[TriLUG] Ubuntu, Nvidia and the Freeze or Black Screen

Carl Crider c.crider at gmail.com
Fri Apr 8 13:42:41 EDT 2011

Boot the box to a terminal, check to see if there are 2 xorg.conf files in
One of them is the good one. Rename the oldest one to something else;
"xorg.confOLD; xorg.confBKP". Don't delete it, as you may need to copy
over some details to the new one.

Are you using the nvidia control panel to save settings? If so it will
give you a parsing error when you try to save and the xorg is wrong.

If both of the drivers are installed, this can lead to the same/similar

We had these issues with some IBM desktops that used nvidia cards.
When a new update would install the new video drivers, we'd get a black
And actually, right now I can't remember whether it was the old xorg file
that worked versus the new one ... sorry, weird day.

On Fri, Apr 8, 2011 at 1:14 PM, Brian Blater <brb.lists at gmail.com> wrote:

> I've been trying to figure this out for awhile now and I'm getting no
> where.
> I've got a Lenovo desktop that has an Nvidia GeForce 8600GTS card in
> it running two IBM 19" flatpanel monitors. I'm actually running Ubuntu
> Studio 10.10 with the 2.6.38-8-lowlatency kernel.
> The problem I'm having is that when running the default nouveau driver
> I am getting random freezing of X windows, usually when in Firefox but
> it has also happened in other apps like synaptics etc. It happens
> often enough the system is basically unusable for much of anything. It
> appears that it is just X windows that has frozen as the mouse still
> moves, but I can't get to another screen with ctrl+alt+F#. I haven't
> tried SSH to the box because of the network setup I'm on right now,
> but I'm pretty sure I could SSH to the box no problem.
> So, I try to install the Nvidia proprietary drivers. I've tried the
> one from the repositories and the one from Nvidia's web site and no
> matter what after I install the driver and reboot, I get the Ubuntu
> 10.10 splash screen and then blackness. I can't ctrl+alt+F# to another
> screen, I can't ctrl+alt+del. It is basically a hard shut down to
> bring it back.
> I've google all kinds of suggestions and so far I've come up empty
> handed. I'd just stay with the nouveau driver if I could get the
> stability working. I just want to get this working so I can get off my
> old 10.04 workstation and move on to doing things.
> You all have any ideas?
> I'm to the point of buying a new card if that will be more reliable,
> but I've got this 8600GTS and an 8800GTX just sitting here, so why not
> use them.
> Thanks for your help.
> Brian
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