Friday, May 29, 2009

ATI driver (fglrx) reinstall problem

I had screwed up my system(Ubuntu box) by multiple installation of the ATI drivers.
I installed the proprierty ATI drivers from the driver file downloaded from their site named Then I reinstalled it again by Envy and also by the Hardware drivers section.
Result - no display on login. Not even booting into recovery console and fixing X-server worked. The bottomline is never screw with your video drivers.

I had to manually remove the fglrx drivers to get back display.

1. Booted into recovery console and fell into root shell.

2. apt-get remove xorg-driver-fglrx

3. But I read in some forum that "....where proprietary drivers are concerned is that Ubuntu/Debian has a conflict resolution system to redirect certain libraries that conflict called dpkg-divert, since binary drivers like ATI and Nvidia especially have a bad habit or creating incompatible binaries that blow the system away if they aren't accomodated and removed properly later. Simply removing a package isn't sufficient to remove these package diversions. You need to make sure you purge all packages that are proprietary in order to cleanly remove them. If you have already removed the ATI packages for instance in Ubuntu 8.10 a simple:
dpkg --purge fglrx-amdcccle fglrx-kernel-source xorg-driver-fglrx "

So I did this -
dpkg --purge fglrx-amdcccle fglrx-kernel-source xorg-driver-fglrx

to completely remove the fglrx drivers from my system.

4. Then run the following commands to clean up the /usr/src directory...
rm -r /usr/src/fglrx*
cd /lib/modules/2.6.27-11-generic/updates/dkms
mv fglrx.ko fglrx.ko.old

5. Finally, restore an old xorg.conf config that worked. I had a number of xorg.conf like xorg.conf.20090529181948 ...
cd /etc/X11/
ls -ltr
Looked for the file using the date that I knew worked at that time and replaced xorg.conf by the following command -
cp xorg.conf.20090529181948 xorg.conf

6. Now reboot.

7. Resume normal boot.

8. I got the login screen working again.

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