lsmod shows that the following modules are loaded for video:
The former is just the usual Intel graphics driver, and the latter is the open source NVIDIA driver.
When X starts, in /etc/X11/Xorg.0.log it reports that a screen was found but it was not properly configured, and then it shows "no screens found".
Starting with nomodeset=1 in Install Ubuntu instead of Try Ubuntu works fine.
After installation, the same issue occurs as on the live environment. No dice. Not sure where to go from here.
The reason the screen was showing up black was because KMS (Kernel Modesetting) wasn't turning on the backlight for the Intel-backed screen. In Optimus, the Intel device gives the image to the screen device, and the NVIDIA device simply acts as a pixel buffer generator and is not actually attached to the screen.
Open /etc/rc.local and add the following line before exit 0
setpci -s 00:02.0 F4.B=30
The 30 may be changed to any value between 00 and FF. 00 is Full Bright, FF is Full Dark.
Bumblebee aims to provide support for NVIDIA Optimus laptops for GNU/Linux distributions. Using Bumblebee, you can use your NVIDIA card for rendering graphics which will be displayed using the Intel card. Bumblebee is officially supported by Ubuntu in 13.10 Saucy or newer. However, all releases are supported by the Bumblebee Project community from Ubuntu version 12.04 up to 13.10.