How to recover from corrupted textmode
When configuring your ThinkPad, you may occasionally end up with a corrupted textmode display in which you can't see anything even though the system is still running. This is frequently related to X and suspend operations. Here's how to recover from such occasions by resetting the video state.
First you need to take a configuration snapshot of a valid textmode configuration. Switch to textmode and run:
vbetool vbestate save > /usr/local/etc/textmode.vbe
Then save the following script as /usr/local/sbin/textmode and
# chmod u+x it:
#!/bin/bash chvt 1 vbetool post sleep 2 vbetool vbestate restore < /usr/local/etc/textmode.vbe setsysfont for (( i=0; i<100; ++i )); do echo .; done clear echo Textmode restored.
Somehow get a root shell (e.g., log in blindly) and blindly run:
Usually, you will get a working textmode console back. Rarely, this will hang your machine (probably due to the BIOS call).