I'm currently having a problem with my bootup process that is growing progressively worse as time goes on:
While booting, it does a few minutes of hard-drive reading. During that, instead of showing a boot splash screen, it shows various dashes and dots, as if the video card isn't recognizing. The splash screen actually has colors similar to the splash screen (purple), it simply is garbled. It then does a few minutes of hard-drive reads, and if I leave it long enough, sometimes it boots into the desktop (and auto-logs-in). Sometimes, unfortunately, it just hangs on that garbled screen and reads from the hard-drive forever.
Notably, I've also stopped being able to access grub during bootup (perhaps it is just not displayed correctly by the video, hard to tell).
This is a symptom that has grown over the course of various ubuntu upgrades, at least I suspect that the upgrade process is leaving behind cruft. So, is there a safe way for me to "refresh" the boot system so that it is clean, new, fast, and reliable? For example, to test out a cleanly configured boot, make sure that it works (try before I buy), and then apply it to the system to eliminate as much of this problem as possible?
Here is the requested bootchart without the advantage of a packed boot:
Here is a bootchart with the advantage of a previously packed boot: