Comment 19 for bug 385658

The only graphics drivers that can safely use PCI_MATCH_ANY are 'vesa' and 'fbdev'. -ati and -intel both explicitly list out their supported hardware.

By using PCI_MATCH_ANY for the device IDs, the nvidia driver erroneously reports that it is able to support ANY NVIDIA hardware but then collapses during the probe routine on any unsupported NVIDIA device.

Because the actual failure happens in the probe routine, the X server has already allocated an entity for this card, and a fallback to VESA or FBDEV is no longer possible. This causes trouble when trying to use a system without an xorg.conf.

I'd recommend looking at -ati as they dynamically generate their list of supported IDs.

There are a few handfuls of bugs on the Ubuntu launchpad tracker for karmic that won't boot to X on a live disk, and boil down to this problem, I'd be glad to share links if requested.