getting disk error after updates were downloaded

I'm using Ubuntu 8.04 and have absolutely no problems with it until a few weeks ago. I turned it on and it said I had updates so I clicked on the icon for the updates and it started updating 200+ updates. Ever since then, when I start it up it takes twice as long and then I get an error message telling me that "100% of disk space on the root partition is in use." Then it will slowly load the rest of the startup programs. When I try to click on the web it flickers and I can make out that it's looking to see if the updated add-ons are compatible. Then I get an error message from mozilla (my default browser) telling me that either "Firefox is already running, but is not responding. To open a new window, you must first close the existing Firefox process, or restart your system." or "404: File not Found. /projects/firefox/3.0.10/firstrun We are sorry, the file you requested could not be found." But a second tab for Yahoo (my default page) still comes up. I will close out the Firefox error message tab and can fully use the internet with no problems. Then the last thing that is now happening is when I shut down. It won't shut down unless I hold down the on/off button.

So my question is...is this fixable? Has anyone else experienced any of this and how did you fix it? Or do I need to just reinstall from scratch?

I appreciate any help. Thanks.

If possible, open up a

If possible, open up a terminal and enter the command (without quotes of course) "df -h"
It will show how much free space is available on each partition on your hard drive. If your root partition is truly full, it could indeed be the cause of your trouble.

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hi, let's say my root partition is full..how do i enlarge my root space?
can i use gparted to edit my partition? does it effect my system?
thanks