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As the title says, what would happen if, while installing Ubuntu 12.04 (or any version), my electricity trips and my PC turns off. Will I need to reboot from the DVD and install from scratch? And would my previous installation attempt be corrupted?

It's not happened to me, but I've often wondered.

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Your installation might become corrupt but you can repair it with a live CD or USB.
For documentation how to repair it, please search askubuntu as I have seen it here.

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