This works for me and hopefully for others who encounter the same problem.
As I understand it the 169 driver doesn't read the EDID correctly with some cards and gives the white screen/black line look.
I found this fix somewhere else, I forget where. All credit goes to Destny and Salil.
If you are running the 100.14.19 driver now you can skip straight to point 12.
1. download the 100.14.19 driver from the nvidia site.
2. logout. at the login screen, press ctrl+alt+f1 (or whatever) to go to text console and login.
3. stop gdm (or kdm, if you're using KDE).
sudo /etc/init.d/gdm stop
4. install the nvidia 100.14.19 driver (instructions on nvidia website).
6. ubuntu might display a warning about low resolution etc, continue. (if you are at this step, it means you haven't got the white screen).
7. adjust the resolution, if you wish.
8. go to system tools -> nvidia settings. if this menu option is not there, it means the driver was not installed properly. go back.
9. if you get a message saying the driver "nvidia" is not enabled, enable it by going to system -> administration -> restricted device manager. enable the driver.
10. may need to reboot at this time.
11. make sure you don't have get white screen. log in. you may see the low resolution dialog again. adjust if you wish.
12. open nvidia settings. at this point, nvidia-settings should be properly displaying all the options.
13. under GPU0, select DFP-0 (in my case, DFP0 - Seiko). you should see a button "Acquire EDID". click it, you will be prompted to save a file. save it somewhere(for eg ~/edid.bin) and copy it to /etc/X11 (for convenience). THIS IS THE KEY STEP. GET THE EDID.
sudo cp ~/edid.bin /etc/X11/edid.bin
14. remember to thank destny.
15. logout. go to text console (ctrl+alt+f1). login (text console).
16. run envy in text mode.
sudo envy -t
17. in envy, clean any earlier nvidia driver installation (100.14.19).
18. in envy, install the new nvidia driver. let envy configure xorg.conf, but do not reboot.
19. open the xorg.conf file
sudo nano /etc/X11/xorg.conf
look for section "Device". Add the following line:
Option "CustomEDID" "DFP-0:/etc/X11/edid.bin"
thank destny for this.
***Try without adding the screen resolution's first then rebooting as this can cause the white screen.***
***If you do get the white screen upon booting Ctrl-Alt-F1 login, sudo nano /etc/X11/xorg.conf and add the information below.***
20. under section "Screen", subsection "Display", make sure your default mode is listed. it wasn't in my case. i added "1280x800" "1024x768" "800x600" to the Modes line.
21. save and close xorg.conf, reboot.
22. at the gui login screen, you may notice that the resolution is still not proper. if so, login and adjust the resolution. also make sure you can see all the options in nvidia-settings.
23. you're set. i rebooted once again just to make sure things were smooth.
24. thank destny.
25. get back to work.