switching to console distorts video

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http://forums.opensuse.org – I've played with linux quite a bit, but now is the first time I haven't just given up. However I can't solve this alone that I've found. I boot into gnome just fine, but as soon as I switch to console 1 or 2 or N (insert number here) it distorts my video across all of them. It seems like it's changing the refresh rate either horizontal or vertical and I just don't know how to solve the problem. If it distorts I can't get it back to decent readable graphics without a reboot. Was doing the same thing in ubuntu, and that's part of the reason I installed suse. I am running 1600X1200 with 50 refresh rate in gnome and have swapped the console resolution around, trying different options but still have the same problem. thanks for any help (Distributions)