After much frustration. I have written a guide on how I got my 970 drivers working below. The guide also covers how to fix any general NVIDIA driver if your OS is giving you a black screen of death on bootup, or installation. It is very detailed.
HOW TO FIX THE BLACK SCREEN OF DEATH WITH UBUNTU.
Let’s say you have a new hard drive and you are using a bootable USB with Ubuntu on it in order to install the OS. If you get to the installation page and say you click “Install Ubuntu”, then the screen goes black then it’s probably to do with your GPU. The problem is that modern kernels (the kernel is how software interfaces with hardware) have had the graphics mode settings put into them rather than left on the x driver (the X driver is used to allow an input device to interact with the display; so moving your mouse around your monitor display for example). By dumping the graphics settings into the kernel, it allows a nice looking splash screen to be displayed when your installing the OS and have nice sharp windows when installing the OS. However, if your graphics card settings don’t work with the kernel, then you can’t see the install screens. So you get a lovely black screen that displays no information what so ever. You now have to rely on the BIOS to interact with your GPU instead of the kernel so that you can have a GUI for your installation. To do this, when you boot from the USB, you have to wait for the installation screen and you need to press TAB when you’ve highlighted the “Install Ubuntu” option. When the page loads you will be able to see all the boot options, and you will have to use the arrow keys to navigate to a section that says something along the lines of:
quiet splash $vt_handoff
You need to change it so that it says the line below, then press Enter to boot up using this setting.
quiet splash nomodeset
When your computer reboots, you will then be able to interact with the installation screens and complete the install.Once Ubuntu is installed, you will neep to click reboot as the final menu option, and when you reboot, you will need to remove your USB & break the boot sequence again. But this time, you have to break the boot sequence by spamming the left shift key (you are trying to get into the GRUB that you just installed this time). The GRUB (GRand Unified Bootloader) is just something that you can use to set boot options or boot into mutiple OS’s that might be installed on your hard drive. If you didn’t get into the GRUB then you have to spam the left shit key faster (some people say to hold shift, but that has never worked for me. If you spam the shit out of shift though, it always works eventually). When the GRUB loads, leave the default highlighted line selected (it will be the one that is the Ubuntu generic option and not the recovery mode) then press e. Within this menu, you will have to look through the boot options and find where it says the “quiet splash $vt_handoff” option again, and change it to say nomodeset (same as before/above). You will then get your normal Ubuntu login screen, albeit with a terrible resolution, and be able to login. At this point it’s best to just do the following two commands to get your system up to date:
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
You are now ready to get your Nvidia drivers. The actual syntax to do this is below (I will explain what the commands do, and how I arrived at these commands below).
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:xorg-edgers/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get install nvidia-[number_of_driver_version]
! for me it was
sudo apt-get install nvidia-352
The xorg-edgers ppa command is used to install a repository of Nvidia drivers. Since your distribution of Ubuntu may not always include the necessary repository to install the latest driver (or your driver at all) for your graphics card, you sometimes have to get the repository manually by using the xorg-edgers ppa.. If you get a black screen on startup, then most likely your Linux distro didn’t have your graphics card driver, or repository for it. So you need to get this bunch of repository files which will later be referenced using the command underneath (to actually install the drivers). The last command is used to install the Nvidia driver, version 352 in my case. To find the version number you have to go to the Nvidia website and go to the download drivers section. You will get a bunch of drop down menus that you can use to identify your OS and your graphics card. Choose the correct items and click search. The website then finds the driver you need, and the key number you are looking for is at the top of the page where it says “version”. For me it said 352.21, meaning the major release is 352. So this is how I found what number to use in order to install the latest driver.
After a reboot, this should be enough to get your Nvidia card working & make automatic updates work for new drivers they release (or any kernal upgrades you might install).
You then just run the command below to remove the ppa repository (since we already have the driver we want installed). The reason for deleting it is because it also has a bunch of other stuff within the repository that could be used for other programs when you update them. So it’s best to make sure you just remove it to reduce an unexpected install of software at a later date when you come to update/upgrade your distro.
sudo add-apt-repository -r ppa:xorg-edgers/ppa