[Mageia-discuss] Glitch with nvidia FX 5500 card driver

TJ andrewsfarm at gmail.com
Thu Jan 19 03:43:49 CET 2012

I recently installed Mageia 1 on an older desktop with an Athlon XP 
2200+ processor, 512 MB of RAM, and a 128MB BFG nvidia FX5500 AGP card 
with VGA-only output running a new Samsung 1600x900 LCD monitor. I 
instructed Mageia to install the proprietary nvidia driver from the 
repositories, as I always have done with Mandriva in the past. 
Previously, this setup had been running Mandriva 2010.2 with a 1024x768 
CRT monitor with no problems.

At first things seemed to be OK, a little slow maybe, but OK. But then I 
noticed that when I went to bring up a menu or a dialog box, the 
contents of the box would be scrambled for a second, then straighten out.

At first I thought there might be insufficient RAM to handle the higher 
resolution. After checking into things I saw swap was being used far 
more than it should, which only seemed to confirm it. So I bought 2GB of 
RAM, the maximum this motherboard would handle, and installed it. The 
swap usage problem was cured and things sped up a bit, but the scrambled 
menus were still there.

After that, I tried turning off the desktop effects, but that was even 
worse in its own way because while the menu scrambling wasn't as 
prominent, when I went to shut things down the background went away and 
something from out of an old cache was displayed.

So then it seemed like it had to be the card. Maybe the card didn't have 
enough memory, was too slow, or I needed a DVI output. I bought a 256MB 
BFG Geforce 6200OC card, and installed it, switching to the DVI port it 
had. MCC detected the card, but I still had to instruct it that I wanted 
to use the proprietary driver. Three packages were installed, and I was 
instructed that I had to reboot before they'd take effect.

So I rebooted, taking note as I did so that the scrambling problem was 
still there with the new car when it used the old driver. After 
rebooting with the correct driver, the problem disappeared completely. 
All is now well.

All the above verbiage leads me to now believe that there's something 
wrong with the nvidia FX driver currently in use by Mageia 1. If you've 
stuck with me this far I hope you agree. I thought somebody should know.

Since the problem has been circumvented, I have no desire to pursue a 
different solution. Disrupting my brother's computing experience by 
removing a card that's working, putting in a card that didn't to test 
some new patch or other, then replacing the new card again doesn't sound 
like the best way to family harmony to me, so I'm not going to even 
entertain the idea of doing so.

But perhaps someone else can benefit from my experience. I hope so.


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