AdamFirst wrote:For what it's worth, I don't have the dots in LInux Mint 14 or Ubuntu 11.10, and both are Debian based.
EDIT: I read the links within the link given above, and got to thinking about plymouth. I went to my "Startup Application Preferences" menu and unchecked "mintWelcome". Now I see some temporary screen corruption during boot, but it's gone by login, and there are no more weird dots. Go figure.
2nd EDIT: Dots have returned.
Sorry I didn't reply earlier. I missed this post. To clarify, Mint is based on Ubuntu (except LMDE, which is based in Debian). Although Ubuntu is based on Debian, they are quite different, and should be considered as such. I don't recall all of the specifics, but I think the only significant similarity between them is the package management system (apt). Ubuntu and Debian do hold different repositories, so that packages have some guarantee of working on a given system. Debian packages on an Ubuntu system do not always work and vice-versa.
As for the dots, It appears to be a bug with the nVidia driver, Debian kernel, Plymouth, or some combination of the three. Submitting a bug report (to debian, nVidia, Plymouth) would be your best bet since the issue is reproducible and affects multiple users. You could try Fedora or any other (non-debian) distro and see if you can reproduce the issue to narrow it down to the common denominator. It seems like it will most likely be an issue with the Debian kernel. You could try installing a different kernel to see if that fixes your issue. Make sure to backup anything important before you try that though.