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Thinkpad W520 with Quadro 1000m, optimus disabled.

Reading a little bit about the topic, I thought I was well prepared and did the following:

sudo apt-get remove --purge nvidia*
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:xorg-edgers/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install nvidia-331
sudo apt-get --purge remove bumblebee
sudo reboot

Alas, despite the bumblebee precaution, next boot takes me to X-mode. I purged the nvidia and after reboot I was back in Unity mode. Is the official driver from nvidia a better idea?

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The official drivers are generally considered to have better compatibility for your hardware. You should really stick to the ones found in the ubuntu repositories as these have been tested with your distribution. Nvidia 331 is the latest but you can expect to run into bugs. I think 319-updates is the most up to date supported driver for 13.10.

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I tried that, and many, many other things having to do with bumblebee, nouveau, BIOS, etc. I was able to get the NVidia screen once, but the rest of the system was inoperable. I really like Ubuntu but this is a real problem as the default drivers work quite poorly when plugging a 2nd monitor to my laptop. – Dominic Comtois Mar 14 '14 at 18:17
up vote 0 down vote accepted

After lots of digging, I found that it's hardware specific. W520 + 64 bits linux = trouble. But there is some hope. The version of the driver doesn't seem to matter. What did the trick for me in the end? Adding those 2 elements to the boot configuration (I use Grub Customizer for this).

On the line that starts with linux /boot..., adding acpi_backlight=vendor made my system boot normally again (it would most times hang otherwise).

On the same line, adding nox2apic made it possible to adjust brightness without freezing (when I say troubles, I mean troubles.)

See here for more details.

Good luck and patience to other W520 owners.

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