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Old 02-25-2011, 08:45 AM   #1
Registered: May 2010
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Help troubleshoot Ubuntu10.04 installation gone "bad"?


On my home PC I have a dual-boot Ubuntu 10.04/Mint9 setup. I nearly always use Ubuntu, Mint almost never. Until recently, everything seemed to work fine.

But now, this stuff happens:

--When I turn on PC, on the GRUB menu list, about half the time there's no response to the keyboard arrow keys when I try to move the highlight down; and if I press the Enter key to start, there's no response--have to wait 60-seconds for the highlighted item to start.

--the login box's appearance is different, like a different visual scheme/theme

--after login, the screen remains black for a long time before the desktop appears

--when desktop appears, the program icons that were on desktop are gone

--when I launch an app, like the terminal window, it takes a long time for it to open, and after opening, it takes a long time for the prompt jim_d@jim_d-desktop to appear

--Nautilus file browser won't open. When I launch it, I get a button on Taskbar [sorry, forget the exact name; I customized my setup to look like Windows taskbar on bottom of screen] that says "Starting File Browser" but the button disappears, and Nautilus doesn't open

--in Firefox, there's typically a delay when I click a tab, and very often, it "darkens"--takes on a darker color and won't respond to clicks

Any ideas for troubleshooting, or what the cause(s) might be? Could it be a virus, or a bug in a particular pgm? Is there a way to "roll back" to when everything worked OK?

Much thanks for help and tips--I'm not very Linux-skilled, but can usually follow instructions!

Thanks again--

HW: CPU=Athlon II x2 250, speed=3.0GHz; 4G RAM, 500G hard drive

Last edited by jim_d; 02-25-2011 at 08:52 AM.
Old 02-25-2011, 09:40 AM   #2
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I would say the best thing to do is reinstall. And probably install 10.10, not 10.04, since it is more stable (at least it was when I tested it) and had less problems (all of the really serious bugs got fixed by the time the RC came out).
Old 02-25-2011, 10:09 AM   #3
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regarding Grub and keyboard - check BIOS, make sure USB legacy support is enabled if the option is present.
slow system is bit more difficult without much info to go on, look through /var/log/dmesg for any boot errors, might give you some clues.
Run nautilus in terminal to see if any errors pop up there.
Old 02-25-2011, 10:29 AM   #4
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So you have problems with Grub, and your Ubuntu install, if I have understood you correctly. Is Mint working, or has it also problems?
If it also has problems, I would assume that this is a hardware issue. Please test the Mint install. If it also has issues, I would recommend to do this.
1. Open your system and clean out any dust, may be your system is overheating.
2. Check your RAM. You can use Memtest86+ for this. Just download it, burn the image to a CD (as image, not as data CD) and boot from it. Let it run at least one pass, it will give you a message when the first pass is done. This can take some time, so the best thing is to run it over night. This really stresses your CPU and RAM, so be sure to do point 1 before this.
3. Check your harddisk with the manufacturers diagnosis tool. If in doubt, you can always use the tool from Hitachi, it also has to be burned to a CD and booted from. This tool works with disks from all manufacturers.
Old 02-25-2011, 04:17 PM   #5
Registered: May 2010
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I've considered re-installing, but I spent so much time customizing my current installation--installing, tweaking, configuring apps--that I'd really like to fix this instead of reinstalling. And since my current installation worked fine until recently, I'm wondering if there's a single problem that needs fixing, which might be faster than dealing with an entirely new installation and all the time-consuming headaches that might create. So I'm wondering if the point at which things went wrong can be identified via an error log or something.

"slow system is bit more difficult without much info to go on, look through /var/log/dmesg for any boot errors, might give you some clues.
Run nautilus in terminal to see if any errors pop up there."

Interesting. In Mint, when I enter "nautilus" in the terminal, the Nautilus File Browser opens.

But in Ubuntu, when I tried it per your suggestion, I get "Bus error"--is that a clue?

Re /var/log/dmesg: how do I get this using a terminal, since I can't navigate to the folder/file in Nautilus. I checked this file in Mint, just for an idea of what it contains--the info is beyond my ability to interpret, but maybe an expert could find clues here? What do I enter in terminal?

HW seems fine. I built this machine last year, new components, has worked perfectly. I cleaned PC interior a few weeks ago; and as mentioned above, Mint9 works fine--as fast as Ubuntu used to be.
Old 02-28-2011, 09:21 AM   #6
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Update: I ran some diagnostics and it appears my hard drive is failing.

Thanks to above posters for comments.


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