Manually adding a PCI display card.

Equipment/Software:

  • HP Pavilion 6745C
  • 256 MB ram
  • Kubuntu 6.10 (Edgy Eft)
  • eVGA (nVidia) GeForce4 MX 4000 PCI

I’ve had persistent problems with the i810 on-board vga with virtually every install of Linux that I’ve tried with this PC (with the exception of damnsmalllinux). Between that and its poor performance, I added a MX 4000 to this PC. However, recent distributions have failed to even properly recognize the card at install/configuration time, so I had to take some indirect steps to add the device.

Step 1:
Install Kubuntu using i810. This required setting bios to use the “AGP” video card (in this case AGP=onboard video). I had the MX 4000 PCI card installed for this as well, but not hooked to a monitor.

Step 2:
Run “lspci” at a shell prompt. At the end of my listing was:

01:0d.0 VGA compatible controller: nVidia Corporation NV18 [GeForce4 MX 4000 AGP 8x] (rev c1)

Step 3:
At a shell prompt, run “sudo vim /etc/X11/xorg.conf” (substitute your favorite editor for vim). I copied and pasted the following section:

Section “Device”
Identifier “Intel Corporation 82810 …”
Driver “i810”
BusID “PCI:0:1:0”
EndSection

I modified my new section to read:

Section “Device”
Identifier “NVidia”
Driver “nv”
BusID “PCI:1:13:0”
EndSection

The “Identifier” value must be copied in a later section, so the value doesn’t matter as much as the consistency of that value. The 1:13:0 is from the lspci output (01:0d.0, where 0d in hex = 13 in decimal). “nv” is the free nVidia compatible driver. I may later apply the proper nVidia driver (instructions in a previous post).

Step 4:
Still in xorg.conf, I modified the “Screen” section (Section “Screen”) by replacing “Intel Corporation 82810…” with “NVidia” on the Device line.

Section “Screen”
Identifier “Default Screen”
Device “Nvidia”

Step 5:
Save xorg.conf and restart X (Ctrl-Alt-Bksp on an X screen). X will now start on the nVidia card.

Step 6:
Reboot, switch bios to use “PCI” as the primary display. Save BIOS.

Step 7:
Plug monitor into nVidia card, and boot with new BIOS settings.

TODO:
– Get both devices working on this PC as two separate displays.
– Install “proper” nVidia drivers.