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Appendix: Troubleshooting

Each of the sections in this appendix starts with a statement anticipating a specific problem. You should be able to find answers to your questions about installation, configuration, and various other problems you might run into.

This appendix covers the following kinds of problems:

I type ph to start Photon but it doesn't work.

When Photon doesn't start, or runs in a mode that isn't consistent with your hardware environment, the problem is likely due to the hardware-probing utility (crttrap), the graphics mode switcher, or the graphics driver itself.

The first step in resolving the problem is to ensure that Photon will indeed run correctly by starting Photon in its "safe" mode:

  1. Turn the power to the workstation off and then on.
  2. At the OS command prompt, type ph -s.

This should start Photon in 640*480, 16-color mode (standard VGA), which is compatible will most video cards.

If Photon runs correctly, the problem can be narrowed down to a video problem. If "safe" mode doesn't work, the problem could still be video-related or a Photon problem. Either way, the problem should be reported immediately as follows:

  1. Collect all relevant information about your graphics environment. This includes gathering the following information:
  2. Post all the information in the QUICS Photon support newsgroup under quics.experts.photon (see "Using QUICS" in the Basic Installation chapter).

The Photon graphics engineers may ask you to give additional information or to try various scenarios, updated drivers, etc.

The mouse pointer is missing or frozen.

This could indicate a problem with Input/inputtrap, a hardware failure, or a video problem (see previous section). Checking for device failure can be as simple as swapping the input device with another that's known to work. If there's a problem with the input driver(s), here are some guidelines for isolating and correcting the problem.

The first step is to run inputtrap query from the OS command prompt. The output provides the following information:

If the command line that inputtrap constructs for Input seems reasonable, make a note of the command and start Photon in safe mode:

ph -s

Once Photon is loaded, you'll be able to use the keyboard only for input, because inputtrap does the least amount of probing possible in safe mode.

Next, try to start the other input devices you need manually, one by one. To do this:

  1. Launch a shell within Photon:
  2. Invoke the driver you want to test.
    Use the command you noted earlier, but omit the keyboard arguments.

    A second Input will be loaded with the non-keyboard device found by inputtrap. You can test the device and see if it works.

  3. If the device doesn't work, kill the device by typing Ctrl -C , then restart it in verbose mode (e.g. Input -v...). This may give you information on what is or isn't working.

Note: If your device wasn't found by inputtrap at all, you'll have to create an input.node file containing the arguments your device requires. For more information about how to create an input.node file, see "Setting up a pointing device" in the Configuring Photon chapter.

If inputtrap can't detect your device (type use inputtrap to find out), this could mean:

The inputtrap utility detects interrupt conflicts and will display a message to that effect. However, inputtrap doesn't check for I/O conflicts. To check whether the probe failed due to an I/O conflict, remove all unnecessary adapters and devices from the machine and reboot the system.

If your PnP device isn't listed in the pnpmouse file, you can add it easily - there's one line per PnP ID, and each line relates a particular PnP ID to a particular Input module. A quick inspection of the file will reveal its structure.

Note: If you have to add a PnP ID, please email your addition to support@qnx.com so that it may be incorporated into our standard distribution.

When I type ph, I get the message "Photon: No license."

This message could be displayed if nameloc isn't running and/or if a required Photon license hasn't been installed or activated. For more information about licensing, see the documentation that came with your QNX OS software.

pterm can't register a device.

The Photon Terminal window (pterm) depends on resources managed by the Device Manager. It may be necessary to increase the number of devices the Device Manager will permit. If you get a message similar to the following:

Dev.pty: unable to register devices


pterm: cannot find a free pseudo-tty

you should increase the limit on the number of devices. For more information, see "Increasing Device Manager limits" in the Configuring Photon chapter.

I want to leave Photon but I can't.

Usually you leave Photon by clicking the PWM button (the one with the QNX logo) and choosing Exit from the Workspace menu. However, if you ran a new application or custom keyboard that leaves Photon hanging, there are three other ways to exit Photon:

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