Unable to use system after retrieving drivers for new graphics card

Hello all. Firstly, let me say, I am quite new to Linux, so please bare with me. A few days ago I purchased a Geforce GTX 750TI card and attempted to install it. The story of what happened afterwards is long and can be found here, where I was asking for help on the Ubuntu help forums, but no one seems to be able to help me fix it: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2257506&page=3&p=13191736#post13191736.

I am unable to provide you with a log as requested in the forum sticky thread, as I am reporting to you from a different machine and I am still new to a lot of technological stuff.

The current situation is this: Installing the latest nvidia driver for my machine made the computer hang after the login screen. After lots of messing around from the system restore menu, and following a user recommendation, I installed nvidia-340 for my driver. It appears I may have several conflicting packages currently installed as driver, but as this is new to me, I am not sure what packages should be listed. I am referring to drivers visiable when entering the ubuntu-drivers device command (which I have explained in the above linked thread). In its current state (with 340 installed) my graphics are even worse than after initial installation, with enourmous text and graphics and nothing fitting on screen. The people on the Ubuntu help forums seem to be out of ideas - please help me fix my computer and get my card running :(

I cut lots of detail as I have linked to a post with plenty in already - please let me know if it is better I just write everything out in here, I just figured it would be easier to read the progression of what has happened thus far from the link. Or ofc if there is any further information I can give you to help.

You don’t need to upgrade to Ubuntu 14.10 and that’s not going to help you anyway.

Let’s recall the situation so we can plan the best path forward.

There are currently two separate branches of drivers for nvidia cards. One is from NVIDIA and is the official driver for your card. You need at least version 334.21 for the 750 Ti. The other driver, nouveau, is a community-made, reverse-engineered driver. Support for Maxwell cards is very limited in the nouveau driver.

Put plainly, you want (and need) the official nvidia driver.

By default, Ubuntu 14.04 ships with nouveau installed, but provides a nice mechanism for installing the official drivers from NVIDIA. This is available in System Settings -> Software & Updates -> Additional Drivers. This little utility provides two critical functions: it installs the nvidia driver, and uninstalls and blacklists nouveau. Both steps are necessary.

Unfortunately for 750 Ti and other Maxwell cards, there are two issues with this ordinary routine:

  • The default nouveau driver in Ubuntu 14.04 does not support the 750 Ti.
  • The official nvidia drivers in the Ubunutu repositories do not support the 750 Ti.

So that means you have to do it yourself. So the end goal is this: Install nvidia version 334.21 or above AND make sure nouveau is blacklisted.

At this point it looks like you have nvidia-340 installed, and I think nouveau is already blacklisted (nomodeset in GRUB launch options, and there should be a “blacklist nouveau” line in /etc/modprobe.d/nvidia-graphics-drivers.conf.)

It sounds like your only problem is that the display isn’t configured correctly?

Can you try installing the nvidia-settings package from the xorg-edgers PPA?

Then run nvidia-settings and under “X Server Display Configuration” press the “Save to X Configuration File” button. You might need to run nvidia-settings with sudo privileges in order to save that file. Then try logging out and logging back in.

If that doesn’t work, drop to a command line and run “sudo nvidia-xconfig”, then log out and log back in. If that doesn’t work, post your /etc/X11/xorg.conf and /var/log/Xorg.0.log files.

You can identify what video driver is currently loaded by running “lsmod”. There should be an entry for nvidia, and none for nouveau.