Ubuntu has a nice install screen that lets you press F4 for Modes or F6 for Other Options. If you have an older laptop, you may find that you can’t boot unless you turn on “Safe Graphics” or check “acpi=off”.
(Note: In my case, the failure I was experiencing on boot was accompanied by horrible graphic corruption on the LCD. This made me think I’d need safe graphics mode, but that had no effect. It turned out the acpi=off was the setting I needed to get through the boot. YMMV.)
Yet there’s a catch to getting Ubuntu working this way. It may get you through the install, but once you’re finished and try to boot from your hard disk these options aren’t there any more. As of 9.10, it seems that it does not slipstream these settings into the configuration files on your hard disk.
As more of an exercise than anything else, I looked into how to address this after installing Ubuntu onto an old Pentium III laptop. Hopefully it can help someone else. Here goes…