Mint 19 Cinnamon: Black screen w/ mouse cursor after login, driver 390/396

Hey guys! Got a black screen with mouse cursor after login a week ago. I fixed it, but it happened again today. What am I doing wrong?

My fix:

Ctrl+Alt+F1
sudo apt remove nvidia-*
sudo apt update
sudo apt autoremove
sudo apt install nvidia-driver-396
sudo reboot now

I think both times, a previously installed update broke the desktop.

UPDATE: happened again today.

Steps to Reproduce:

  1. Install Linux Mint 19 Cinnamon 64-bit on ASUS ROG G751JY laptop
  2. Install NVidia driver 390.87 or 396.54
  3. Use for several months
  4. Reboot

Current Result:
After the login prompt, the system shows a black screen with a mouse cursor. The Linux Mint startup sound plays.

Expected Result:
The desktop should show.

Workaround:

  • Ctrl+Alt+F1
  • sudo apt remove nvidia-*
  • sudo apt update
  • sudo apt autoremove
  • sudo apt install nvidia-driver-396
  • *or* sudo apt install nvidia-driver-390
  • sudo reboot now

Resources:
nvidia-bug-report.log.gz is here:


Screenshot:

Notes:

  • The issue first occurred on October 2 2018, after using Mint since early July.
  • It has since re-occurred on October 10 and 12, 2018.
  • There is no button to attach files to posts in this forum. How can I attach files?

You rebooted twice before creating the bug-report.log, so there’s no real info to get from it.
If you didn’t reboot again since then, you might get a helpful log running
sudo journalctl -b -2 --no-pager >journal.log
To attach files, hovering the mouse over an existing post of yours will reveal a paperclip icon.

Thanks, generix!

For now, I fixed the issue again by manually removing the driver, booting with Nouveau, then looking for any traces left of any version of the NVidia driver and deleting them all (config files, orphaned packages etc.), then reinstalling the driver.

Once this happens again, I will make a new log and attach it here (thanks for pointing out the paperclip!).