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I have an ASUS laptop that has an AMD 64-bit processor, which also came with Window 7 pre-installed. Since I removed the original harddrive that came with it and installed a larger WD drive, I formatted it and installed Ubuntu 64-bit on it. I have upgraded many times and now have Ubuntu 64-bit 12.04 on it.


My laptop had been running fine and fast. Then while it was powered on, but the lid closed, it got quite soaked when an angry cat decided to use it as a litterbox to piss on. As gross at it sounds, it is not nearly as gross as it smelled and was for me to personally deal with. At first it seemed to not hurt the laptop, but I unplugged it and carried it away quickly to deal with the mess, as well as that cat! GRRRR..

The laptop was already turned off, or lost its power before I looked at it to see about powering it off. I didn't want it to get shorted. I wanted it to be dried and cleaned before I would try to power it again. I did as much airing out as I could after taking out the battery and the components and cleaned them, drying them, the best I could. It seems the wetness got into the laptop and got under the keypad to my dismay.

When 2 days later I tried to power it on, the light would turn on but the screen would not. It would not boot. I was upset, but didn't give up. Not until I tried removing the memory sticks and tested them one by one, did I think that using one stick would lead it to boot, but the o/s was slow and would not run any programs. I thought there must be damage.

I NEED HELP WITH: After taking it to a "PC DOCTOR" who ended up saying the "water (urine) damage" caused me to lose my USB drives on the right, but everything else tested true, even the stick of memory that I couldn't get the laptop to boot with as long as it was in place. He said it was working and I took it home. However, it is very slow, crashing a lot, and it just locks up, freezes, sometimes for a minute, two, and I can't get anything to really do anything, other than using Terminal to go a run the upgrade and I installed about 120 upgrades without delay. I thought upgrading it as much as I could would repair the system, but to no avail. (This was what the PC Doctor guy said it needed: he thought wrongly that I had not the latest upgrades for my new version of 12.04).

I think perhaps the harddrive got wet or something shorted a connection, and maybe the memory is being written to wrongly. I had a problem like this before when I removed the orignal harddrive and replaced it with a new one when Windows 7 got issues from a fist on the keyboard. Maybe I need to reinstall Ubuntu 64-bit, or is there something I can run from the Terminal to repair Unity, or Ubuntu? I ran the memory-test at first from the boot screen when it said that:

Ubuntu was not shut down correctly

and the memory tested fine. I ran in safe mode and tried to run repairs and upgrades and anything I thought could repair it. I ran into some Package Inheritance problems that I repaired, but all of this did not repair the system.

Running the system in safe mode and in Terminal seems to show that it runs quickly and without problems. It is just when in Unity that the system is and crashes. Hence my notion that it needs to be reinstalled/repaired somehow. Does this sound right? Since I cannot download Ubuntu 12.04 64-bit LTS or anything on my laptop I am now on a family member's Windows 7 computer typing this. I can download it hear and burn it to DVD. Would that be able to be made into a Live boot disc? I only see a CD image, but my family member only owns DVDs to burn.

What able preserving my data when doing this? Would I need to download all the upgrades and packages and all else after doing this reinstallation? What else are my options? Run Ubuntu off my CD/DVD as a Live Disc? Anything else?

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Nasty cats are nasty :/ – Bruno Pereira Jul 22 '12 at 11:04

DVD's are perfectly fine to burn ISO's to here is the full guide provided by Ubuntu, it says there that:

  • ''To install Ubuntu from a CD, you first need to burn the downloaded ISO image onto a CD or DVD.''- So regardless of what you have CD/DVD you'll be able to burn the image and run it off the Disc and there's nothing special to do with it being a DVD or not.

Also as an alternative if ever you're interested in doing it from a USB you can also check here.

As for preserving your data as will all re-installations and upgrades: Back up your data, external hard-drives have huge amounts of space and you can copy all your files and copy them back later.

If you download Ubuntu off the site you will have 12.04 but none of the applications you had before. There is a way to customise your live CD so that you have all the apps you had before as explained in this post about customisation of live CD's it's always nice to have a live CD with all your apps pre-installed, however if you're not planning on reinstalling more than once a year, it may not be worth the time seeing as new versions of Ubuntu will be released (or unless you stick to LTS releases) it's up to you to decide whether you feel like making one or not, as they do take some time.

Having said that if you have application data such as contacts/emails to import from Thunderbird for example, they are stored in your home folder so if you back-up your home folder you will be able to retrieve the exact configurations of your old thunderbird in your new install (it's a hidden file in there). So not everything will be from scratch and Ubuntu Software Centre is relatively quick for most apps, so the main issue would be the apps not there, installed via terminal.

If you need to compile a list of all the apps you've installed because you don't remember check out this post which lists all apps and packages installed, all you have to do is copy the list and save it somewhere.

So your main options:

  • Fresh install from live CD (in your case DVD, works the same)
  • Fresh install from a USB
  • Some sort of repair (I tend to always re-install entirely so I can't give you any advice on this unfortunately)

Hopefully after this Unity won't be a problem anymore seeing as your hardware seems to be for the most part in perfect shape, however if your graphics card can't handle unity anymore, it may be that even though it works, it isn't running as smoothly as it should and you may have the same issue, although the only way of finding out (that I know of) is re-installing.

So to answer your question, yes you are right, the best option to know whether the hardware or software is causing the issue is a complete repair/re-installation. Unfortunately I've never heard of anything that can 'repair unity' though so unless someone else posts below I think re-installation is your best bet.

Hope this helps!

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