[Wolves] Toshiba Satellite Pro 6100

Claire lug at sitesearcher.co.uk
Fri Apr 17 18:03:35 UTC 2009

Hi all

I recently bought a cheap but decent 2nd hand laptop for my better half. 
He is accustomed to using linux as long as he doesn't have to get techy 
and can run his Football Manager 2005 game, browse the net etc.

It arrived a couple of days ago. In goes the Mandriva One Gnome cd but 
instead of a gnome desktop I was greeted by a horrible fading blotchy 
white screen.

After a bit (hours and hours) of research I found it is a standard 
problem for these laptops (Toshiba Satellite Pro) and is due to the LCD 
native resolution being very high at 1600x1200 but incorrectly reported. 
It causes Xorg to select CRT-0, the external monitor as default which is 
why the screen goes funny.

After another brief spell on google and the odd trial (24 hours and much 
cursing) I managed to get it going properly, albeit with Fedora which 
was just the one I tried next and stayed with, so thought I would pass 
on how to do it. Apparently windows users would require a special 
Toshiba driver disk to get anywhere further than a 800x600 display on a 
969x768 screen which is what I was stuck with.

It uses an nVidia GeForce4 420 Go card which uses the nvidia 96 driver. 
with a bit of tinkering you can get a good 1024x768 resolution.

The problem stems from the LCD's EDID. The bit inside the screen which 
tells the card what it is capable of supporting. The EDID falsely, for 
some reason, reports the resolution as 989x768 instead of 1600x1200.

Firstly you need to install the nvidia 96 series driver for your kernel. 
This also installs the nvidia display manager utility. To do this you 
will need to press CTRL-ALT-F2 when you get the white screen to drop 
into text mode tty2. You can then log in as root, or user if you use 
sudo, and use your favourite text editor such as nano or vi to edit 
/etc/X11/xorg.conf. In the Device section add a line to force xorg to 
use the LCD as ..

Option "UseDisplayDevice" "DFP-0"

DFP is Default Flat Panel. You will need to be root or sudo to edit this 

This should allow you to boot to some kind of desktop, probably 800x600, 
maybe scrolling around inside a larger screen size.

Again as root, you need to run nvidia-settings from a terminal. The 
nvidia configuration utility should open on the desktop. It might help 
to hide or autohide your panels to increase screen space. You firstly 
need to save the configuration, there is a button on the screen where 
you set resolution and colour depth but I found it is right at the 
bottom and was hidden by the panels. You are also looking for the Aquire 
EDID button which should be on the screen tab for DFP-0 if memory 
serves. Pressing this will allow you to save the edid.bin file, probably 
  best placed in the /etc/X11 directory.

What you need to do next is hex edit this file and tell xorg to use the 
custom edid file instead of the one built in to the LCD. ghex a hex 
editor available in most gnome distro's, hexedit is a cli one, not sure 
about KDE sorry.

Using your hex editor top open edid.bin you will see the 4th line looks 
something like this..

01 01 01 64 19 C9 77 31 00 26 30 4F 88 36 00 42 FF

The bits we are interested in are the C9 and the 31, starred below, 
which are actually bytes 56 and 58 decimal.

01 01 01 64 19 *C9* 77 *31* 00 26 30 4F 88 36 00 42 FF

You need to alter these to 00 and 41..

01 01 01 64 19 *00* 77 *41* 00 26 30 4F 88 36 00 42 FF

This equates to hex value 400 (The 1 isnt relevant) which in decimal is 
1024. If your model supports it you can alter it accordingly.

Save the altered file (you were doing this as root weren't you?). Now 
you need to tell xorg to use the altered edid instead of the one in the 

You need to edit /etc/X11/xorg.conf again, which should now show signs 
the nvidia configuration utility has been there.

In the Screen section add the line..

Option "CustomEDID" "DFP-0:/etc/X11/edid.bin"

Depending on where you chose to save the edid file.

Save the xorg.conf and restart the computer. The card should now be able 
to select a valid screen resolution and you should be rid of the 800x600 
screen and black bars!

I hope this will help somebody, sorry if it isn't very well written. 
I'll be putting it on a website somewhere when I get around to it.


More information about the Wolves mailing list