I recently upgraded my parents desktop from Ubuntu 7.04 to 7.10. Everything worked fine (including Firefox) but I got greedy when I realized that 8.04 was available and went ahead with the upgrade to Hardy.

I've gotta say that this was quite possibly the worst Linux upgrade in my experience. The web-based upgrade froze part of the way thru the process and left the PC in an unusable state. There was no simple way to roll back from this state, so I had to return some time later with a CD copy of Hardy Heron.

Having successfully installed 8.04 on the desktop, I soon found out that I would be unable to log-in due to some kind of video driver issue. I would log in, the screen would flicker for a second and then take me back to the log-in screen. I discovered that I could successfully log-in only when running GNOME in safe mode.

One obstacle down, I figured that this issue had something to do with the display drivers, and installed the ATI graphics drivers (restricted). From that point on, I could log into Ubuntu without using safe mode.

Cool. I could at least log-in now and fire up my Gmail. Nope - Firefox crashes - and I don't just mean it freezes or disappears - I mean the screen turns white and the entire PC freezes up. I have to restart the box whenever this happens, and its happening on almost every site (GMail, weather.com, etc). I suspect that its due to either Flash or Java enabled sites, but I'm not sure.

I should mention that immediately thought it was a bug in Firefox 3. I first downgraded to version 2 and then figured I would remove FF complete and replace with either Epiphany or Galeon. Both browsers had exactly the same crashing problem when I tried them.

I'm not a true believer when it comes to Linux though I've sold it pretty hard to my parents. Issues like these just make it harder and harder to convince them (and myself) that it is really worth the effort when I have a copy of Vista lying around. But I'll save that rant for later - can anyone out there help me unfstarck my parents machine so that its usable again?