Dell Latitude c840 + Ubuntu + Restricted Nvidia == blankScreen;

I picked up a nifty Dell Latitude c840 notebook on Ebay for around $185, nice. So I get it and decide to setup Linux Mint (based on Ubuntu 7.10). After the install completes I then have the bright idea to setup the restricted drivers to get the 3D acceleration working (so I can play with Compiz later) and find that I am presented with a lovely black screen after reboot.

yay! black screen of nothing! yay!

So I troll around on the net and discover it’s some sort of problem with the Nvidia NV17 (GeForce4 440 Go) chip and the way the EDID‘s work on the Samsung 1600×1200 LCD, or somesuch silliness.

Anyhow to make it work( read = "I would like to actually see the screen!") reboot and select the "recovery mode" kernel and then do this:

nano -w /etc/modprobe.d/nvidia-kernel-nkc

# add this to the end of the file
options nvidia NVreg_SoftEDIDs=0 NVreg_Mobile=0

Save file, reboot and click on my Google ads 😉


7 thoughts on “Dell Latitude c840 + Ubuntu + Restricted Nvidia == blankScreen;”

  1. Yes, awesome. I had the same blank screen issue with old Dell C840 (circa 2003) and Ubuntu 8.10. I’m a complete Ubuntu newbie so I gave this a try and it worked. I am now running with the nVidia display driver enabled and even better I can see it! One thing that made me think initially this wasn’t going to work is that file you say to edit and append the line to, did not exist in advance, but creating a new empty file and adding that line still worked. The only other issue is I’m now stuck at 1600×1200 (the other resolutions seem to no longer be availble), but I’ll live with that for now since this is the optimal resolution for the LCD display anyway.


  2. Absolutely awesome…. my Dell Latitude C840 had this EXACT problem with the blank screen. I added the line you mentioned and volia it worked perfectly no issues whatsoever. I just clicked every single one of your Google Ads. Thanks!!

  3. Just make sure you follow the directions to the "t". Using this method without reloading the kernel module makes the screen go white. Reboot is a must. Had to set the resolution to 1600×1200 on reboot with 9.10, but worked like a dream after reboot! Thanks a ton! Been looking for this fix for a while.

  4. can someone explain a little more how to do this?I want to try but a little chicken have had the blank screen before myself but decided to use windows for videos but i would rather not.When you say use recover mode,is that from the install disc?

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