Casey Bralla on 27 Mar 2017 13:52:55 -0700

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[PLUG] Need Troubleshooting Help

This is a very weird computer problem that has me flummoxed, and I was hoping

that someone could offer troubleshooting suggestions.


My screen has gone crazy. Menus take a second to open, screens don't update

immediately, and then update only part of the screen. Even terminal sessions

(under KDE) display weird behavior with the cursor jumping forward and




Here is a short video of the problem:



Here's the backstory:


I'm running Gentoo stable, with KDE desktop on a dual monitor nVidia/nouveau

system. The system is about 6 years old (AMD Phenom) with 8 GBytes of RAM on

an Asus motherboard.


Recently, one of the monitors abruptly died (pure white screen, no monitor

setup menu). After cursing, I dug out an older DVI monitor and got back to

work. But then I noticed something odd. (NOTE: The first monitor dying may

be irrelevant... that's part of what I find confusing.)


I noticed that after about 10 minutes of use, the screen would start to act

flaky. This was very apparent when I'd switch from one KDE virtual desktop to

another. The new screen would not immediately be shown like it normally

would. Also, activating the KDE menu would sometimes be slow. Also also, the

screen would often "flash" around the updated portions.



I assumed that the dying monitor had taken the video card with it, so bought

another nVidia card, but got the same effect. Since then, I've done the

following tests, all with negative results:


1. Removed the video card and run the built-in nVidia graphics adapter on the motherboard.

2. Ran memtest (no problems)

3. Removed half the RAM and swapped all the DIMMs around.

4. Unplugged and powered-down an extra hard drive, case fan, and DVD burner to reduce the load on the power supply.

5. Shut down every application, including akonadi.

6. Rebooted with an older kernel that had never had a problem.

7. Recompiled the Gentoo "sytem" files ("emerge -e system")

8. Ran a quick SMART diagnosis on my SSD.


I figured I probably blew the motherboard somehow, but then I discovered this:



*** If I run a live version of Mint Linux (KDE) it works fine! ***



So while I had thought this must be a hardware problem, the fact that a live distro runs fine seems to negate that hypothesis.



Anybody got any suggestions of what to try? Any idea how this might happen.



Casey Bralla

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