Apparently I need to accrue 10 reputation to post more than 2 links - so reposted everything I learned in trying to install Ubuntu onto my Windows 8 machine with a new graphics card on my blog: http://patientprogrammer.blogspot.ca/2014/01/eight-hours-to-start-ubuntu.html
The summary is - for the first eight hours or so I couldn't get Ubuntu boot-up/load from the USB drive. It would simply end up on a black screen and make the drum noise and the cursor keys would actually generate other noises - so it seems as if it is a graphics card issue. However, after adding the nomodeset flag/setting at the end of the linux line Ubuntu finally loaded off the USB drive - but only version 13 (13.10) - I couldn't get 12 (12.04.3) to work.
My graphics card is: "NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 - 3 GB - 941 GHZ".
Now for my question - since I was able to work-around this issue using the nomodeset when booting off the USB drive - it does imply/confirm the problem is Ubuntu's "understanding" of my video-card. I'm still unable to load Ubuntu off my harddrive, even if I append the nomodeset flag/setting in the /etc/default/grub file onto this line:
thus changing it to:
GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash nomodeset"
I've tried running boot-repair three times now. When I boot using the Ubuntu ISO on my USB drive - there are three video drivers listed (under "additional drivers" in "software and updates"):
- NVidia 319 (proprietary)
- Nvidia 319 (proprietary, tested)
- x.org x server - nouveau display driver from xserver-xorg-video-nouveau
And even if I change the above selection (in the UI) to one of the NVidia drivers - when I reboot it returns to the Ubuntu's Nouveau video driver I've read some articles about bumblebee or nvidia-prime. Apparently they're different routes you can go to try to address this - but it requires a series of commands of purge, followed by install, followed by update and I don't want to mess things up worse than they already are - so I wanted to make sure I selected the right drivers/versions and most importantly used the correct commands for my version of the graphics card.
One thing I'm not clear on is when I boot from USB drive and load into the "live session" (I believe that is what it is called) - are the updates I make getting applied to my computer's harddrive or just to the USB drive? The reason I ask is because after issuing a bunch of commands/code like the ones below - a bunch of updates seem to happen and if I load the "Additional Drivers" panel in "Software and Updates" I see a new entry nvidia-331 (open source) has replaced the entry that was once nvidia-319 (proprietary and tested). But then when I restart it is gone again.
I've tried the following commands: sudo apt-get remove --purge nvidia-319-updates sudo apt-get remove --purge nvidia-settings-319-updates
It always just says "not found".
Then the following:
sudo apt-add-repository ppa:xorg-edgers/ppa sudo apt-get update #sudo apt-get install nvidia-331 #But instead of the above command - I used sudo apt-get install nvidia-current #I've also tried this sudo apt-get install noveau-firmware xserver-xorg-video-nouveau xsever-xorg-video-nouveau-dbg
But I just get "unable to locate package nouveau-firmware"
I also tried the instructions mentioned in the comments (the BinaryDriverHowto/Nvidia):
jockey-text --help jockey-text -l jockey-text -e xorg:nvidia_current
I saw my two disabled nvidia drivers 319 (proprietary and "proprietary and tested") when I used the "jockey-text -l" command. However, when I tried to use the "jockey-text -e xorg:nvidia_current" - it just told me it wasn't found. So off to google I went and found this page: http://falkvinge.net/2013/02/15/how-to-install-nvidia-drivers-in-ubuntu-12-10-quantal/
And I did everything except
apt-get install linux-headers-generic apt-get dist-upgrade
Because the idea of building the headers and having that "up to date" version of things scared me. But when I used this command
apt-get install nvidia-current-updates
it did end up getting the nvidia_304 driver. And then when I executed this command:
I got something interesting back: "warning: unable to locate/open x configuration file." and "new x configuration file written to '/etc/X11/xorg.conf'"
I don't know if that is a good thing or not - but it sounds like it has now created I file I had needed. And now when I use the "jockey-text -l" command I see a new driver (nvidia_304) and it is "enabled" - but "not in use" (possibly because I'm in the "drop to root terminal").
On reboot - I get
[1.457572][drm:drm_pci_agp_init] *ERROR* Cannot initialize the agpart module. [1.457642]DRM: Fill_in_dev failed.
And even if I try going to "recovery mode" it stops/fails here: [1.420000] microcode: Microcode Update Driver: v2.00 , Peter Oruba
and nothing more is printed to screen - so looks like I've bricked it. I can't even access the install of Ubuntu on my harddrive. Back to the drawing board. Thankfully on my PC there is a Ubuntu using Linux 3.11.0-15-generic and Linux 3.11.0-12-generic. Without being able to get into the 3.11.0-12-generic I wouldn't have been able to go into the "reovery mode" menu and "update grub bootloader" and get the windows partition to appear in the grub menu (every time I run boot-repair it removes that entry). I've apparently installed tainted NVidia drivers (according to some error messages when I try to boot into the 3.11.00-15 version) - so that OS can no longer boot - I can't even enter the recovery mode menu to "drop to root" (the terminal window). How hard is it to just reinstall Ubuntu over an existing install using the USB drive? The boot-repair didn't fix anything.
I'm still just taking wild shots in the dark and I'm now 48 hours without a working install of Ubuntu on my harddrive.