"sync out of range" in textmode after leaving X (or in VCs)

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upon a cold boot, my VG800 1280x1024 panels run in textmode ok.

but after starting X, my panels show a "sync out of range"
message when i toggle to a virtual console, or, when i
leave X.  so i blindly issue either a startx or a halt after
leaving X.

this was not the case when i was using FX70 1024x768 panels,
textmode worked fine in all situations with those panels.

i am using
  Matrox G450 with dual VG800 panels
  XFree86 4.1.0
  Linux 2.4.8-5mdkenterprise

the output of dmesg gives the line
  vesafb: mode is 1024x768x16, linelength=2048, pages=9
which might be incorrect because my panels are 1280x1024

any help would be appreciated,



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