I am trying to understand why my nvidia video card only works in recovery mode
Did I miss something?
I think you can recover it by deleting xorg file. First of all make a backup.
In a terminal:
sudo mv /etc/X11/xorg.conf /etc/X11/xorg.conf.bak
Then cross your fingers ;-)
You can also use
If the xorg.conf is messed up and you use the driver which is from Nvidia and not the nouveau driver it could explain the error.