I had crippled my Linux box from the pokey customizations I had made before doing upgrading from Ubuntu 8.04 to 8.10 and since upgrading it had been a bit wobbly since. In the end I had to reset my network settings. One thing lead to another and I ended up removing network manager. That left me with no network connectivity! I’m sure I could drop to command line to get it working but Googling for the answer took long enough for me to pursue a re-install. I had a lack of blank CDs supply at the flat and my stack of CDs were back home. After 2 failed burns using Disk Utility on the Mac to create a Ubuntu install CD, I cursed the Mac and spared the remaining blank CDs I had left with me.
After some more Googling I found many ways of creating USB install methods. Ubuntu 8.10 made it harder because of it’s new USB bootable Ubuntu tool in 8.10 but that was my savior. The tool provides a GUI for users to select the ISO / CD of Ubuntu to be installed and the target USB drive. After selecting the two options and clicking O.K it goes off and create one. I opted for ISO because I don’t have a working Ubuntu 8.10 CD and it took less than 5 minutes but I can expect it to take longer if it was using a CD.
After some fiddling with the the boot options I found my motherboard filed my USB stick in the hard drive boot menu. It was lucky it supports it because I was looking in removable media and tried playing with the grub menu at first but with no luck.
The first time it booted from USB it thought I was installing from a CD. Then I released I had left a Ubuntu 7.10 CD in the drive. Once I took it out and rebooted it picked up the install form the USB perfectly.
After the install process it booted up as normal and it went down hill form here. The computer seems to hang after a period of time whether it is logged in or not. I tried using the recovery which does not hang but still no use.
I’m not sure what happened but I can only blame it the USB boot process as it is experimental and not as stable as CD boots and install. I was surprised a motherboard from 2006 had support to boot off a USB stick.
I used an old Ubuntu 7.10 and did the upgrade process to get it to the latest 8.10 version. After good few hours of upgrading I got it there and there was the same problem which means the USB install was not to blame. A post of the Ubuntu Forum said to remove compiz in recovery mode. This did not solve my problem and I am now resorting back to the 8.04 LTS version.