I haven't found any other posts about this problem, and for the sake of the community I hope this isn't common...
I recently realized I had not updated my system in a couple months. I am running FC4 on a Dell Inspiron 600m.
As root, I ran: yum -y update
It took ages, but ran to completion. Now, upon rebooting, the computer seems to have some serious problem with the display parameters. Here's what happens:
The familiar white text listing details of startup fly by, no problem.
The boot loader works - I can see it and can choose the older or newer version of the kernel.
After that point the screen is all wonky, showing thin vertical bands a few pixels wide and streaks of the colors that should be on the screen. The mouse arrow shows up fine above all this.
Using the old kernel instead of the new one doesn't change things.
When the screen pauses on a bunch of grey and some light scribbles, I can type in my username and password, and the screen will change. So logging in works. However, I can't read a thing to be able to fix it and don't know the relevant files well enough to call up a terminal and edit things blindly.
When shutting down, white INIT messages are visible.
My plan: log in remotely via SSH and do what needs to be done from there. I do have root capability.
Problem: The issue is a little worse... Attempts to log in via SSH are timing out.
This may relate to the college network, which has lately been reluctant to let me get into my computer remotely. However, logging into a friend's off-campus server and attempting to reach my laptop from there is also showing no success.
It could also relate to the school's IP address assignment system, since my computer is currently down here in the lab instead of in my room. I doubt this, however, since my computer has previously displayed the same IP regardless of where I plugged it in on campus.
EDIT: Oh asphalt waffles. I know why I can't SSH in: The college has set up security precautions in such a way that every time a computer comes back on after being shut down, the user must go to a network authentication page before any internet connections will work. I'm going to see if I can find my knoppix CD, in case that will allow enough functioning to a) deal with the problem from there or b) complete the network authentication so I can log in remotely.
Suggestions? I still don't know what to edit if I'm actually able to get in.
UPDATE: Knoppix worked, and I was able to determine that the IP on that computer right now is different from my usual one- It seems that this lab isn't doing the assignment thing that the rest of campus does.
I cannot SSH in to the laptop under this new IP. The error message says Connection Refused.
I can SSH out and SFTP out, but because the laptop is running Knoppix I don't have the usual level of access to the main files on the harddrive.