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On a blank 20G drive I loaded a CD install, it gets to the choice screen, but the screen corrupts either in Try mode or Install mode, it gives a login screen on the Left side of the screen and processes that, but the main screen is corrupt and un-useable, the only way out is to pull the power plug.

This is a desktop with a Asus M2N_MX motherboard, 1G memory, nvidia GeForce 6100 graphics, driving a HP S2031a screen.

The problem is the HP S2031 monitor will only do 1600x900 max resolution, and during 12.04 boot the monitor complains that the 'Monitor signal is out of Range'

Digging around the web, this looks like a failure of the screen to sync properly, so do I need different Nvidia drivers, or just change a setting somewhere. Presumably 12.04 is sending a signal to the monitor that it cannot display, and I need to change this setting, but how? I cannot use esc to stop 12.04 and get into edit grub, and the screen wont display sensibly to let me in terminal.

I also run Windows XP, without problems.

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Unable to Boot Into Ubuntu 12.04

You need to load into nomodeset because the drivers are not originally on ubuntu.

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This does not provide a sufficient answer to the question. Try to add more information, and / or examples. – Mitch Oct 6 '12 at 12:48

Have you tried Ubuntu Alternate CD . It is a text based installer

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