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I'm on an old desktop (see the hardinfo report): here

Okay, the problem I have is, I'm forced to use root (which is not safe, obviously) to do anything! I can't log in as a user (except from a terminal), which is very bad, because I'm not the person who needs to use this system, and because we need to use wine to recover critical data. Basically... I need to find out where the freezing is coming from. noapci, noacpi, nomodeset, etc... don't make a difference to the situation. I can't tell if it's a kernel bug, because all that I can tell indicates that, but somehow it seems unrelated (I mean, startx works as root!).

Any ideas? I really need to get this working urgently for the person who needs to use it, to recover very critical data, and as we are not able to buy a new system... you get the point. Our previously working desktop got fried by Hurricane Tomas.

EDIT We gave up hope on this system... it start freezing under root, so we're going to try to backup the data to an external drive (if we can keep the system active long enough, or with a live CD) and try to recover the information from the databases etc on another system. Not the best solution, but the only one we have.

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put on hold as off-topic by Braiam, dn-ʞɔɐq ɹW, David Foerster, waltinator, kos 12 hours ago

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "This describes a problem that can't be reproduced that seemingly went away on its own or was only relevant to a very specific period of time. It's off-topic as it's unlikely to help future readers." – Braiam, dn-ʞɔɐq ɹW, David Foerster, waltinator, kos
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

    
What happens if you create a new user, delete everything in their home directory, and then try to log in as that user? – Nathan Osman Nov 6 '10 at 22:48
up vote 2 down vote accepted

I honestly have no idea why this is happening, but you can easily recover critical data by using a Live CD to mount your hard drive, and then you can copy any important files to a flash drive.

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I actually have an external HDD that we can copy to, but the reason we wanted to recover this system (we gave up now) was cause it would make it much more simple for us to have the system running to access the data on it (it's complicated), and a live cd won't be the best bet because of the limited RAM (it's slow, and there are minor risks involved). – RolandiXor Nov 7 '10 at 0:11

we gave up. system is freezing as root now as well, possibly the disk/memory/processor is faulty. going to try a last resort option. Thanks all for trying to help us. :(

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