UPDATE2: #irc says 12.04.4 alternate not supported and Quadro NVS 450 not well support. Trying V14.04 now (for RAID0 & hopefully better gpu drivers)...
UPDATE: reinstalled. no swap partitions. GRUB definitely went to usb stick. no errors reported during boot up. all is good except:
GUI & mouse still bonkers. can't figure it out.
new install. hardware is tested. Setup:
2X ssd. each ssd: 8gb swap partition 'primary' + 120gb raid0 partition also 'primary'
/boot assigned to usb stick, and hopefully mbr went there but not sure.
boot gives errors but eventually does get to login. Once logged in though, gui is messed - only desktop pic renders, all other elements are garbage blocks. Mouse is mostly stuck in place, jitters around. Totally unusable. Is it my drive setup? is the mbr on the 1st ssd and causing problems? Or is it something else altogether? thanks
gpu: nvidia nvs 450 displayport only. mobo: asrock X79 extreme6