Crashed, upgrading to 18.04.1


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Sep 20, 2017
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Hello to all in the best forum board in webworld.

I require a bit of help because since attempting to upgradu from Ubuntu 16.04 LTS to Ubuntu 18.04.1 I can't boot up my laptop at all.

I made the upgrade through the suggestion window on the automatic Software Manager program and it hasn't booted up since.

When I try, it just stays on the Ubuntu loading screen (aka "Plymouth"?) indefinitely.

I have tried booting up using a usb stick carrying Ubuntu 14.04, but to no avail.

I have also tried pressing CTRL + ALT + F7

My only other option seems to be to enter the setup menu using F10 immediately on switching on and selecting restore to defaults. Is that likely to help or make things worse?

Or is there another option?

I've nothing in my home folder I need preserving.

The laptop is only a HP-Compaq NC-6220 and perhaps I need to take atanere's advice and put it out to pazture in favour of a more up-to-date system but ideally I'd like to give this computer another good run before it goes to the big junkyard in the ground.

Can anyone help please?

Hi Rene! Sorry to hear the laptop is still giving you trouble. We previously looked at your computer specs (here) but I don't think we determined if you actually have 512MB of RAM or if it has been upgraded. I would guess that low RAM is the biggest trouble for you and that the newer Ubuntu just needs more than you have.

There is another Ubuntu variant, also in the brand-new 18.04 series... it is called Lubuntu and it may work on your computer, but it still may suffer with the low RAM. The link shows the system requirements and describes briefly what 512MB of RAM can do, and what else you can do if you upgrade the RAM to at least 1 GB (your computer can take up to 2 GB). There is also on that page a link to download Lubuntu, and I think that you need the 32-bit version, but I don't remember for sure. The 64-bit is better if it will run.

So, when you say that the Ubuntu 14.04 will not boot on USB.... can you tell us more? If it is trying to boot up, then Lubuntu or some other low-RAM distro may work. But if you have some other hardware failure going on, then it may finally be time to retire this machine.

Your F10 option to "reset defaults" is likely your computer BIOS settings. It shouldn't hurt to reset it, but I don't think it will help the overall problem.

Besides Lubuntu, there are a few other low-RAM distros that you can try if all the hardware is still functional. There aren't too many choices in this category, but trying out what will work and finding something suitable may help you to squeeze some extra life from the laptop.

Thank you atanere.

I will try restoring the system defaults, though I don't know anything about BIOS and if that doesn't work I will get a RAM upgrade.

Til then I won't pester you any more about this sickly machine

No problem, Rene. You aren't pestering me at all, and others will gladly jump in to help advise you too. We will be happy to help steer you in whichever direction you decide to go.

Buying RAM yourself should be fairly inexpensive, but if you need someone else to install it, that could be reasonable, or it might be outrageous... and you don't want to pay an outrageous sum if it can be helped. If the costs are too high, the money would be better spent on a new or used computer to replace yours.

Some laptop RAM is easily replaced in a trap door on the bottom of the case, but sometimes RAM can also be hidden beneath the keyboard. This YouTube video shows the steps to replace RAM in both places. The video is not your exact model, but it is similar. I found the Service Manual PDF (here) for your exact model and it also describes RAM in both places as in the video. In the Service Manual, it calls the chip beneath the keyboard an Internal Memory Module and the other in the trap door is an External Memory Module. Each chip has a limit of 1 GB to work properly, so if you only replace the easy one in the trap door, you could put 1 GB there for some improvement, but of course more is better if you are comfortable following the video and going beneath the keyboard to install a second 1 GB module. If you decide to lift out the keyboard, do not disconnect the ribbon cable... just flip the keyboard over and handle it carefully. Reconnecting the ribbon cable isn't too hard, but it's just easier to not disconnect it since you can probably replace the RAM with it still attached. I have done this very project myself less than a year ago with a small netbook and also upgraded to 2 GB of new RAM, so it's still somewhat fresh in my mind. (And I made the mistake of disconnecting the ribbon cable! :eek::eek::D)

To buy RAM, you have to get the right ones (or pretty close will do in most cases). The CNet specs show 400 MHz (speed) PC2-3200 DDR2 SDRAM. I am disappointed that neither CNet or the Service Manual actually specify that the memory modules are a SODIMM type (Small Outline DIMM, used in laptops) but I guess they take that for granted. I've just did a quick search on and will show some links below to get you started shopping, if you decide to continue on this path. You'll have to watch each link... some are just a single module of 1 GB (if you only want to replace the easier external module) and one is a "kit" with 2 modules of 1 GB each, so that you could replace both modules and get a full 2 GB upgrade. You may want to shop around even more, but if you buy at a local computer store it may cost more, possibly a lot more.

You may note on some of these modules that the specs do not exactly match those listed for your laptop on CNet... as I said above, "pretty close" will do in most cases. So some of these chips with higher/faster specs will still be "backward compatible" with your laptop. I believe all of these would work for you, or I would not suggest them. But it is also possible that sometimes these companies will ship you the wrong type, other than what you ordered, or that you may get defective modules. My 2 GB upgrade that I mentioned actually got bad modules.... I returned to amazon and ordered another pair from a different company and they were fine.

So, let's see if you want to do this? :D The first link is Crucial brand, if you're interested in getting both modules... and Crucial has a very good reputation, as you can tell with 658 customer reviews. They seem to be about the same price as the others since they include the pair of modules instead of just one.

Linux Lite is a good OS, but I think that Rene's laptop is a 32-bit CPU, and Lite v.4 no longer supports 32-bit systems (but there is an older Lite version that will work for a bit longer). Strangely, Linux Lite v.4 does not support UEFI either... figure that one out. :confused::D

The CNet specs show Rene's CPU as "Pentium M"... and this Wikipedia page indicates that is 32-bit, single core.

It's getting harder and harder to keep older computers running. More and more distros are giving up on 32-bit systems every year. It's a shame, but the trend will continue and eventually all the older computers will be forced to run an outdated OS, or make their way to the recycle shops. The need for more and more RAM as minimum system requirements will also contribute to the problem. Linux has done a lot to keep older computers usable, but nothing is forever. (Now... where is that floppy disk I was looking for?!?!? :eek::eek::D:D)

Hi Rene, it's been a while :)

For Rene's and Jeffrey's benefit LInux Lite 3.8 was the last 32-bit, still supported for quite some time to come. Doesn't come in UEFI, has to be installed under Legacy mode.

Others to consider that will run on 512 MB RAM include but are not limited to:

  • MX-16 or MX-17
  • LXLE
  • Peach OSI BB (Bare Bones)
I can swing by later on and replace the above with links.


Chris Turner
Crikey, there is so much information there, it's as though everyone's put their lives on hold to help little ol me fix my laptop ! I really feel most privileged and wish I could return the favour, but alas, all I could teach you is how to mess your computers up.

I am sometimes called upon to help my father-iin-law with his computer or with Facebook, but he is insistent on NOT learning what I could teach him.

Anyway, my attempts at restoring the system defaults via the ROM-only setup have failed to bear fruit, though in the process of using the setup menus to test the HDD and the memory I was given the news that there is 2048 MB of memory.

Because this is significantly more than the 512 MB it was presumed to have, I assume I can manage with that amount to run Linux Ubuntu, at least for now.

However, these tests also showed that though the memory is fine, the HDD failed its test.

I am confused, because I thought HDD is short for Hard Disk Drive and equivalent to the memory - or is it, by HDD, referring to the Read Only Memory?

I suppose if the ROM is faulty I need a new computer, but otherwise I just need to replace the RAM. Is that right?
Hi Rene! Having 2048 MB of RAM is great... that is the maximum, 2 GB, so that will indeed help you out.

RAM = Random Access Memory ... and that is what we have mostly been concerned with.

You are correct that HDD = Hard Disk Drive ... but that is not "memory" at all, but it is also measured in GB like memory. RAM is often sizes like 2 GB, or 4GB, and as much as 16 GB or a more. Hard drives are bigger and store all of your operating system and all of your files... so they have sizes like 250 GB, or 500 GB, or 1 TB (one terabyte = 1000 GB).

ROM, as you found, is Read Only Memory... but you don't deal with that much on a computer. You hear about CD-ROM or DVD-ROM, and the BIOS chip is sort of a ROM (actually more of an EEPROM - Electrically Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory... I think). In other words, the BIOS can actually be written to (called "flashing a BIOS") but it is seldom done, if ever. I don't think you have any kind of ROM problem to worry about.

But, back to the hard drive... that certainly can be your trouble, or part of it. What kind of test did you run? Can you give us more details about the test, and about the results that it gave you? If it is faulty, it can be replaced too, and it usually isn't to hard to do, but it will also be a matter of whether it's worth spending the money on it versus applying the money to a new/different computer.

A hard drive can get "bad sectors" on it... but you can still use it for a long time, or practically forever.... sometimes. It depends on how bad it gets. So again, let us know more about where you stand right now and we'll still try to help you salvage it, if we can.

Hello again, good people of the Linux persuasion. atanere, I have had replying to your post second on my to-do list for a week, which must say something dire about my time management, or at least about the amount of time I spend waiting for this phone I am using to co-operate.

The hard drive test was done through the ROM-only setup option which the computer enters if I press F10 quickly enough after switching on the machine. After being asked for my administrator password I am shunted into a menu with a very 8-bit feel to it (should b right up your street, Jeffrey Lapinski):


The memory test went from 0-100% and seemed to glean me a pass with flying colours. The HDD test was another matter entirely. Asking it to test the "Notebook hard drive", which was the only sub-ooption available produced an "Estimated execution time" of 30 minutes. However, in the event it took only a matter of seconds to see that the test had been definitively failed.

Though I lack even basic knowledge when driving a computer I did take a peek into the Advanced options in the Setup menu.


I must admit I attempted a bit pf fiddling around with the Multibay boot order, to see whether asking the system to boot from USB hard drive before the internal hard drive would allow me to activate the backup version of Ubuntu 14.04 I have stored on a bootable USB stick.
This attempt was to no avail.

Once again the computer loaded the introductory Ubuntu logo and went no further. I didn't try altering any of the options on the second page of the "Advanced" menu, as they were incomprehensible.


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