I was going to post on this - but I'll add the only bit I didn't see to this one instead. If you are using a samsung laptop (or from what I gather having travel the t'internet for ages any samsung monitor) you may have a further problem.
Hardware: Samsung R40+ (ATI x1250)
Effect: "no useable screens" or "not supported Depth(8)" on startx
or the "display(null)" message when using fglrxinfo. (if you're using an ati graphics card and don't know what I'm on about start at "http: // m.domaindlx.com/LinuxHelp/ati/ati.htm"
There is one last change - xorg.conf.
1) To make the change you'll need to know what resolutions and refresh rates your monitor supports (if like me you are more at home on windows use
display settings -> advanced settings -> list all modes
2) Ensure you've gone through the Ati Catalyst drivers installation mentioned above first
3) run the following after logging in "root" "toor":
4) select xorg.conf, press F4 to edit
Find the section "Screen", add a line under "Monitor" for "DefaultDepth 24" (as startx seems to pick depth 8 by default otherwise)
, delete any other Subsection "Display" entries than the one for 24 and add one of your card/monitors valid modes/refresh rates. Here is mine below
where the resolution i was after was 1280 x 800 (obvious) and the _59 is the refresh rate. What originally caught my laptop out was the assumed default refresh rate was not supported by my monitor.
ViewPort 0 0
5) Save with F2, confirm and quit midnight commander.
Further errors indicate that the mode is wrong, a blank screen most likely means that the refresh rate you (didn't) choose was unsupported
The whole thing is *way* easier if you use the swap and changes partitions to persist your live CD installation.
What a baptism of fire my very first linux experience was! I'm now not so scared of the beast, and have passed the first test in my companies ethical hacker course ("get you're laptop working"). Penetration testing here we come.