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I inherited an old laptop from a friend. booted it up and went to install ubuntu updates. The update manager said that there was an upgrade to 10.4.04 LTS available and I went with that. It downloaded everything and started installing files. So far so good.

Then, at some point during the installation (before the clean up and reboot stages) it just stopped. The image that was on the desktop background went away, and is now a lovely shade of brown. Most items from the system menu still work, but slowly. Some apps don't work at all. The monitor shows CPU at 100% use, but nothing seems to be happening. The drive light is not blinking either.

There isn't anything on this computer I want to save - would just like to get it working again.

Thanks.

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Since there isn't anything on the computer you want to save and you are having trouble easily upgrading from an unsupported Ubuntu release, you would be best served to reinstall from scratch.

Download an .iso image for a currently supported release of Ubuntu (10.04 LTS, 11.04, 11.10, or the latest release, 12.04 LTS, which you should probably use unless the laptop doesn't meet its system requirements or you have some other reason you don't want it). You can get Ubuntu here. You can get older releases here.

Then either burn the downloaded .iso image to a CD/DVD or write it to the USB flash drive, boot from it, select the option to install in place of other operating systems (which will remove the current Ubuntu installation), and let the installer run. For detailed information on how to do all this, see the official installation instructions.

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STRONGLY AGREE. An install of unknown quality is usually not worth repairing. Note your settings (if any), and backup any user data. Then test install (LiveCD) 10.04 LTS, and tnen 12.04 LTS. Choose whichever works well .. –  david6 May 24 '12 at 4:03
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