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Netbook (Acer Aspire) Scenario: -need ubuntu to boot off and run solely off USB -harddrive not available for use.

I have encountered two problems 1) Used a program called Rufus to create DOS USB with linux .iso, boots and shows ubuntu five dot loading screen. Then shows desktop with no dock, icons, etc. only top bar with the logout button... Then freezes? 2) Used Universal USB installer and ubuntu screen with five dots INFINITE.

additionally USB shows sign of use up until the freeze, and in second scenario it stops use during ubuntu loading

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It can be a hardware issue. If the hardware controller is USB-1.1 it can be really slow, and even freeze during installation. Or a defective USB (persistent files could cause some damage after some time). Make sure any of those isn't the one you're having. –  Ángel Araya Sep 24 '12 at 20:18
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