ATI x1900 blank on boot, but fine in OS X

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by g5qppcrr, Nov 29, 2016.

  1. g5qppcrr macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2016
    #1
    Hello All,
    Have a G5 Quad (11,2) and giving up on System X.
    Tried to load DebianPPC but with nVidia card it was a no-go (no usable nvidia drivers for linux ppc).
    Debianppc says to use ATI instead because enhanced linux ppc drivers work fine.
    Ordered ATI X1900 PCI express (applemacanix on ebay, recommended from g5center.net) and installed card, but screen is blank at boot until System X loads drivers which then turns on display.

    Question: how do you reload any OS (system X, debianppc, morphos, etc.) on a ppc machine that has no display on boot? Can you ssh into into it or something? Maybe I'm just not understanding the ppc world. Or in other words, how do you access the boot screen to load a disc into the dvd drive and then go through the prompts on-screen to load an OS, when the screen is not on? Seems really goofy...

    I've read elsewhere that reflashing an intel-compatible card to work with open firmware will cause this problem. Which would mean the applemacanix "new" card is a reflashed intel card? (Useless whenever a system reload is needed whether it is system X or otherwise?

    Thanks for your help...
     
  2. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #2
    That has often been my experience with reduced ROM flashed cards.

    Just a few minutes ago, I booted my Quad with a Mac edition X1900XT and was able to pull up boot selector and open firmware.

    Unfortunately, unless you find a Mac edition card(they are not the easiest in the world to find) your best solution may be to stick a 6600 in and just use it for the boot screen.
     
  3. g5qppcrr thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 29, 2016
    #3
    --- Post Merged, Nov 29, 2016 ---
    Thank you. So your thinking my experience indicates a reflashed card with reduced ROM... Do you have a suggestion on which slots to use? I was thinking the nvidia in slot 3 (8x slot) and the ati in slot 1 (16x slot). But does that mess things up when trying to install debianppc and define the output graphics settings? Or should I look elsewhere for debianppc advice?
     
  4. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #4
    I can't answer on Debian or really any Linux question-you might just leave the card out until you have it installed.

    Otherwise, I would hope that it would just ignore nVidia card.

    Definitely put your good card in the 16x slot.

    All that aside, I hate to say it but if you need ATI graphics this really is one area where the earlier AGP G5s excel. There are a LOT of ATI GPU options for those. Apple essentially went all nVidia for the late '05 G5s with the X1900XT being a one-off that I think was only sold as a retail card.
     
  5. LightBulbFun macrumors 6502a

    LightBulbFun

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2013
    Location:
    London UK
    #5
    Most reduced ROM cards will display a boot screen per say. my only suggestions to you is while in tiger open xpostfacto and set your Open firmware output to explicitly the current DVI port in use on the X1900 see if that helps. also more recent kernels then what Debian Jessie use do Have working PPC Nvidia drivers now (try one of the recent ubuntu releases they work last time i checked on a friends computer) another thing is I dont know how well the X1900 works in PPC linux I know the X8xx cards are a no go in Linux (real shame too they are the fastest AGP cards you can slap into a AGP mac) but indeed the card you bought is prolly a flashed card. Real Mac X1900s are VERY rare cards

    i hope this helps
     
  6. g5qppcrr thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2016
    #6
    --- Post Merged, Nov 30, 2016 ---
    Thanks for your thoughts.
    Leaving the ATI card out doesn't work because debianppc xorg won't work with the nvidia card. :( I tried tweaking the yaboot code but to no avail.

    The nvidia card is a pure macppc card btw. I will try to play around installing debianppc with both cards in the machine.

    This G5 Quad machine has no AGP slots, PCI express only. Typically, I prefer nVidia to anything ATI, except in this case where there are no viable nvidia drivers for linux ppc machines.

    Regards
    --- Post Merged, Nov 30, 2016 ---
    Ok, thanks, I'll try the xpostfacto suggestion and report back.

    The debianppc versions I tried were 8.6, including the CD, DVD and netinst iso's.

    I've not tried Ubuntuppc because they have abandoned ppc development after 14.04? But, ironically, tried mintppc 11 (based on ubuntu) but had the same problem as debianppc (no display from xorg after install from nvidia card).

    As far as the original ppc mac nvidia card goes, I did try these steps without success.
    https://unix.stackexchange.com/questions/19722/debian-ppc-on-powermac-g5-boots-to-blank-screen
    Could you be more specific about what you mean by "kernel support" for nvidia?

    I was thinking I read somewhere that nvidia cards will never have good drivers on linux for ppc machines, becuase nvidia never released code for it, so the only option are reversed engineered drivers from the linux community. It is really too bad because this G5 quad machine is a real workhorse even 10 years later.
     
  7. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Kentucky
    #7
    That's why I specified the early '05 G5s, which were AGP Pro/PCI-X.

    The late '05s(dual core 2.0, dual core 2.3, Quad Core 2.5) were all PCIe, and have the limited GPU selection you are seeing.
     
  8. LightBulbFun macrumors 6502a

    LightBulbFun

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    Location:
    London UK
    #8
    ubuntu still has PPC ports still I have played with most of them (in fact my main Linux Box is a G5 Power Mac running ubuntu mate 16.04 IIRC) and relatively recently i helped someone install 16.04 or 16.10 in his G5 which had an Nvidia Geforce 6600 that worked perfectly OOB
     
  9. g5qppcrr thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2016
    #9
    Thanks for the insight. I'm downloading the ubuntu mate 16.10 edition today and will try that out on the nvidia card tonight.
    --- Post Merged, Dec 2, 2016 ---
    Ok, tried to load xpostfacto on my 10.5 system but xpostfacto does not work past 10.4, so I can't use that to explicitly set the display port on the ATI card for openfirmware post.

    I did attempt to use both graphics cards (ports 1 and 3) but that didn't work at all since both cards required the 6-pin power cable, and there is only header on the mobo and I don't have a splitter (although I'm not sure I could get a splitter to work since it my draw too much current from the single header anyway).

    I'm hoping ubuntu mate 16.10 will work with the nvidia card as mentioned by lightbulbfan. The nvidia card I believe is a quadro fx4500.

    I'm sending the ATI back since it is not compatible with openfirmware.
     
  10. LightBulbFun macrumors 6502a

    LightBulbFun

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2013
    Location:
    London UK
    #10
    xpostfacto 4 works fine in leo for what your attempting to do. I have had no issues using it in Leo for manipulating OF variables from the OS. But yeah ubuntu 16.10 should work with the quadro card
     

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