[CentOS] Laptop display issue

Thu Oct 1 19:42:34 UTC 2020
H <agents at meddatainc.com>

I now have an older laptop with a display problem. I installed Centos 7 on it in February and had to install the xorg-x11-drv-ati and evdev drivers because the docking station has an ATI Radeon card. Everything worked fine with a dual display setup. I probably after that ran a system update but did not reboot while in this office. Today, when I got to the office again for the first time in seven months it does not boot into the desktop but fails after displaying ”Started Light Display Manager” with a mouse pointer on one display that can be moved but no desktop at all. The keyboard works and I can start a terminal session.

If I remove the laptop from the docking station everything works as expected but not in the station, presumably because it now uses the docking station card. Futzing around I see that systemctl --failed lists nothing, nor did dmesg immediately suggest a reason. In the yum history I see that this driver was updated to 19.0.1-3 from the 19.0.1-2 that installed with. Yum downgrade to 19.0.1-2 did not change the issue. Nor has booting an older kernel helped so far.

Although when I remove quiet from the grub command line it seems to stop after ”Started Load CPU microcode update” following the ”Started Light Display Manager” already mentioned, I strongly suspect some issue with the graphics driver.

Since the computer boots and seems to run fine with the internal display when removed from the docking station it seems that there are no hardware issues in the unit itself. My understanding is that the ATI driver can be a problem and needs to match the kernel etc - perhaps there is something wrong here?

Any suggestions for how to attack this? I need to use it in the docking station and have no alternative. Thank you.