The proprietary nvidia driver should be used without KMS. You have to edit the /etc/default/grub file, use your favourite text editor (vi, nano, gedit, etc.):
sudo nano /etc/default/grub
Change the GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash" line to the following:
GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash nomodeset"
Save the file, then run sudo update-grub Then reboot, and it should work.
If it still doesn't solve it, then remove also "quiet splash" from the previous line, and again sudo update-grub. (This will disable the graphical boot screen.)
The recovery booting did work, because the recovery menu entry had the nomodeset parameter.
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