Black screen on first boot

This is my problem, on first reboot after installation, all I get is a black screen with the text "unable to display screen mode, optimum resolution 1280x1024 60Hz".
I rebooted in recovery mode and selected 'xfix Try to fix X server'
twice but to no effect so I selected the 'drop to root shell' menu option and issued the command "sudo dpkg-reconfigure -phigh xserver-xorg" and was told I had no Xserver installed. Can I get one? Is it likely to be installed but invisible?