Ubuntu 8.10 installation partly failed, what now?

Gilles Gravier gilles at gravier.org
Wed Jan 7 07:23:28 UTC 2009

Hi, Anne!

A few things for you...

1) Had you noticed this behavior before installing, when you were
running the Live-CD?
2) Reinstalling - a good option. But... kubuntu or ubuntu come with the
same graphics drivers. Not sure that this would change anything.
3) Reinstalling - just do the install again. Do like you did before.
Just make sure you delete the Linux partitions (you can do this with the
Live CD before launching the install - look for Partition Editor in the
System->Administration and with it, delete all the ext3 and linux-swap
partitions you find - don't touch the windows ones, of course). Then
launch the installer.
4) Blurred lines... reminds me of a behavior I've seen before... do you
have an NVIDIA card? Some older NVIDIA cards exhibit this behavior when
using the opensource driver for NVIDIA. You should enable the
proprietary driver. (I have this behavior on an old Toshiba Tecra M2 laptop)
5) Just about when Ubuntu will boot, you are presented with the GRUB
multiboot menu. Type the letter "e" on the Ubuntu line. Then go down to
the boot line and type "e" again to edit. At the end of the line, remove
the "quiet" and "splash" words, then enter, then type "b" to boot... you
will get the full text output during boot. Maybe you will see some error
message that can help identify what is wrong.


Anne Vanhoestenberghe wrote:
> Hello,
> 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
> screen.
> 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
> ###########################################
> 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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