Installed Ubuntu off a USB and system loaded and correctly installed the first time. Used the desktop GUI and loaded Firefox but when clicked back to 'return to desktop' or the like, the monitor mashed with multi colour pixels and crashed the OS in a frozen state.
Since then every attempt to load has ended with:
A) A black screen with a flashing cursor (unable to type anything)
B) The Ubuntu loading screen with the dots changing colors and when I press escape I get the error:
Unable to open '/dev/sda' Stdin: Not a typewriter
Sometimes I can get to the Busybox console if I wait long enough/am lucky enough.
[Edit 1: Following these great instructions ( My computer boots to a black screen, what options do I have to fix it?) it seems I need to boot to Grub by pressing Shift on boot up and making some changes.]
[Edit 2: I personally can't get grub open no matter how much I hold down shift, try mashing shift, etc, aparently it's the right shift you need to press. Best bet seems to be to install a Grub Boot Disk. Don't have access to any other Ubuntu worskstations, will attempt to burn this as an iso to a CD. http://www.supergrubdisk.org/category/download/supergrub2diskdownload and use the CD to boot]
[Edit 3: Super Grub worked! But didn't report good things.
Ran 'Detect any Operating System'
error: unknown filesystem
Ran 'List Devices/Partitions'
Device hd0: No known filesystem detected.. Partition hd0,msdos5: No known filesystem detected.. Partition hd0,msdos1: Filesystem type ext*..
[Edit 4: Final Update What I think is happening is that my hard drive had two partitions on it. The first partition was a few hundred megs, the second with the rest is where Ubuntu installed itself to.
Im thinking that after it crashed the first time due to possibly not having the Nvidia drivers installed or otherwise just from reading bad sectors from this 4 year old Laptops harddrive that it then screwed the Master Boot Record or suchlike.
I found a linux version called Parted Magic which lets you run a version of Linux and repartion the drive.
I reset the master boot record using this tool and it didn't help and I think I am finally out of ideas and ready to give up.]