After upgrading my HTPC to Ubuntu 10.04, nvidia drivers stopped working without any reason. After googling a bit, all the answers pointed to a problem related with Ubuntu upgrade system not updating restricted drivers. I have tried manually to update and use all the available versions, but without any success…until I found the cause and solution.

It happens that Ubuntu does not remove old drivers correctly, leaving you with multiple versions which were confusing the operating system. The solution was to purge the system from all nvidia drivers and reinstall just one of them.

You can run the following commands to clean the system:

sudo dpkg --get-selections | grep nvidia | grep -v deinstall | awk '{print $1}' | xargs sudo apt-get remove -y
sudo apt-get install nvidia-current
sudo nvidia-xconfig

sudo reboot

The system will then reboot and if everything is OK, Ubuntu will be as good as new.