Older graphic card problems
As a Linux Newbie, I spent hours and hours trying to get Ubuntu 10.10 and Fedora 14 working on an older system that has an ATI Radeon 9600 XT graphics board. The system locked up under Ubuntu and did the same in Fedora unless I ran Fedora under the basic video option. (Basic video didn't allow HD video and larger screen sizes and resolutions). I tried several of the suggested remedies and nothing worked, but I have a better understanding of fundamental operations under the Linux OS.
I was enticed to try Linux when I read an article that stated, "don't throw away that old system, give Linux a try. . . " So I did. Unfortunately these older video boards are not supported in these current versions of Ubuntu and Fedora--disappointing as the Radeon board is not all that old.
I initially gave Linux a try by using the CD version of Knoppix V6.4.3. It worked flawlessly with the Radeon 9600 XT. I didn't install it on the HD because everything I read suggested it was difficult to do with Knoppix, and trusted reviews recommended Ubuntu and Fedora as the top two choices for Linux.
Now I am sorry I didn't start by giving the installation of Knoppix on the HD a try two weeks ago. After investing hours of time trying to get Ubuntu and Fedora to work, it was easier to install Knoppix--faster and simple too, onto hard drive. I installed Knoppix 6.4.3 in just a few minutes, and it works great with the old graphics board!