Fixing the black screen after grub boot-up (screen/video settings mismatch)
Problem: You got a black screen in place of the friendly graphical login screen at the end of the Linux Mint boot sequence.
Don't tell me why but I have found this issue in several installations or reinstallations of Linux Mint (and other distributions) in previously working systems. It is related to failed detection of hardware, or by upgraded drivers (nouveau, spring 2011). Current video cards are willing to generate resolutions/frequencies over your monitor's capabilites.
You will end your first install (and/or reboot procedure), with black screen after several normal messages or disk activity just before getting the normal user prompt (it will never come out). It may even happen with the installation CD/DVD of some new distributions.
You will notice that the computer is working fine as it reboots gracefully if you click [Ctrl]+[Alt]+[Del] meaning that you have a working system but with a video problem. It mimicks a computer hanged (dead) but is not the case !
If the monitor is smart enough it will complain about wrong frequency or no signal.
Here is a simple and short fix that will allow to boot and configure the system from a graphical user interface (In Linux Mint will be Gnome).
- Reboot and wait to see the initial boot screen of GRUB with a list of operating systems. Tap a cursor key to avoid automatic boot.
- Select your choice (pe. LInux Mint) with the cursor and then press the [tab] key to get the full boot grub commad line. Don't be afraid: is a long command. Avoid modifying it.
- Go to the line starting with the word linux and ending with the words: quiet splash
Add one of the following '????.modeset=0' parameter at the end of the long grub command line as is (type 1 space before). Use the parameter related to the brand or chipset of your video card . pe.: use nouveau or nvidia for nvidia based cards (proprietary driver, just nv in some linux distributions, nouveau driver is the default in Mint) ), use radeon for amd/ati cards, i915 for intel based motherboards, ,,, These are the most common examples.
- r128.modeset=0 (for very old ati rage 128 cards...)
- If you don't know the brand you may use just one word: nomodeset
- Your will find the full range of drivers and more info at Xorg.org wiki
- Press [Ctrl]+[X] to boot with this added parameter. This parameter will not be saved, just used in this single boot and nothing is damaged. To cancel without changes press [Esc].
- Hopefully, the system will boot into a default graphical environment and you will be able to install/reinstall driver or configuration packages. In my case I solved my issues in a old nvidia cards (Quadro NVS 280 and geforce 7300LE) using a legacy nvidia 96 or 173 drivers, respectively, in place of nouveau. And nvidia-settings package.
Desperate Mode. If you cannot get a graphical user interface with this parameter and/or an 'Monitor frequency error' there is an alternate way (as always in linux). This situation may happen if you have replaced your video card, or the the driver needs additional parameters (I suffered it with a intel chipset)
Use a lower resolution but highly compatible vesa driver. In the same line described in step 3 add this second video mode parameter (grub_gfxmode=). You may use one of them
- GRUB_GFXMODE=1280x1024x32 (in most large modern monitors)
- GRUB_GFXMODE=1024x768x16 (1024x768 is safer in older or smaller systems)
- Many other settings are possible as: GRUB_GFXMODE=vga=vesa
- Use a lower resolution but highly compatible vesa driver. In the same line described in step 3 add this second video mode parameter (grub_gfxmode=). You may use one of them
- For those brave enough, more detailed help may be found at Grub2 help in Ubuntu
Tags: black screen video mode hangs boot grub2 settings configure install
Created: 1 year ago.
Last edited: 1 year ago.
Reviewed: 1 year ago.
Read 0 times.
|5 months ago||
|Your text about modeset is not exactly right. Modesetting drivers are not the same as X.org drivers. r128 and nvidia are not kernel mode-setting drivers, you won't change anything on systems using those X.org drivers by including nomodeset. i915, radeon and nouveau are right; but since nomodeset works for all three, no need to know what hardware you have.|
|1 year ago||
|Thank you! Next time I will try this. That black screen is a recurring annoyance. I have had to reinstall the whole system due to those crashes caused by mismatch. Now I hope this will be a more convenient way|
Other tutorials from slackjp
- Configuring 1080p monitors (part 1 of 3) 1920x1080 monitor and single screen
- Configuring 1080p monitors (part 2 of 3) Nvidia quadro NVS 280 AGP dual Head (Nouveau driver in Mint 13.0)
- Configuring 1080p monitors (part 3 of 3) Nvidia quadro NVS 280 dual Head (Nvidia 96 updates driver). Beware 13.0 (Maya) requires nouveau driver!
- Evolution crashes when saving or editing a Contact [Solved]: Search and Delete Duplicates !
- Keyring problems using MATE. Seahorse has a communication problem with gnome-keyring (Evolution and other applications does not save user passwords).