New 12.04 installation boots to video corruption

Asked by Dave Cowling on 2012-10-07

Hi -

I am a novice Linux user, this is my first attempt to install and run Linux - any advice greatly appreciated.

I used the Ubuntu 12.04 Windows installer to create a dual-boot system. Windows continues to boot fine. When I select Ubuntu, I get a blank purple screen on boot for a few seconds, then horrible graphical corruption - essentially what looks like a scrambled video feed, at which point nothing further seems to happen.

I'm not sure how to proceed - I clearly can't do any diagnostics interactively within Linux since I can't interact with the machine. I'm not sure if there are boot files used in Linux that I can modify from the Window's side to try to narrow down the issue?

Brief machine specs: Core i5-2500 @ 3.3Ghz, Nvidia GTX560Ti, 16Gb RAM.


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Ubuntu xserver-xorg-video-nv Edit question
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Can you give the output of:

sudo lshw -C display; lsb_release -a; uname -a


Dave Cowling (davecowling) said : #2

Hi -

Thanks for the feedback, but I think you're misunderstanding the issue (or I'm just sufficiently novice that I don't understand the request).

The screen is totally corrupt - just pixel-high lines of random colors. So even I were able to open a terminal window and type what you suggest, I wouldn't be able to read any output...

Is there some way to cause Ubuntu to boot just to a text entry mode (or something akin to Window's Safe Mode) which might display correctly and which might let me do what you're asking?


Press CTRL+ALT+F1 and you can run it there

Dave Cowling (davecowling) said : #4

Pressing CTRL ALT F1 does nothing except turn a section of the screen black. I'm assuming this is bringing up a terminal window, but as I've already pointed out - since the screen is completely garbled, it is of little use - I can't decipher the results of any commands I could try to type into the window.

I strongly suspect this is an issue with a video driver / resolution - so perhaps someone can suggest a way for me to safe boot linux or otherwise instruct it to boot at a lower resolution or using some other driver? I have tried using CTRL ALT +/- to change the resolution dynamically but that doesn't appear to have any effect at all...

In the desktop press CTRL+ALT+T and run;

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-x-swat/x-updates
sudo apt-get install nvidia-current

If you type very slowly and carefully, you can do this with no display at all :)

Dave Cowling (davecowling) said : #6

No change. I typed everything as listed. After each command there was clearly a response, but obviously I was unable to decipher it. No command seemed to to take any time to run either. If the video driver is borked, perhaps the network driver is too?

It seems crazy to me that the only way to address a video driver issue is to do so interactively within the broken system. I can boot to recovery mode (holding SHIFT during boot to bring up the GRUB menu and then selecting recovery mode) - since that displays correctly is there any debugging or factfinding I can do in there that would be useful?

Rapidly losing patience with what was supposed to be a simple install - Linux plug and play does not appear to have come as far as I imagined.

Try adding the boot option:


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