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I've just set up Ubuntu 12.10 on my Gateway NV53 and so far I'm loving it. I've used Ubuntu in the past, mostly as a system rescue disk, but I've got a couple of servers running it, so I'm no stranger to the platform.

Anyway, the problem I'm having is that while the laptop will suspend normally both through the menu option and by closing the lid, when it resumes the backlight becomes what can only be described as a strobe light: after a few seconds of black after waking the computer (which is normal), the display lights up to the brightest white I've ever seen come from it for a split second, then turns off again. This repeats about every two seconds until I hold the power button to turn it off. If I look carefully during one of the flashes, the display seems to be displaying some uneven horizontal lines across the upper half of the screen.

Now, from what I've been reading, this is most likely a display driver problem. I tried installing the proprietary driver, but ran into all kinds of issues with Unity not starting after login and the like. The card in the laptop is a ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4200, which from what I understand is no longer officially supported by AMD:

steven@steven-laptop:~$ lspci | grep VGA
01:05.0 VGA compatible controller: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] nee ATI RS880M [Mobility Radeon HD 4200 Series]

Does anyone have any ideas as to what could be causing this?

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Check your /etc/default/grub file. If you have "GRUB_GFXPAYLOAD_LINUX=" option, comment it out. This option seems to get the boot splash working, but (in 12.10, not 12.04) breaks suspend/resume.


Without graphics card OEMs releasing open source drivers, or (less likely) Linux adopting a stable kernel ABI, a solution for is a long way off.

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