After way too much hassle with UEFI settings I got ubuntu 12.04.2 LTS installed and working pretty well; multiple shut-downs and restarts without issue. Windows would not boot from grub2 (and still will not afaik), but it boots from UEFI/BIOS boot menu and that was fine for me for the time being. There was a problem where the grub2/splash screens would sometimes be very distorted, squished into the top 500 or so lines of the screen (making the text illegible), but it only occured intermittently and was always limited to those two screens (not the GUI) so it didn't bother me too much.
I downloaded and installed ~210MB of recommended updates, VLC, Comix, and Steam (all in one session) and shut down (NOT 'restart and apply updates', just shut down; i felt i should switch UEFI/BIO boot order from windows8 to ubuntu first before proceeding?). The only thing that went wrong was I had to kill "Additional drivers" ("jockey"-something, which had been set to download a proper graphics driver) from system resources because I had to shut down and it was not responding (maybe just being slow, though). I didn't think this caused any problems, it certainly didn't at the time? This morning I try to start it back up and I get a failure to boot (windows can still boot just fine through UEFI/BIOS boot menu) reporting a number of problems(?);
firstly right at the top it had:
swapon: dev/disk/by-uuid/*long alphanumeric available on request*: swapon failed: Device or resource busy
mountall: swapon *long alphanumeric available on request* terminated with status 255
mountall: Problem activating swap: *long alphanumeric available on request*
then a few other things i *think* were not so important (boot sector having a minor difference from backup it declined to automatically fix?), and then at a long list of modem-manager packages/drivers(?) it loaded, and then at the bottom:
AppArmor skipping firefox and rsyslogd profiles, and speech-dispatcher and saned being disabled (i don't know what either of those two are but they sound like they could be important?)
this screen ended immediately thereafter with a blinking cursor unresponsive to any key press. but just tapping the power button initiated a shut-down procedure with many commands flashing up.
I booted the liveusb i had made (and am running to type this), downloaded installed and ran boot-repair (side question: how do i add this permanently? I should have 4gb of persistent space?) twice, because the first time i accidentally told it not to give me the url log (from second run: http://paste.ubuntu.com/5576462/), and then restarted. now the previously intermittent graphical distortion is constant (afaik through a few attempts), and boot still fails (i just now can't even read the screen it fails on...). Even worse(?) I now have two Ubuntu boot entries! I have no idea what i'm doing. The instructions on https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UEFI say I should now run boot-repair once more, but i am afriad, after it apparently made my situation so much worse!
edit - update and clarification:
i did decide to go ahead and run boot-repair again (http://paste.ubuntu.com/5576695), and then spent a while restarting and checking things out. It still does not boot, but the the error messages (which i am not even sure ARE error messages, or if they are just startup processes that hang?) have subtly changed (and seem to now be changing somewhat every time). but it always ends with the same messages about speech-dispatcher and saned being disabled, so i think that is my problem. except for the very first time i retried after boot-repair i got a new block of messages at the bottom which i think was just to do with error reporting;
and then a hanging unresponsive cursor
Stopping System V initialization compatibility
Starting System V runlevel compatibility
Starting Auto Crash report
(four more can post if needed, down to:)
Starting anac(h)ronistic cron
(four more, then:)
Stopping anac(h)ronistic cron
to clarify i have both a surplus Windows 8 and Ubuntu boot item, and they only appear in the UEFI/BIOS, not grub2.
only one of these ubuntus presents to deformed graphics, the other is fine. i'm not sure if the 'fine' one is actually the old one that was experiencing it intermittently, or what? but it seems to be the one i am stuck with because the alternative is illegible.
I am really tempted to just uninstall and reinstall from scratch at this point; I really want that TF2 hat and the clock is ticking!
edit 2: some more research on 'ubuntu speech-dispatcher/saned disabled' and now i am thinking this may be a graphics driver failure, likely because of my impatient killing the process... which is strange because i was positive it hadn't even finished downloading. i have scribbled down the commands i need in a notebook, and now just have to hope the ctrl-alt-f1/f2 i saw somewhere (to unlock terminal once on 'ugly black screen') works... wish me luck!