I received an email from Michael and he was having some issues installing Ubuntu on a Dell XPS 400. I wrote entries on this when I was first getting heavily into Linux that were far more complicated than they needed to be. He was having problems following those posts so I came up with a simplified version.
Here is what I suggest:
Boot Ubuntu [9.04], on the first screen choose your language [English] Then press F4 and select [Safe Graphics]
Then press [F6], but do not select any option. Instead press [Escape] and it will allow you to change the command line. Remove the option “quiet splash –” and replace it with “vga=791” instead
Start the installation
This should install Ubuntu in safe graphics mode at a resolution of 1024×768. Once the installation is finished you should be able to enable the nVidia driver and get the better resolution and color depth.
This should also work for anyone with a nVidia chipset that does not correctly get identified at installation.