If setting nomodeset is the answer, there is a trick you can use in GRUB to set it before boot.
Apparently in GRUB, you:

1. Press e
2. Edit the linux ... line to add nomodeset as an option
3. Press ctrl X

I just found the instructions here https://duckduckgo.com/?q=grub+nomode+set

At least give that a go and report back if it works.