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I keep going back and forth between Ubuntu and Windows 10. I want to use Ubuntu for good but I keep getting two main problems. Here's the worst one that happened yesterday.

Once in a while, Unity freezes completely. My mouse doesn't move or anything. This is on a 2 days old install. Everytime that happens, I don't even have access to a TTY. So I'm forced to turn off the computer with the power button. Yesterday though, Ubuntu didn't like it. When I started my computer, I was greated with a blinking cursor. Grub didn't start. I even tried reinstalling Grub from a live DVD but that didn't work. So I had to reinstall everything.

That being said, I'd like to get this freezing problem solved.

At first I thought it might have been Chrome using up all my 4 GB of RAM. So I installed an extension to shut off all my inactive tabs. But when it froze yesterday I had one or two tabs and Firefox opened with 3 tabs. Normally, on my Windows install, I never have any issue. Right now, I have Android Studio running and am writing this from Chrome with 10 active tabs opened. So that's not the problem.

I thought it may have something to do with my graphic card. I have some issues with it. It's an Intel. On Ubuntu but mostly on Ubuntu Gnome and LinuxMint, once in a while, the screen goes completely black for a split second, usually when I'm using the terminal. Also, my computer becomes a lot hotter on Ubuntu than on Windows when the lid is closed.

Oh and this happens with swappiness at 60, 10 or 0.

Anyone know what I can do to solve this? I my computer is a laptop, HP EliteBook 8440p with 4 gb or RAM.


marked as duplicate by Elder Geek, user117103, David Foerster, Eric Carvalho, Kevin Bowen Sep 11 '16 at 6:28

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  • Might be dying HDD. Check if dmesg is showing HDD related errors or scan it offline (hint: Victoria from Hiren's BootCD does quite good job on it and allows you to automaticaly remap bad sectors). – pvc Sep 6 '16 at 23:18
  • No I don't think that's it. When unity crashes, you can see it's clearly the graphical interface that crashed. For example, the music keeps playing. Plus, on the same machine, my Windows 10 install works 100%. – Daniel Sep 6 '16 at 23:29
  • About high temperature. Graphic chips may automatically shut down to prevent overheating. Can you monitor the graphics chip temp? Does the problem coincide with high graphics load, e.g. playing HD videos or games? Does Additional Hardware Drivers setting offer alternative graphics drivers? – David Andersson Sep 7 '16 at 5:48
  • Neither problems coincide with a high graphic load. The heat comes when my lid is closed as I chose "Do Nothing" when it's on AC because I need to have access to my laptop with TeamViewer from work sometimes. I did try to monitor it but I don't understand the tool itself. In both cases (heat and freeze) there was no particular graphic load. I'm a web programmer so mosly I use code in a text editor and a browser. – Daniel Sep 7 '16 at 14:01
  • I do wonder if it's not related to the graphics drivers. I just installed the recently released Intel Driver Installer on my LinuxMint 18 install and things seem to go really really smoothly. Even the black screen thing doesn't seem to happen anymore. I'll keep you guys posted. – Daniel Sep 7 '16 at 21:01

Maybe you should try the recently released Intel Driver Installer on your LinuxMint18 install.

Selecting the right graphics drivers or the right settings for it, depending on your hardware configuration, can have a significant impact on performance and stability, making your computer run really really smoothly, and even get rid of the black screen thing.

  • I have to admit I don't understand your answer. The way you're quoting me in italic makes me think you're being really sarcastic and if so I don't really understand why. Is it like a "duh" thing or are you just telling me that it's a good idea to try that? Nevertheless it did seem to solved the black screen flickering. – Daniel Sep 9 '16 at 1:53
  • It was to make it clear, for those who read the small prints, that I was quoting you. I re-wrote it as an answer so there will be a problem solved-button to click on, in case it turns out this was the solution. (And then I will earn the reputation points :) ) – David Andersson Sep 9 '16 at 2:04
  • Now I realize you need the points more than I do. Please write an answer yourself. After all, you know best exactly what you did to solve the problem. (There should be a Driver Manager tool in Mint. Is this particular Intel driver listed there? Or was an internet download a necessary part of the solution?.) – David Andersson Sep 9 '16 at 8:11
  • I'm going to test it out a while and reply if that solves everything. – Daniel Sep 9 '16 at 10:58

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