I just reinstalled Ubuntu 12.04 (LTS) 24 hours after I first installed it. I really screwed up the initial install when I tried to update the Nvidia driver from 3.04 to 3.19. (I have an Nvidia GT220)

First time I installed the update from the icon in the top that said new updates were available. When the computer restarted it hanged on boot with a message: "starting load fallback graphics devices fail". I tried a couple things I found on the Ubuntu forums and the commands either didn't work or it completely messed up my install due to me just imputing any command I found online. So I ended up doing a complete reinstall.

Now I have the fresh install....I get the same pop-up about a driver update but I haven't touched it. Do I click on the update? Download directly from Nvidia? Or do it from the terminal? A step-by-step would be much appreciated. Also if I get the same error, how do I fix it? Please explain what I need to do, while I am familiar with the workings of DOS/Windows, I have no idea what I am doing in Linux (no idea what the xorg file is, how to change directories in the terminal or anything)



If the Nvidia 319 driver caused issues, then don't install it again. Use the Nvidia 304 driver instead.

The recommended way to install it is either from the Additional Drivers application (12.04), or Software & Updates application under 'additional drivers' tab.

The easiest way to fix a broken driver is to uninstall it, but that will require knowledge of terminal commands at least. sudo apt-get remove nvidia* is the terminal command to uninstall Nvidia driver. If you can't get to a desktop, you have to boot to a root command prompt, mount your file system, then run that command. Press shift right when Ubuntu starts, then select root command prompt. Then run mount -o rw,remount /. Then run sudo apt-get remove nvidia*. Then restart the computer.

  • Thanks for the reply. How do I avoid the constant nagging from the dekstop and in Steam about a gfx driver update? Or should I try a post 319 to see if it works? Thanks again. – Tom Dec 21 '13 at 15:31
  • Install the Nvidia 304 driver using Additional Drivers. It shouldn't bother you after that. – Paul Tanzini Dec 21 '13 at 16:03
  • Ok, I installed the 3.19 driver and so far it is working fine. Not sure what went wrong the first time, only thing I can think of is I installed the driver the same time installed a bunch of the updates, maybe that messed it up somehow. Thanks again for the help. – Tom Dec 21 '13 at 20:56

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