Sunday, May 13, 2012

Repairing your problematic display drivers

I am sharing a recent experience with my laptop. It is a MSI CR-500 that houses an Nvidia GeForce 8200m G graphics card. In previous Ubuntu(11.04 and earlier) versions, the stock graphics driver resulted in suboptimal displays and compiz and other desktop polishing tools were not able to be installed.
Out of habit, I tried to install a custom Nvidia binary driver into my newly installed Ubuntu 12.04 last week but the graphics driver failed to install correctly. The newer linux kernal did not allow my exsiting drivers to install so had to download a newly released driver. Undaunted, I tried installing a new driver, but it failed and my graphics display manager went kaput.
To get the things back, I simply reinstalled the Ubuntu and got my settings back. Here's what I did:
Booted off 12.04 livecd/pen drive
  • In install option window, went to manual drive partitioning option
  • Selected the partition containing the 12.04 and set its mount point to /
  • Did not select the format disk option – to retain my earlier settings and installations.
It gave me a warning specifying deletion of files.

The OS got restored in 20 minutes and I was good to go!
NOTE : Nothing much got deleted as I was having a fairly new OS with not much loaded components. Surprisingly, the java7 unzipped at /usr/local/lib was untouched, but the scala installed at /home/sumit was removed.

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