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My computer boots to a black screen, what options do I have to fix it?

I installed Ubuntu 12.04 from a CD several weeks ago. Today, I tried to boot and it would get stuck on the splash screen.

I could get into the recovery menu. I tried a normal boot, and that just gave me a purple screen.

I can boot into recovery mode but can't do much while there. I tried to fix issues but I think I may have made it worse because now I can't seem to get into the recovery menu/mode at all.

I'm terrible new to computers/Linux, so please be explicit if you are gracious and kind enough to answer my question!

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marked as duplicate by RobotHumans, Jorge Castro, belacqua, Ringtail, Anwar Shah Sep 20 '12 at 5:29

This question was marked as an exact duplicate of an existing question.

If you are new to computers, I think the best way is to go easy, step by step.

I would suggest you to boot with the live CD, then backup your data from it and reinstall; to make it easier, just backup your whole home folder.

Try to grab the latest cd image before doing that. But older releases may work better too, like 10.04 that I still use at work!

If you want to learn more, try to get some logs to we analyze, like dmesg, /var/log/Xorg.0.log; there are more logs around but these may help a lot. Research on them and post a few things that you think may be related to the problem.

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