[ltp] PCI video card in Dock II

Connor Behan linux-thinkpad@linux-thinkpad.org
Sat, 20 Dec 2008 00:04:54 -0500

There was nothing physically wrong with my last dock (or at least there 
wasn't before I opened it up and tampered with it). I only succeeded in 
bricking my old dock and having to get a new one. But with my new one I 
managed to get the PCI slot recognized. All it took was loading dock, 
acpiphp and pci_slot and adding the parameter pci=assign-busses. Now I'm 
trying to drive the LCD with the PCI card if that's possible.

It sounds like it wouldn't be easy but the BIOS seems to suggest 
otherwise. I have an a22m 2628-S1U and in the BIOS, Config > Display has 
4 options...

1. Use PCI or AGP to drive the boot display device. It says if you 
select PCI, a PCI video card in the dock will be used if one is 
detected, otherwise the built in AGP adapter will be used. If you select 
AGP, the built in one is used whether you're docked or not.

2. Boot display device: LCD, CRT or Both. I assume this means, what 
monitor is the laptop using before an OS with a possible xorg file 
starts. So the screen where the "IBM" splash shows up.

3. HV expansion. Whether the LCD uses all available pixels or not. 
Completely unrelated to what I want to do.

4. Brightness, high meaning high all the time, or normal meaning high 
unless running on DC. Also unrelated.

So I wanted to see my laptop's own screen display good 3D graphics so I 
set the boot display device to LCD and the adapter to PCI. This means 
the PCI card in the dock will feed the image to the LCD right? Not so. 
When I start up, the screen is blank. I then set the boot display device 
to Both but again, no image on the LCD (only the external display) if 
PCI is used. My laptop screen only gets used if AGP is the adapter 
selected (or I'm undocked).

So is it possible to have the docked PCI card drive the screen built 
into the laptop by adjusting the BIOS or software? Has anyone done it 
before with this laptop/dock or a similar laptop and similar dock? My 
first thought was that it's impossible, after reading the BIOS my second 
thought was that it might be possible and now that the BIOS seems to 
have lied I've gone back to thinking it's impossible. I'll gladly use a 
CRT if that's necessary but can anyone help me use the LCD or verify 
that the BIOS is indeed ambiguous because of some poor translating 
software? I know I could get things working with some very clever 
soldering of the wires inside my laptop onto a VGA cable but that would 
take forever every time I want to switch back and forth. And I'd very 
likely screw it up beyond repair. So yes, any software solution would be 
much appreciated.