The combination of a small number of Nvidia cards, Linux kernels from the 3.2 and 3.3 series, and the open source Nouveau video driver for Nvidia cards will produce the symptoms you report. The problem arises because Linux distributions cannot distribute the Nvidia driver on their CD/DVD's. When the installation routine detects an Nvidia card, it attempts to load the Nouveau driver. That triggers the problem. The solution for me has been to add "nouveau.noaccel=1 nomodeset" to the kernel boot line, as explained earlier in this thread. Nomodeset, alone, does not work for me. That allows me to boot successfully, into a low resolution environment. The next thing I do after booting, is to install the proprietary Nvidia driver. Linux Mint has a program called "Additional Drivers" that does this. If you wait a few minutes after booting, the system should display a message that Additional Drivers are available. If it does not, or if you are in a hurry, look for "Additional Drivers" in the menu tree. It should be listed under "System" or "Adminstration", if memory serves. "Additional Drivers" will likely offer you two choices. The first will be the Nvidia proprietary driver that was available at the time Mint was packaged for release. The second is described as post-release updates, but it is, in fact, a more current dirver. Either option is OK, but I recommend the second. "Additional Drivers" will prompt you for a password, then download and install the driver. It may take a few minutes. You will then be prompted to reboot. I have noticed that at least one current version of the Nvidia proprietary driver package does not actually create the necessary xorg.conf file. (I've also seen this in the Nvidia package from the Nvidia site, so I attribute to that routine.)I recommend opening a terminal and entering this command: ls -l /etc/X11/xorg.conf. If you do not see a listing for xorg.conf with a current date stamp, then xorg.conf was not created. In the terminal window, enter: "sudo nvidia.xconfig" which will create xorg.conf. Reboot and you should come up running the Nvidia driver. An Nvidia configuration tool will be installed, as well. Good luck. This Nvidia-Nouveau-kernel problem is obviously annoying for those with the affected cards. But, in the end, it exists because Nvidia is a closed proprietary product whose code is not available to Linux developers.