Ubuntu upgrade to 10.10 – nVidia problems and how to fix.

Today I took the plunge and upgrade from 10.04 to 10.10 on one of my machines and had 2 problems.  The one was self inflicted and the other one is a known issue with the nvidia-96 driver which does not work with Xorg 1.9.  So you may wonder why I use a old driver like nvidia-96 .. well because I have a very old nVidia GFORCE2 MX card in the machine.

I did the upgrade from a downloaded alternate iso which was mounted as a loop device.  The fetching of packages (all 1754 of them – yes it is machine that has been upgrade since 7.04) went fine but halfway through the install the machine totally locked up.  I did a hard reboot and expecting the machine not to properly boot,  I was dropped in recovery mode. I ran sudo dpkg --configure -a and the installation continued at the point where the machine froze.

When the install was finish, I rebooted but XServer had problems with the nvidia-96 driver. It loaded the driver ok but I could not get any resolution higher than 1024×768.  I did some googling and came across this post http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2010/10/nvidia-96-driver-ubuntu-10-10-fix/ which I then promply did and now I have again a machine that run at 1280×1024 resolution.

When my machine froze halfway through the install, I was expecting the worst and already thought that I would have to do a fresh install.  Well that was not necessary and this is what most Windows users do not get.  When  a WIndows upgrade fails like that, there is almost a 100% chance that you will have to do a fresh install.  On Linux there is always a way to recover. 

Now onto my other machine to upgrade .. should be more plain sailing since it has newer hardware and Ubuntu 10.04 is a fresh install on that box.


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