GPU locks up, can only use Recovery mode

I get the following screen whenever I boot up. I can only boot into recovery mode. If I let it boot normally, it will give this screen, then switch to some weird checker pattern, then eventually go to a text screen where I can barely see a message that says the GPU locked up. it will go through a bunch of stuff, try some other mode, get another really bad graphics screen, and then eventually just go completely black.

Graphics card is an old GeForce 8600GTS that I had laying around. I know it works, since this same PC had Windows on it and it worked fine.

What I’ve done so far:

First, when in recovery mode, I went to and tried to install the driver from there. It seemed to be installing, and then at 60% it gave me a message that something was in the wrong Unicode or something and wanted me to do something which I was totally lost on. I couldn’t go any further, so I cancelled it.

After some research, I went into YAST, and to the community repositories, and chose the NVidia GeForce drivers. I then did an Online Update. I hit Accept and let it do it’s thing. A link somewhere on here says to then reboot. Did that, but it didn’t seem to help. I’m not sure what to do.

Here’s the pic of the screen.

AFAIK nouveau (at least the version in 13.2) has problems with that card, and the screenshot definitely looks like a driver problem.

You say you tried to install the nvidia driver.
Which packages do you have installed?

rpm -qa | egrep "kernel|nvidia"

that command doesn’t seem to do anything. I entered it, even did it a 2nd time with sudo, and it doesn’t echo back anything. just returns me to a prompt.

BTW, thanks for the quick reply. I dont’ really know Linux that well. Figured Opensuse would be an easy OS to install on an older PC, so I gave it a try.

Then you didn’t install the driver.

Apparently you did add the repo though.
So running “sudo zypper inr” should actually be enough to install the driver, or it should be selected automatically when you enter YaST->Software Management (not Online Update).

OK, did that. It ran a bunch of commands. When it returned to a prompt, I restarted.

Now I get:

[FAILED] Failed to start Load Kernel Modules
See “systemctl status system-modules-load.service” for details.

It lets me login via command line. but no GUI.

That should be unrelated.
But what does “sudo systemctl status system-modules-load.service” say?

It lets me login via command line. but no GUI.

So, what packages do you have installed now?

You should still be able to boot to recovery mode (second entry in “Advanced Options” in the boot menu).
Please start that and post the file /var/log/Xorg.0.log.old then, this should contain the log for the failed boot.