Casey Bralla on 27 Mar 2017 21:06:37 -0700

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[PLUG] [Solved] Need Troubleshooting Help for Flashing Screen

Thanks to all for the excellent advice.  I have been able to resolve the 

Steve Shim's suggestion abut a bad a hard drive was a good one because the 
live system would not have used the hard drive.   I ran all teh SMART disk 
tests, and even ran the TRIM command, but unfortunately, this did not fix the 

Joe Rosato's bug reports do seem to be the same thing I experienced.

Lee Marzke and Steve Litt both had a great insight about the home configuration 
files being damaged,   I didn't try using LXDE as Steve suggested, but it would 
have worked because the KDE configuration files were somehow damaged.  I renamed 
all the ~/. config files and then restarted KDE.   Immedately, it all worked.

BTW, thanks to Steve Litt for the troubleshouting e-book download at

So to summarize, the fix was to completely recreate the KDE configuration files 
by deleting all the ~/. files that KDE uses.


On Monday, March 27, 2017 04:52:46 PM Casey Bralla wrote:
> 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 backward.
> 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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