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I recently wrote a post here about not being able to use a live cd or usb as it would always freeze just after showing the screen (though the cursor still responded to motion).

Since then I have done the only other possible thing. I downloaded the Alternate CD on my 40KB/s line (what a mission). I created a bootable usb with usb-creator-gtk. this didn't work, so I opened it up and moved the files so that they could be found on boot. (usb-creator is clearly useless). So then I finally started installing Ubuntu. This was wonderful. Upon completion I realised I hadn't installed a desktop manager.

So I did apt-get install ubuntu-desktop to get lightdm and unity and whatever else makes up the desktop manager. Then I restarted. And.... It loaded the login screen and, just like the live cd and live usb, then decided to freeze and not respond to anything I do with the keyboard or mouse.

In my opinion this seems to be a clear problem with the desktop manager that is probably used on the live cd and the full install. But how on earth do I fix it.. I was running Gutsy before this, but after using Natty and then Oneiric on my laptop, I decided it was worth backing up, formatting and starting afresh on my 3-year old pc. But I've now been stuck for days with only Windows 7 which is not ideal.

The only real error messages I could see in logs were of the form usb 7-1: device descriptor read/64, error -71, usb 7-1: device not accepting address 5, error -71 and hub 7-0:1.0: unable to enumerate USB device on port 1. But if you tell me which logs to look in I will tell you what they say and be very appreciative for any help.

Some extra info:

  • Windows 7 is installed as well (same disk, different partition)
  • quad core intel CPU
  • nvidia geforce gtx 295
  • 4GiB RAM (checked with memtest)


I was just scouring /var/log/kernel.log and found a few lines of the form:

[drm] nouveau 0000:04:0.0: PFIFO_DMA_PUSHER - Ch 2 Get 0xffffffffc Put 0x0000fffff8 IbGet 0x00000065 IbPut 0x00000066 State 0xc0042056 (err: MEM_FAULT) Push 0x00400040

which seems like a problem to me given the err and MEM_FAULT parts and they are the last lines.. I can't imagine my video memory has a problem though as the card works perfectly in Windows.

share|improve this question
Can you add some hardware info?. – Javier Rivera Dec 13 '11 at 8:15
added some hardware info. let me know if you need to know anything specific. thanks – rewolf Dec 13 '11 at 8:28
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Looks like there is a problem with either your card or (more likely) the drivers. You are using Noveau, the open source drivers. You can try to install the proprietary drivers to check that they work.

As the computer hangs as soon as you get into graphical mode you will need to install them from the command line. There are two ways in which you can obtain a command line:

  1. When the computer is hanged try to hit CTRL + ALT + F1, if you are lucky this will take you to a text only mode where you can login.
  2. In the boot menu, select safe mode.

Now you will need to install the drivers. This command should do it:

sudo apt-get install nvidia-current

Reboot(*) and hope that it works. If it doesn't you can try an older driver, just boot again to the command line and type:

sudo apt-get remove nvidia-current
sudo apt-get install nvidia-173


sudo apt-get remove nvidia-173
sudo apt-get install nvidia-96

(*)To reboot from the command line, use:

sudo reboot
share|improve this answer
Thank you very much, I used nvidia-current and it's now showing a responsive login screen. This is surely quite a big problem given that it prevents people from actually installing ubuntu from the regular live disk? and thanks for the sudo reboot tip - i've always used sudo shutdown -r now haha – rewolf Dec 13 '11 at 10:10
It's likely only a problem for people with your same exact card, or we'd been hearing a big uproar on the net. I'll edit the question to add nvidia-current for future reference. – Javier Rivera Dec 13 '11 at 10:26
thanks, was having a problem myself & updating nvidia solved it :-) – Mr.President Sep 10 '13 at 14:56

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