I've been trying to install various distros (SuSE, Ubuntu, etc.) but I'm having the same problem, even if it's KDE or GNOME. The problem is with X, it doesn't get set up properly when I install the distro. Even when I try a Live CD I have this same problem.
The problem is that I can't get the video to display. When trying to load a KDE desktop I get a black screen with the X cursor...it sits there indefinitely. When I boot into GNOME I at least get the opening sound, but I get a little box with a bunch of colours in it (which I assume is my shrunken, messed up desktop).
In my latest attempt I installed SuSE 10.3 x64 and decided to install it in VESA mode to see if that would help....it didn't. When I try to run 'startx' it says that it failed.
When I try to run 'sax2' I get the same result as trying to run a GNOME desktop....I get the little coloured box with the X cursor.
I checked my xorg.conf and it seems to be missing a lot of stuff. I have used Linux a little in the past and I recognize that something is wrong there. The only two sections with data in them look like this:
Input Device "/dev/gpmdata"
Input Device "/dev/input/mice"
When I try booting in Failsafe it gives me a million error messages regarding my hard drives. I gave up after about 10 minutes of these continual messages. I'm not sure if these hdd issues are related to my video problem.
I don't understand what is wrong, I've used about a dozen other distros over the years on this same hardware and never had any issues. My video card is a nvidia 7800gt.