I am trying to install Ubuntu 13.04 on my computer. I do not have a CD-drive, so I would like to use the USB install. I have used two keys, neither works. In both instances I received this error during the boot sequence:

"Filesystem check or mount failed. A maintenance shell will now be started. CONTROL-D will terminate this shell and continue booting after retrying filesystems. Any further errors will be ignored. root@ubuntu:~#"

I hit CONTROL-D and then I had to hit S to skip mounting and continue to boot from my hard disk.

Getting a USB key set up was challenging. I created one in Ubuntu 12.04 and one in Windows 7 (following the official user guide). I noticed, however, that I was unable to format the disk in Ubuntu with either GParted or Disk Utility. The former's context menu greyed out "Format >" and the latter kept saying the disk was mounted (when I unmounted it, I was unable to format it because the disk was considered busy). I had no issues formatting the USB keys in Windows 7.

One of the reasons I would like to upgrade Ubuntu is on the off-chance that it will allow me to increase my Linux partition size. GParted gives me the same trouble when I try to resize my hard drive as it does with formatting the USB key, all the actions are greyed out and unselectable.

I suspect this is a hardware problem rather than an installation problem, but I posted here thinking that it would lead me in the right direction.