I installed Ubuntu on an old pc and it semed to work OK until about 2 weeks ago. Tried to boot up the pc one evening to find that the power on light flashed once then the system died. I presumed the PC had given up the ghost - there was no obvious h/ware fault.
I had a copy of Linux on an old notebook so I moved to it, upgrading the O/S. Everything appeared to be working nicely until I was thrown out of the system. I was asked for a password to re-enter but the keyboard and mouse had frozen. I shut down and tried to re-boot but ended up with the same problem as the pc.
I notice a warning not to upgrade to Ubuntu 10.04. Is this the likely cause and is there any way of recovering either of my PC’s?

Can you boot from a LiveCD, or LiveUSB ? … and can you tell us a bit about your hardware.

Thanks for your reply. I am unable to access either PC. The time on is around 1sec. which does not allow me to access the bios. However:
The desktop was my sons and is 4-5 years old. I believe it has a AMD chip operating at around 1.5 Hhz and had about 1 GB ram.
The notebook was my daughters, used for uni and would have been new 6-7 years ago. It seems to be a “Clevo Co”? I can’t find any other info.


If you don’t even get as far as the BIOS screen, then it MUST be hardware related as the hard drive containing the operating system hasn’t even been initialized yet.

Try removing the plug from both PC’s leaving them with no power (on laptop also remove battery), then hit the power switch to discharge any power still contained in the power supply’s capacitors… then plug them back in and try again to boot.

On the desktop, you might also try a BIOS reset from jumper on the motherboard… you could also try removing all hardware from the motherboard except the graphics card and seeing if you get to the BIOS POST screen.

Don’t know about the laptop, but the desktop sounds a bit like a memory fault.

If you’re confident you know how, open the case, remove the memory module(s), give them a quick wipe down with a lint-free cloth, then re-seat them … then see if it gets any further. Apart from that, I’d be swapping out components to look for the fault …

I’d tried switching off and rebooting plus ensuring that modules were properly seated. Its along time since I worked with hardware installation but I seemed to remember that there as a chip (CMOS?) that controlled the initial switch on prior to reaching the bios screen. I thought that it may have had something to do with that, especially when I saw the warning re release 10.4. Since both pc’s exhibited the same problem I’d thought/hoped it was more than a coincidence.

Having just started into Linux and being used to Windows, I automatically accept updates for the o/s. without checking. Is this something I should watch in future and is there anyway I can check on the integrity of updates prior to installing?

Anyway I appreciate every ones help and its back to dismantling.


No, this is nothing to do with Linux or any updates… they are not going to have changed/reprogrammed the CMOS/BIOS.

Sorry to say it, but it IS just a coincidence… the 10.04 issues were with drivers and plymouth amongst other things, but definitely nothing that could stop your system booting to the CMOS/BIOS.

If you are getting your software from the official repositories… they have already been checked for malicious code etc., and won’t be installed if they aren’t intact… this is NOT to say that a driver update can’t break your system (ie. make it unbootable/unworkable), but it cannot harm your hardware… so the BIOS screen should always be reachable.