View Full Version : [SOLVED] 12.04 freezes during or just after install

November 28th, 2012, 06:47 PM
I've seen a lot of internet noise about 12.04 that seems to relate to what I encountered, but I did not see solutions. Window controller ("Unity"?) seems to freeze at the slightest provocation; i.e., any user interaction. Console and remote login are impossible. Gory details:

- Immediately following the initial install, while updating ~240 pkgs, the default 10 minute screen saver kicked in and seemingly froze the system; i.e., dark screen and no HD activity after a while. Did a hard reset. Re-boot. Window manger came up, but was highly dysfunctional. F1 worked, but I was too ignorant to know what to do from there other than observe that console login works and system runs. Tried recovery mode, redo (don't recall exact option or exactly where that option popped up). Ultimate result was boot failure.
- Repaired boot by copying grub boot sector (again) from /boot first sector (by "dd...")to windows c:\ for winxp's bootloader (for dual boot using windows xp loader chain loading grub), using live cd system. Rebooted successfully. Fiddled with Firefox briefly before screen froze. Mouse mouse still moved, but no clicks or keyboard action. F1 did not work. Remote ping responded. SSH login was refused.
- Re-install from scratch. Things looked fine for a few minutes. Displayed a brief video stream from CNN on Firefox. Attempted to configure Firefox settings, but screen froze. Mouse moved, but nothing else worked (no F1, ping OK, but SSH access refused), repeating all symptoms seen above.

Install was from the live cd system.

Dell Dimension 2400, running Windows XP,
(set up up for dual boot using the
Windows' Bootloader to chain load grub)
Pentium 4, 2.79GHZ
1.25GB Ram
WD5000AAKX 500G Sata HD,
(operating through an ide/sata translator board)
FAT16 (Dell stuff) in ~500MB partition 1,
NTFS Windows in ~129GB partition 2,
Ubuntu /boot in ~4GB partition 3
(within the 137GB the BIOS can see),
Ubuntu / and swap in remaining ~300GB+ partition "5"
Intel(R) 82845G/GL/GE/PE/GV graphics controller, on MOBO
Hawking HWG54GR PCI card wi-fi (ra2500 linux driver)
Logitech USB mouse
Original Dell keyboard (ps2?)

Windows XP continued to boot and operate normally through all of the above Ubuntu installs, repairs, re-installs, etc. Therefore, I presume hardware is OK.

Based on internet noise about various possible 12.04 stability issues that manifest similarly, I'm thinking my only option is to try 11.04, though dropped support is a concern. I know 10.04 does not run a particular WINE application that I am interested in, so that's out of consideration. I could try Fedora 17 (later kernel...), but don't think I can afford the amount of configuration work Fedora seems to always entail.

Any thoughts? I'm hoping somebody has pinpointed the bug(s) and can point me to the quick patch that creates a system that has the traditional Ubuntu solid reliability, running on any old piece of hardware ;-)

November 28th, 2012, 09:44 PM
I may be a tad too optimistic, having only played with this "solution" for an hour or less so far. However, being able to run Firefox for an hour without a freeze is way better than ever occurred with the as-is fresh install of 12.04, and I tried it over and over. The news is that I came across a Slashdot posting decrying "the bug" in Intel's open video driver that was known to freeze laptops running open source operating systems, particularly when opening or closing the lid. Poking around further, I found a suggestion that Ubuntu's drivers may not be the most current Intel release and one might try newer drivers that might be available elsewhere. So I booted up, immediately did ctrl-alt-F1, logged in to the console and did this:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-x-swat/x-updates
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

logout, shutdown and Reboot Ubuntu

The immediate effect was that Ubuntu's colorful login screen became a simple black and white. However, as near as I can tell so far, that was the only negative effect, and that is not any sort of real problem. Upon login, I have been surfing the web with Firefox for quite some time today, without a freeze! Previously, this sort of activity resulted in almost immediate freezing of the window manager. So, if it not a complete solution, then at the very least, it is significant progress. It fixed something, for sure.

December 10th, 2012, 12:04 AM
Well, some time has passed. Things have been exercised quite a bit. There have been no further freezes. I'm inclined to believe the whole problem here was fixed with the video update described above.

Bucky Ball
December 10th, 2012, 12:30 AM
Congratulations on some nice digging and problem solving at this early stage of your Ubuntu journey! ;)