first post... just as i thought i was getting the hang of this ubuntu business this came along...
my spare laptop is a compaq armada m300 on which i installed xubuntu 7.10 using unetbootin (no cd drive). it worked fine. i upgraded to 8.04 and somehow my desktop was changed to gnome but as it seemed to work just as well as xfce i didn't really mind. i recently did a load of updates as i hadn't been online for a while, and all was still working.
then yesterday i switched on and ubuntu simply wouldn't boot. the progress bar on the xubuntu splash screen goes 95% of the way across, and then the only way i can do anything with the laptop is to unplug it or remove the battery. when i tried to boot into "recovery mode" (whatever that is) the system prompted me to download some more upgrades, and then the normal boot messages went through everything OK until it got to the "Hardware Abstraction Layer (HALD)", at which point the laptop freezes and outputs the message "BUG: soft lockup detected in CPU#0" basically until i pull the plug or remove the battery.
the bug has a message which seems to be something related to irda, but this is a completely new development so i can only put it down to one of the sets of upgrades. is there anything i can do to resolve this problem, short of reinstalling (as that will involve downloading the whole install over a 2mb broadband with a 600mhz cpu and 192mb ram...AGAIN... eeek)? i've tried all the kernel versions that show up in grub, with no success.
the laptop is not faulty, as i can boot into windows 98 without a problem. also, on ONE of my forays through recovery mode, i got into ubuntu, but it has not worked since then.
any thoughts? thanks, hopefully, in advance!