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FrameBuffer in Backtrack

Recently I had BT5 R3 installed on a Dell Latitude laptop, and it was working fine.  Then I needed to clone the hard drive, so I used DiscCopy 2.3 to copy the drive--No issues. 

However, when I went to boot back into my BT install, the screen was all messed up immediately after it hit the splash screen.  I couldn't figure out how this happened, as I didn't mess with the OS at all (I copied the drives outside of the OS, booting to the DiscCopy CD).

Initially I was worried I had a hardware failure, so to test it I booted into the original Windows 7 Drive that came with the laptop (when I installed BT I set that drive aside, as I don't normally use Windows).   Windows 7 booted fine--no hardware failure.  

However, when I booted to a BT instance I had happened to have installed on that same Windows 7 hard drive, a drive that was cleanly working when I put it in storage, it had the same video problems!  

So my symptoms were that I had a video problem with BT only, that spanned across hard drives!  How the heck was that possible I wondered?  Turns out it was my FrameBuffer.   This is a hardware device that renders the graphics for the OS--thus it is hard drive independent, which explains why I had a problem that persisted across hard drives, and even with the BT bootable iso!  

So to fix this, I booted the BT bootable iso, but into "noDRM drivers" mode.  This allowed me to actually boot the previously unbootable BT iso, and mount the hard drive.   I then edited the /boot/grub/grub.conf file to say "vga=normal nomodeset"   The 'nomodeset' is key, as it told the OS not to load the framebuffer.   

I booted up, and Bob's your Uncle---BT is working again!  


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