First of all, a HUGE thank you to the Arch Community – I've been using Arch on my desktop for five years, and between the forum and the wiki, have been able to solve/fix every issue so far without needing to post a question. Now I'm stuck....
I inherited this HP 2133 mini-note netbook running Win XP, so (naturally) I immediately blanked it to install Arch. Using the 2013.03.01-dual.iso on a USB stick, I booted to the syslinux loader: HDT and memtest worked, so I booted arch i686. Everything proceeds normally, but when the command line comes up (root@archiso, I believe), it's only visible for a split second and then the screen blanks, and starts changing colors – the whole screen goes solid white, then grey, red, blue, green, some king of black-and-white columns – and Alt+F* does nothing. I can't get to a tty. (From here on, I'll just refer to this as “screen issue” because it's the same every time).
I loaded Ubuntu 12.04 onto the USB stick and it booted fine – the Live environment worked, and it installed fine as well. That being the case, I followed these instructions (method 2) and successfully installed Arch from the Ubuntu LiveUSB environment.
After rebooting into my new Arch install, the same screen issue starts, but it starts while the systemd messages are flying by, before I get to a command line. Happens in both regular and fallback mode, but here's the (possible) good news: I can blindly log in as root and issue
# systemctl reboot
and it works! It seems that my system is there, and the screen issue is just graphical.
This netbook has a VIA chipset, which I know is a huge pain, and I know I'll need the openchrome drivers for X, but X is not involved here – in the fresh install, X isn't even present in the system yet. So I wrote down everything I could from the HDT at boot, went back into the Ubuntu LiveUSB, mounted and chrooted into Arch, and added the following to the mkinitcpio.conf modules array:
MODULES="via via_agp sata_via viafb i2c_viapro
and then issued
# mkinitcpio -p linux
After rebooting, I still get the same screen issue, but even earlier – instead of halfway through systemd's messages, it starts right after “running early hook udev”. I can still (after waiting until I'm sure the command prompt is availabe) blindly log in as root and issue “systemctl reboot.”
I'm totally out of ideas – perhaps it's just that I need certain boot parameters, or something else in my kernel line in syslinux.cfg (which right now is just the default “ro”) but I know almost nothing about these topics since they've never been a problem on my desktop. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I really don't want to run Ubuntu on this thing (no offense to the Ubuntu community intended) I just want my Arch!
Last edited by chubs (2013-03-03 06:18:15)
Well I'm an idiot and the answer was staring me in the face in my own post: if adding those modules to mkinitcpio.conf made the issue start earlier, maybe one of them is the problem.
Passing "modprobe.blacklist=viafb" to the kernel at boot (by pressing TAB at the syslinux menu and appending it to the end) did the trick, both on the installed system and for the archiso install media. Marking as solved.
Thank you very much for solving and sharing!
I uploaded a video of the issue (aka DISCO PARTY YAY!) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_ed1wX-gEM
By the way, connecting a screen via VGA before booting allows you to use the external screen at least.