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I have just finished installing Debian Wheezy on a Dell Inspiron 1501.
That was no easy because very often (80 %) exiting grub the screen went garbled.
After a while I realized that waiting enough (10 minutes) for the screen saver to work, the screen went black and than touching the mouse or the keyboard, magically all became normal and I could login.
Now I put the three following lines in /etc/rc.local:
vbetool dpms off
vbetool dpms on
and all is working properly. When the screen goes garbled afters a few seconds it cleans up and all returns normal