Ok. I am literally installing it from scratch and tracking my process here and now. I've been fighting this for so long.
Macbook Pro, 2008 I believe. ~200GB HD. I'm not dual booting. Mint and only Mint.
Linux Mint 17 Cinnamon x64 w/ Codecs. In order to boot from USB, I have to edit boot options to include
nomodeset. I get live desktop up and running. Looks normal.
Double click "Install Linux Mint" > "Erase disk and install Linux Mint" (no encryption, no LVM) > "Require Password to Login" (yes Encrypt home folder). Installer finishes without problem. I don't reboot yet.
Still on the Live Desktop from the USB, since the laptop uses EFI, I know I need to install efibootmgr.
sudo apt-get install efibootmgr. Success. Running
sudo efibootmgr prints out
BootCurrent: 0000 BootOrder: 0000,0000,0000,0000,0000,0000,0000,0000,0000 Boot0000* ubuntu BootFFFF*
sudo poweroff, pull out USB, boot holding F6 to get efibootmgr's boot menu. I haven't touched nvidia drivers yet, so I still need to add
nomodeset to the boot script. Not setting
nomodeset will get me to a black screen and nothing ever happens.
Booting from the HD and the display is off a little. The Mint splash icon is off center, there's a 1/4 to 1/2 inch gap at the top of the screen where the mouse can't go and nothing is drawn (it's solid black) and the screen generally thinks that it is bigger than it really is. After signing in, the task bar is off the bottom of the screen and there's a couple inches of missing screen off the right hand side as well. Everything else seems to function fine, no discoloration.
Need an internet connection. I guess my way to the menu button and click on System Settings > Device Drivers. I insert my USB drive that I previously booted from. I go down to broadcom and click
bcmwl-kernel-source then Apply Changes. Remove USB. Shutdown, and start back up holding F6 (still need
Screen is still oversized and off center. I connect to my home network and successfully
ping 22.214.171.124. On a different computer, I pull up this forum post and run:
sudo add-apt-repository -y ppa:ubuntu-x-swat/x-updates && sudo apt-get -y update && sudo apt-get -y install nvidia-current nvidia-settings
It finishes successfully. During previous trials, I found that I need an
xorg.conf for xserver to start. So I run
sudo nvidia-xconfig and then
sudo reboot hoping it works.
No F6 this time. I shouldn't have to. Now here's the problem I can't fix. After the linux splash, I get the blue background old school dialog saying "Failed to start the X server." The short version of the log is
NVIDIA: could not open the device file /dev/nvidia0 (Input/output error) no screens found
I can login to a tty console after getting through the blue dialog and I pushed the long version of the log to my other computer's ftp. Maybe it can shed some light. Oh, and /dev/nvidia0 does exist.
I have tried setting the
PCI:1:0:0 in xorg.conf as some people have claimed that fixed it for them, but not for me. Running
lspci | grep VGA lists that my graphics card is
NVIDIA Corporation G84M [GeForce 8600M] (rev a1). I've tried running without an xorg.conf, I still get the same error. Running 'sudo startx' is no different.
I'm officially out of ideas. If I didn't mention anything above, then I left it at it's default value. I've spent dozens of hours and learned a lot as I've gone, but I'm at my wit's end. Any clue what to try next?
EDIT: Here's my xorg.conf generated by
sudo nvidia-xconfig when I have
nvidia-331 drivers installed.