NOTE: I see many similar topics on this, but I've tried all their suggestions, and nothing has worked. THE MAIN DIFFERENCE SEEMS TO BE: I always get a black screen with a blinking cursor, while others seem to get through the boot-up and see distorted graphics or just their wallpaper.
I do a clean install of Ubuntu 12.10. Boots fine with the “nouveau” graphics driver – graphics (even just menus) are very slow, choppy, and distorted. The three other driver options in Ubuntu (official NVIDIA drivers), all result in a variation of the black screen on boot up. There will be NO access to a command line/GUI in anyway what-so-ever (tried every option recommended out there, but the system is unusable at this stage).
I can only reinstall, and try different drivers…and I only ever get one shot at it.
-Does anyone know of a PROPRIETARY driver that will actually work on 12.10 with a NVIDIA or ATI card?
-Should I just buy a newer graphics card to put in as a replacement?
MORE INFO: This is my second computer, and I’m just trying to get a working install of Ubuntu on it. I don’t want to put much money into it, as I have seen Ubuntu run great on much older/less capable machines. I’ve got a decent'ish Core2Duo Intel processor (2.13Ghz), 2GB of RAM, 320GB hard drive, 32-bit architecture, and there is no other O/S installed. It appears as if the graphics card (NVIDIA Geforce 7350 LE) is holding me back.
TRIED SO FAR:
-all drivers available in Ubuntu *all fail
-manual install of some different NVIDIA drivers *all fail
-also tried installing the generic kernel, Nvidia driver doesn't work in 12.10 *no difference
-tried installing 12.04 *same results
-every method suggested to at least get a command line after switching to a NVIDIA driver *all fail
Re-tried everything above with a new NVIDIA Geforce 210...same results for everything.
Re-tried everything above with a new AMD Radeon HD 6450...installed the proprietary driver from Ubuntu's "Software Sources" menu...EVERYTHING NOW WORKS. See "answer" below for summary.