Posted by: Josh | September 29, 2008

Ubuntu Linux’s kernel panic freeze with an Asrock motherboard and an NVidia gfx card

This one has undoubtedly caused me much grief since I started experimenting with Ubuntu Linux 5.04 (we’re at 8.10 now). The answer is pretty simple, although hard to find.


  • Asrock P4i45GV (r3) or equivalent,
  • and its using a PCI/AGI graphics card (I have an NVidia FX5200).


Computer is starting Ubuntu, and about 1/4 of the way through the progress bar, it sits there. Forever. If you drop down to a console to see what’s going on (CTRL+ALT+F1) you might see the last line reading something like:

[ 33.893846] [<c010334b0>] work_notifysig+0x13/0x18

Or you manage to get to the login screen, but when you try to get to your desktop you remain on a black or beige screen.


Blacklist the conflicting VGA module, preventing it from being loaded during all subsequent boots.

  1. Go into your computer’s BIOS, (usually hit F2, Delete or F11 when booting (first black on white text screen), mine is F2)
  2. Set the Video card to VGA, save changes. On my BIOS this is done by going to the “Advanced” screen, selecting the “Resource Config” menu and choosing the “Primary Graphics Adapter” option, changing it from AGI (NVidia card) to VGA (internal).
  3. Plug your monitor into the integrated video port, and let Ubuntu start (it should!)
    Update: for Ubuntu 8.10
    After doing a fresh install of Ubuntu 8.10, I could get to the login screen, but my desktop wouldn’t load. You may follow this step for any version of Ubuntu:
    At the login screen, press CTRL+ALT+F1. You will be brought to a command line. Enter in your username and password (set from the install). Type in the following commands:

    sudo nano /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist
    type in the password you used to log in
    Use your arrow keys to scroll to the bottom of the file
    Add the text (without quotation) “blacklist intel_agp”
    Press CTRL+X to quit the editor, Y to save changes, and enter to keep the filename (blacklist)
    type sudo reboot
    proceed to step 6.

  4. Open up a terminal, and enter in the following to modify the blacklist file
    sudo gedit /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist
  5. Add the following to the end of the file, in a new line
    blacklist intel_agp
  6. Save, exit and shut down computer.
  7. Go into your computer’s BIOS again
  8. Set the video card back to AGI/PCI (I didn’t see a difference, AGI = Asrock’s equivalent to AGP)
  9. Reconnect monitor to video card
  10. After Ubuntu loads (which it should now!) , I recommend running the Restricted Drivers system tool and install the NVidia restricted driver, then reboot.
If all went well, you should now have Ubuntu with your Asrock motherboard and external video card. Thanks to who helped me find this solution.

Also, please leave a comment if you found this useful or found a better solution (hopefully from within your new Ubuntu box!).


  1. Thanks a lot !!

    I have been having a great annoyance when I replaced my motherboard 2 weeks ago, and since then I didn’t understand why can’t boot my linux partition.
    I thought that my hard disk were broken, because I got several errors about accessing inodes or similar.
    Finally I came to realize that linux boot by setting the motherboard VGA as primary graphics adapter.

    Your info saved me to use the very poor VGA driver for the motherboard video card.
    Now, my nvidia card lives again !

    Thanks again.

  2. In jaunty after doing all that you can not turn on desktop effects for some reason :<
    glxinfo shows direct rendering on
    I have a Asrock P4i45GV + Nvidia Fx 5700
    Any idea?

  3. An update for Ubuntu 9.10.
    there is an high probability thath you’ll not boot live cd at all, cause kernel panic comes up since initrd loading.
    So you can’t boot system at all.
    You need to modify initrd.lz located in you live ISO.
    here the link to a tutorial.

    Simply extract the intird filesystem, and modify /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf adding
    blacklist intel_agp.
    repack initrd.lz and remaster the ISO

  4. Thank you very much! I will try this solution as soon as i will get a new vga monitor! (I can’t connect my old monitor to internal graphics card).

  5. Well I bought and I’m using msi motherboard and they are much good with regard to graphics , Check out this ,

    These motherboards are way better in terms of renderings and supports onboard vga.

    Anyway thanks for the interesting info you’ve highlighted on this page.


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    I’m going to watch out for brussels. I will be grateful
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