I like computers

By Stephen Mark ยท 4 replies
Jul 2, 2008
  1. Hello all you great helpers out there. I am 69 and have used computers since punch cards, but since retiring, from Offshore Engineering, I am having a great time learning the basics of computers.
    Several retired people would like to get started in computing, mainly for emails to family and friends, but getting started is not cheap with MS. So I have been getting to grips with Open Source; UBUNTU in several versions.
    I have recently found XUBUNTU which is a cut down version for low power computers and it works well on an old Dell 500MHz machine with 256GB RAM.
    Now I am hoping to put it on an old laptop which I have had for years. Recently I did something while adjusting the screen brightness etc and the screen now is really fragmented with coloured squares and rectangles of the colour of the normal Windows 95 screen.
    Can anyone help with this? Scrap it would be an easy option, but with a bit of time to play with I would like to restore it for old time's sake.
    I have checked the HDD and formatted it to download XUBUNTU, but I cannot make out the screen enough to run the install.
    Perhaps it is a BIOS problem and I am trying to find out what the bios was.
    Unfortunately I have lost a bit of time over the past year with surgery etc, hence my attempt to get a reply; confessing that I have not read all the posts to find a similar one.
    The machine is a TOSHIBA S300CDS with a Pentium MMX processor and 64 MB RAM and a 2.1 GB HDD.
    I hope someone can help me with this project.
    Best wishes,
    Stephen Mark
  2. Obi-Wan Jerkobi

    Obi-Wan Jerkobi TS Maniac Posts: 502

    Sounds like there are some badly stuck pixels on that thing. Because you can see little pieces of the Windows 95 screen there's probably some Liquid Crystals stuck up there. I found some good how-to's on the internet on how to remove them. Haven't tried them yet though, as I don't have and LCD, but maybe it can help.
  3. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    The problem is likely xubuntu doesn't have or isn't picking the correct display mode for that laptop's video card. Can you read anything on the initial boot off the disk? There is probably a text mode install, and then once it is installed, again boot without loading X then get the correct drivers, or try and set the parameters manually in xorg.conf
  4. Stephen Mark

    Stephen Mark TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Obi-Wan Jerkobi & SNGX1275, I thank you for replying. The problem really is that I was adjusting the screen and was called away. When I came back to continue the screen had 'broken up' and was covered with squares and rectangles of colour from the area of the Windows Screen, but these ranged from 3 to 4 mm to 1cm per side.

    There is nothing on the hard disk at the moment and I cannot see enough detail to run an install. The most likely fix would be to update the BIOS, but since I do not know which BIOS is loaded, and Toshiba is no help, I wondered if someone with an old S330CDS machine would see what is on theirs. I need to know a supplier of BIOS for this model and them see if I can get a download. It may be that I need to change the chip.

    Thanks anyway for your efforts for me. It is appreciated.

    Stephen Mark
  5. Can you describe what you mean by the "windows 95 screen"? I would have come to the same conclusion as Obi, being that the screen has some serious pixel faults, but now after reading your second post I'm not so sure. Do you mean that the coloured squares resemble Win95 or that you can see parts of Win95 (which I'm assuming was on there before) on your screen when Linux is running?
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