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I tried to update to driver 286.05.09 (nvidia says these are the latest) and now I cannot log into ubuntu, is it possible to revert back to the recommended?

The pic below is what I see, but I can access the command prompt with ctrl+alt+f2, so where do i go from here?

Is it possible to download the old driver, and install it like i did the newer one?

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How did you install the new driver? From a repository or from NVIDIA's web site? Also that link doesn't seem to show anything. – zookalicious Nov 3 '11 at 23:28
yeah, i went to and got the driver for linux 32. installed it and ate crap. basically all the picture is is my screen showing the processes. its stuck on "starting system v runlevel compatability" – Michael Nov 3 '11 at 23:33
The new Nvidea driver I installed got me into this weird state and I would have never gotten out if I hadn't come across this awesome tutorial. Thanks a ton! – user276000 Apr 29 '14 at 19:12

I did the exact same thing and felt the wrath of my mistakes. The easiest solution is to first uninstall the new driver you have installed and then reinstall one from a ppa or the ubuntu repos.

To Uninstall (might not be necessary, but less chance of mistakes)

I can't quite remember which method I used because this was a few months ago, and I break my system a lot.

If you still have the .run file from NVIDIA's website you should be able to run the command:

/path/to/ --uninstall

Obviously replacing the "/path/to" path with the file system path. If you don't know how to enter that, just open a terminal and drag and drop the file into the terminal and type --uninstall after it.

Alternatively (I'm not sure if this actually uninstalls the nvidia driver, but this is what I did I think, so I maybe I didn't even uninstall the old driver before updating :P)

sudo apt-get remove nvidia-current

To re-install the standard driver

Easy, just a couple commands.

sudo apt-get install nvidia-current

and then you can restart. If there is problems with your xorg.conf file, then this might not work immediately (but if you can log in and be on your way, great!)

If it doesn't immediately work, run the following


This should automatically generate a working xorg.conf for you.

To install the most up to date driver for your graphics card

Since you installed the driver from the website, I'm going to assume you wanted a more recent driver then in the standard repositories. This can be done very easily.

Simply add the X-Swat repo which contains up to date graphics drivers and all the other components they need to run smoothly.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-x-swat/x-updates
sudo apt-get update

and then install nvidia-current like normal, or update it if you didn't bother to uninstall it above. Just installing it by itself should prompt you to download the appropriate X versions as well.

sudo apt-get install nvidia-current


sudo apt-get upgrade

And again if it doesn't work after a reboot;


Hope that works out for you!

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