I see dozens of posts from people whose monitors are saying "out of range" under Ubuntu; seems like there are some serious problems in Ubuntu with autodetection of monitor capabilities. :-( But none of the many, many suggestions I found have solved my problem, and right now I can't use anything graphical on this machine!
History: I installed Ubuntu 12.04 on my HP Proliant Microserver N40L, which worked reasonably at the default resolution across several reboots. At some point I noticed that the proprietary video driver was not in use, and tried to install one to get better window-drawing speeds, but it failed with some sort of error, and I gave up on that. A few weeks later when I next rebooted, it showed the usual BIOS screen and various boot loading screens (including GRUB), and then the usual purple Ubuntu splash screen with the dots showing that things were loading, but when it finished booting the monitor went black and eventually showed "Out of range" (with no other information). Given that there were several weeks between reboots (it's a server, after all), I've no idea if it was some system update, trying to install the proprietary drivers, or something else that caused the problem.
Anyway, the system has booted fine, as I can do Ctrl-Alt-F1 to get a text prompt and can log in there. But Ctrl-Alt-F7 goes back to the out of range error.
Some posters said to try Ctrl-Alt-- (minus) to cycle through resolutions until one works, but that didn't have any visible effect. Many, many others said it was a grub problem, which seems unlikely given that grub's screen looks fine, but I tried editing /etc/default/grub to set a particular resolution (trying many of them) and running update-grub, with no apparent effect. Rebooting into failsafe mode works the same as regular mode. Replacing xorg.conf with xorg.conf.failsafe works the same too.
I'm at my wits' end! Isn't there anything I can do to convince Ubuntu to choose a mode that the monitor supports? E.g. the one that it is using for the splash screen? I don't need great resolution on this machine, just anything that works!!!!!