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I have as asus 1005pe which I tried to upgrade from 10.04 to 12.04. It seems to stop loading at user bootsplash and hangs forever. Unfortunately, the machine doesn't have a cd drive and won't start from a usb disk, so using a live image is not an option.

My only hope is that I can get into a terminal screen. Please help.

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Can you enter the recovery mode from GRUB? Hold shift after first boot screen to display GRUB before booting Ubuntu if it's hidden. –  jeremija Aug 12 '12 at 23:04
    
yes, but recovery mode just leads to a command line –  andrew Aug 12 '12 at 23:39
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1 Answer

I don't have enough reputation to comment (my previous answer has been converted to a comment for some reason), but want to help, so I'm writing another answer.

If you can boot to command line, try opening the /var/log/syslog and see if there are any suspicious errors listed at the time of your last unsuccessful boot.

nano /var/log/syslog

You could also try to disable the automatic boot to desktop manager by editing your GRUB file

sudo nano /etc/default/grub

change the "quiet splash" to "" and then run

sudo update-grub

If you have lightdm installed, you may have to also do

sudo touch /etc/init/lightdm.override

to disable the LightDM autostart.

If you manage to boot to CLI without the recovery mode with these settings, run

startx

or (if you have gdm installed)

sudo service gdm start

or (if you have lightdm installed)

sudo service lightdm start

from your home folder and see if you can enter the X window system that way.

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