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I installed 12.10 from usb onto this machine.

Intel celeron 2.00 GHz 496MB RAM

I had to modify GNU-Grub to read "nomodeset" or i could not see the GUI. I have an Nvidia graphics card.

Takes about 2 minutes to boot. The icons on the left of desktop take about 1 min to slowly open their menu. Have a network connection but mozilla is 404 and i cannot update.

Where can i find a blow by blow explanation for troubleshooting and repairing this problem?

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For older machines with very little ram, you may find Xubuntu or Lubuntu fits better. As an alternative, consider getting some more recent hardware. Often times large companies resell 2 year old computers quite cheap.

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