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I finally got this to work right by first switching to a terminal using CTRL + ALT +F2 and then running the following series of commands: sudo service lightdm stop rm ~/.config/dconf/user sudo service lightdm start The following article is where I found this answer and it goes into more details with a few other things folks could try, but it was this last ...
When the grub menu loads (you need to hold shift after the bios screen), I select my kernel image and press 'e' to edit the boot parameters. At the end of the line beginning with "Linux" I append the option "i915.modeset=0". Turns out I can omit the "xforcevesa" option.
The standard Ubuntu NVidia drivers generate some problems on slightly older and slightly newer NVidia hardware. If you want more then the standard Ubuntu repository drivers, install the xorg.edgers PPA. As the xorg.edgers group ask not to give installation instructions directly without linking to their page, this is the best I can do. If you don't know ...
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