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Having trouble installing a piece of hardware? Want to know if that peripheral is compatible with Linux?


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Old 07-06-2005, 01:42 PM   #1
Registered: Oct 2004
Location: Cheshire, England
Distribution: Debian Stable
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Ubuntu Updates have stopped all Linux distros installing or working properly! HELP!!


I have an AMD64 powered machine with two hard drives, one is a serial ATA with Windoze XP and Mandrake 10.1 installed and the other is an IDE which is my playing with drive.
A couple of days ago i received Ubuntu v5.04 Hoary for AMD64, i installed this with no problem onto the IDE, set up my desktop and went to bed. The day after i booted into Ubuntu and successfully downloaded and installed all the updates from the update manager.
After rebooting i now find that Ubuntu stops for minutes at the 'initializing hotplugs subsystem' bit and if i leave it it does eventually allow me to log in but presents me with a blank desktop and the error 'cannot initialise HAL', (that error may not be exactly as it says but the HAL bit is right.
I've tried to install ubuntu again and the install hangs everytime, i've also tried to install Mandrake, Fedora Core 3, and Slackware 10.1, all of which hang.
Also, and strangest of all, my Mandrake on my serial ATA takes ages to boot now, stopping for minutes at the 'finding new hardware' (something like that) bit, and when i do get to my desktop nothing system-wise (like harddrake or control centre) will run, although the other stuff like open office e.t.c. Runs fine.
I'm sure the fault was caused by the update and that it somehow affects the usb pick-up or something. Have the updates altered the bios (only way i can see it affecting both drives).
Please help!!!!!!!!
Thanks in advance.

Old 07-06-2005, 02:32 PM   #2
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Registered: Nov 2004
Location: San Jose, CA
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The updates have no access to the BIOS itself. (Well, in theory a virus could do that, but realistically, the BIOS would be untouched). It's odd that they both hang on hardware detection. Any new/changed hardware?
Old 07-06-2005, 03:35 PM   #3
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Registered: Sep 2001
Location: Montreal, Canada
Distribution: Slackware; Debian; Gentoo...
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It would be very unlikely that an update broke an hardware but, still, the possibility exists. Long time ago, a certain version of Mandrake was killing a certain model of LG burner. Litterally killing.

But right now, don't consider this as an option, even if something in your hardware failed it wasn't probably caused by Unbuntu update.
Do you have Windows on this system? Is it working fine?

My guess would be to boot in single user mode (adding "single" or "1" in the boot prompt usually do it) first. If it works, then at least the hang isn't caused by the kernel. Then you cuold try disabling/uninstalling hotplug (as it seems to cause the problem?) or to compile the kernel to remove USB support for now to at least be able to boot normally.
If you have anything pluged on USB right now, it would be a good idea to unplug it. Maybe your mouse or your keyboard are dying?
Also, if you have anything (out of usb) that need hotplug, it would be a good idea to remove it for now...


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