I've tried vga=normal, no effect. The colors appear distorted, as though a 32-bit is being displayed on 16-bit hardware. For example, all the text I'm typing right now is invisible against the background of the form.

lspci -v shows the following related to the graphics card:

01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: Trident Microsystems 3DImage 9750 (rev f3) (prog-if 00 [VGA])
Subsystem: Trident Microsystems 3DImage 9750
Flags: bus master, 66Mhz, medium devsel, latency 64, IRQ 11
Memory at e5400000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=4M]
Memory at e5800000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=128K]
Memory at e5000000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=4M]
Expansion ROM at <unassigned> [disabled] [size=64K]

Please help!

Edit from working comp:

xvrefresh=60 improved the display somewhat, but the colors are still distorted. Oddly enough, the penguin icon during booting shows normally; it's only once I'm into X and KDE that the colors get jacked up. This try, I didn't use vga=normal.

Another try, using vsync=70 depth=16 produced the same color distortions.