Comment 11 for bug 150930

I was having the same issue with the black screen Dell that has a ati x1400 video card and widescreen lcd (1440x900) and was able to fix the problem using the steps below.

1) Change the resolution in /etc/usplash.conf to 1024x768
2) Add vga=791 to the kernel line in /etc/boot/menu.lst
3) sudo update-initramfs -u -k `uname -r`

I found the fix at https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/usplash/+bug/63558