Black Screen of Death Revisited

I finally got around to revisiting the problem with updates to two xserver files causing a boot failure (“black screen of death”) on my machine.

Firstly, I tried removing the proprietary AMD video driver since I believe that the issue is related to the combination of an AMD Radeon HD6450 video card and the 64-bit version of Ubuntu 10.04 LTS that are used on my machine. The default, open-source driver allowed the computer to boot, and produced a screen display, but the screen resolution was limited to 1024×768 (rather than 1680×1050).

So, it was back to trolling the Internet for a solution and – bingo! – I found that a new driver file is available. In particular, AMD have released the AMD Catalyst™ 12.6 Proprietary Linux x86 Display Driver (amd-driver-installer-12-6-x86.x86_64.run).

Once this file was downloaded and installed the machine booted normally. Even better, running Update Manager produced a list of file updates that did not include xserver-common and xserver-xorg-core, the two previous updates that caused all the trouble! All the currently suggested updates were installed. The machine rebooted flawlessly, and the screen display was back to normal.

Problem solved!

References:

How do I remove the FGLRX drivers after I’ve installed them by hand?
http://askubuntu.com/questions/78675/how-do-i-remove-the-fglrx-drivers-after-ive-installed-them-by-hand

Why isn’t Ubuntu using the open-source AMD/ATI drivers?
http://askubuntu.com/questions/171902/why-isnt-ubuntu-using-the-open-source-amd-ati-drivers

Installing ATI Radeon HD 6450 Drivers on Ubuntu 10.04 64-bit
http://www.robclarkey.com/technology/2012/04/12/installing-ati-radeon-hd-6450-drivers-on-ubuntu-10-04-64-bit/

AMD Catalyst™ 12.6 Proprietary Linux x86 Display Driver
File Size 101.8 MB, Revision No. 12.6, Release Date 6/28/2012
http://support.amd.com/us/gpudownload/linux/Pages/radeon_linux.aspx?type=2.4.1&product=2.4.1.3.42&lang=English

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