon 9700, also has a VGA and a DVI connection. They had them "both" connected and things were working fine, previously.

Now with his new "Wide Screen" monitor, his circles are squished. He wanted me to make them round again. Hmmmm...?? This is the kind of problem that people experience when going from the 4:3 aspect ratio to the 16:9 aspect ration. This is the Horizontal versus the Vertical, horizontal being the first number and vertical being the second. Just looking at the numbers tells you something is going to come out differently.

So, what do we do?? Well, as usual, we search the Web for answers. The documentaion does not cover this problem. However, on the Web we find that the T260 Monitor, and the ATI 9700 video card can both handle this wide screen situation with a 1920x1080 resolution setting. (again this is horizontal first vertical second) Now then, here we come with the start of the afternoon nightmare. The current drivers for the ATI card do not have the 1920x1080 resolution as a selection. Searching the Web we find that new drivers are available. So they are brought down. DirectX 10 was also mentioned so it was brought down too. This was done via a Satellite connection which I found is faster than phone but nowhere near as fast as my Cox Cable.

After getting the drivers, I went back to the ATI/AMD site for info. They have pages of documentation on installing and setting up their cards. The one for Updating the ATI 9700 on Windows XP was found and followed ... to the letter. Now then, I got to the point where they said "ALL of the previous drivers had to be removed... BEFORE installing the new ones." Hmmmmm... thinking?? Back of my mind says, "What is gona operate the card whilst I have these removed and am installing the new??" After some thought and remembering some experiences of the past, I remembered that Windows has a default Video driver. OK. So we will follow the directions and remove all the old driver software. Next instruction was to Restart.

Arrrrggghhh!!!! I was greeted with a totally blank black screen.

Now what?? My friend panicked cause he thought all his Shop information was gone. I reasured him that it was just the display part and none of his information was lost -but- he was still not comfortable. Can't blame him, I wasn't very comfortable either!!

Because of the experience I had with the other monitor above, I went back to my shop to get the little monitor and see if I could get a display, like the last time. Well, the trip was a waste. I have an adapter plug so I could plug my Viewsonic into the DVI and I'll swear that I tried both connections on the ATI 9700 card. The VGA and the DVI. One at a time cause my little Viewsonic only has one connection. No display.

So, after more Web Searching I found a service number and called the ATI Tech. After relating my delima to him, he told me to:

  1. Turn off the System.
  2. Disconnect the DVI cable.
  3. Wait 10 to 20 seconds.
  4. Fire up the System.

Wow!!! With the Samsung T260 plugged into "only" the VGA connection I got a display. It was a 640x480 -but- it was a display. I thanked the Tech and praised him for the help. He also told me that the 1920x1080 resolution was only available on the VGA connection. Hmmmm... ok I said and we closed.

Now then, I still needed to install that new driver and get things setup. I was able to set 1280x1024 so I could get a more readable format and then continue. Once again I followed the directions on the installation page. Once again, listening to the Tech I only had the VGA cable connected. After the driver software installation a System Restart was performed.

Arrrrggghhh!!!! Once again I was greeted with a totally blank black screen.

Ok. Let's stop and think. We theoretically have the proper and correct drivers installed. It is connected "like I was told" to connect it. -But- no display. Alllrighty now. Prior to this driver installation mess, and when I first got here, "both" cables were connected to the Video Card and the Samsung T260 monitor. So let's shut down the System and re-connect both cables. After doing this, I fired up the System ... AND ... it worked.

So, remember ... the experts aren't always right. Annnddd... following directions isn't always the best way either.


  Blend Acknowlegement

Blend is a free, fully standards-compliant CSS template designed by Free CSS Templates. This free template is released under a Creative Commons Attributions 2.5 license, so you're pretty much free to do whatever you want with it (even use it commercially) provided you keep the links in the footer intact. Have fun with it :)

This template is also available as a WordPress theme at Free WordPress Themes.