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After installing Debian 5 on a Dual-Core Xeon machine, my display connected to the NVIDIA Quadro FX display card shows me an "out of range" error after the boot-up completes. I see the terminal text (login prompt) though.

This is mostly because my card is supplying a video signal of a higher resolution than 1024x768. How do I lower the resolution via the login prompt? I've installed Debian with the grub bootloader.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

X11/Xorg are hard to deal with at the best of times.

Now there are a couple things you can do. One would be to familiarize yourself with the Xorg and write a new config by hand. It may not sound like much fun, but you'll be better able to handle such issues in the future.

Another option is to let dpkg re-create the default config for you. You can do this by running:

sudo dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg

If that doesn't work out the way you'd hoped and you have the nvidia proprietary drivers installed, you should be able to have them create a more better config that takes full advantage of your video card. The command for that is:

sudo nvidia-xconfig

Now remember, in order to see any changes, you are going to have to restart Xorg. Depending on your distro and version, you can do this by pressing Ctrl-Alt-Backspace, but you'll have a guaranteed restart of Xorg by logging out. If you're level of FUD is high enough, just restart.

Good luck and I hope this helps.

PS- I recently helped my brother with this same problem. Here are some sample configs should you decide to hand-write/edit your config: sample1 sample2

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how can I install the nvidia drivers from the login prompt? – rzlines Jun 20 '09 at 11:01
If you want to install from Debian (recommended), you can: > sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install nvidia-glx If you want to use the installer from NVidia's site, the instructions can be found here:… – Shazburg Jun 20 '09 at 11:10
Just a suggestion, but you may find Ubuntu ( to be a bit more user friendly than Debian. In fact, you will find it much more friendly. – Shazburg Jun 20 '09 at 11:13
I have used Ubuntu, its loaded on my laptop anyway.. but I have never faced such an error before so I'm stumped.. its still giving me the same error. I edited the Xorg file and I have downloaded the drivers for my NVIDIA Quadro FX 3400 now I need to figure out a way of how to install it using the login prompt – rzlines Jun 21 '09 at 8:28

You will find such info in the config file : /etc/X11/xorg.conf. This file manages all graphics card info :-)

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I'm in it, its totally blank any suggestion on what to do? – rzlines Jun 20 '09 at 8:13

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