Ubuntu 8.10 installation partly failed, what now?

Anne Vanhoestenberghe rmapann at ucl.ac.uk
Tue Jan 6 11:49:32 UTC 2009


I have been using fedora for years now but I had never installed any linux
OS.  I tried installing ubuntu 8.10 from a cd as dual boot with windows XP
on an old pc.  At first it seemed that all was fine but something must
have gone wrong and unnoticed.  Ubuntu starts OK but quite a few things do
not work.  So far what I have noticed is:
If I open a terminal I only get a white window, with NOTHING, I mean
nothing, not frame, no prompt, just a big white rectangle.  So impossible
to use the command line.
There is always a little square around the cursor that fails to refresh,
so after a while my screen is doted with frozen little squares, this sorts
itself if I close all applications, wait for about 5 minutes doing nothing
then click on the empty desktop.
I cannot move nor resize the windows and the only way to close them is
Ctrl-Q.  As if the bar at the top of the window was not working properly.
During the start-up sequence, I get a funny screen for a few seconds, full
of fuzzy blurred lines and dots.  Then it goes back to the normal start up

Now, if I was to use the PC more I could find more issues, but this is not
the point.  Since I cannot use the command line the chances of sorting
this from within ubuntu seem limited.  So what can I do?  I thought about
re-installing it (perhaps reinstall kubuntu 8.10 instead).  But how can I
do this cleanly?  I do not have the windows cd and must keep windows as it
runs some windows only programs that I need every so often for work.
Uninstalling ubuntu scares me as I worry about loosing grub and failing to
boot anything at all afterwards.  Anybody has a simple plan?  I am fairly
familiar with basic commands and have been a fedora user (that includes
installing all subsequent programs) for more than 10 years now.  I will
try to answer all your questions to clarify the nature of the problem if
this help, I just did not know what more to say here.

Many thanks for any help you may be able to offer.

Best regards



anne Vanhoest

Implanted Devices Group

Medical Physics and Bioengineering Department
Malet Place Engineering Building

Gower Street
WC1E 6BT London

phone: 020 7679 0296 (internal: 30296)
fax: 020 7679 0255

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