Dual installation of Ubuntu and Vista

I have Ubuntu and Vista in a dual installation on my PC hard drive. This has worked well until today. When I try to boot Ubuntu it starts to boot then I get a grey screen with Dell repeated 8 times across the top(my PC is a dell Vostro 200). My curser disappears so there is no way to move on. I have switched off and then started the booting process again and selected "Repair broken Packages" when it completed this command I selected "resume normal boot" and again found myself with the grey screen as already described.I again switched off and started again and then went to recovery mode and selected Update Grub boot loader with the same result.
This is about the limit of my competence so please help as I greatly value my Ubuntu which I use more often than Vista.
Allan Greenwood

You say that you have

You say that you have "selected "Repair broken Packages" when it completed this command I selected "resume normal boot" ."

So you must have booted in Recovery Mode.

Did you see an option there which said something like "Try to recover XServer"?

Have you tried that?

You say that you have

There was no option to recover x server.
I think it is a problem with graphics caused by my adding some programes from the add/delete list when it was last in full flow.
Because of the problem I cannot access the list to reverse the process. Unfortunately I had added a number of programmes so I don't know which one may be causing the problem. I didn't keep a list of added programmes either.
The monitor is working perfectly well with Vista which is on the same PC as a dual boot.

Howto revert package install w/no graphics, howto rescue data

Do you have a command line to enter things?

To find out what changed on your system, go to the directory of the log files.
cd /var/log
list the logs including last write time
ls -l
the logs concernig packages are named aptitude* (* is of course a placeholder for an ending)
There should also be a subdirectory apt with further log files.
you can list a files contents with
more filename
if the filename ends with .gz, use
zmore filename
if response is "permission denied" use
sudo more filename (or sudo zmore filename)
I won't go into details why "sudo" etc, for the purpose of this comment this should suffice.
One more thing: Sudo essentially gives root-rights to the user; this is very powerful ... and can heal as well as totally DESTRUCT systems!
But listing files is not dangerous...

To uninstall a package use
sudo aptitude remove
proceed carefully!

It may be wise in any case to pull your data somewhere else.
To do this you may want to boot a live CD (you may have one from installing Ubuntu)
which means booting and running from that CD not from your hard drive,
so that you can access your data on linux while the installed system is broken.

If you save your complete folder /home/YourUserName somwhere, you may be able to fully recover your settings and data - even after a reinstall of Ubuntu (the last resort) - That is, if you did not save anything yourself on the linux system elsewhere (otherwise backup that, too)
Data on Windows partition(s) should of course not be affected.

Good luck!


How to revert package install

Sorry I don't have a command line. Neither keyboard nor mouse will work at all. It looks like a re install is going to be the likely solution.
Thanks for the info. I will post "what next" but will continue to read posts in the hope of further help.

Your data and bookmarks - and other boot options

cannybody - don't despair - and DO not forget to seriously consider applying the second section of my last post - the "save data" secton (by using a live CD to boot) -
You can also save the mentioned log files that way- that way you know what was going on - that may help in the future.
Even Browser bookmarks can be saved. They are very valuable to many.

EDIT: ONE MORE THING TO CHECK FOR: Boot into an older Ubuntu Kernel version

Before the actual boot you get at least one boot screen (where you choose what to boot).
Depending on your setup it is either from the windows boot loader (choose Ubuntu to get to the next boot screen)
or from the Ubuntu boot loader (called grub).

So, on the first or second boot screen, you should see multiple options how to boot Ubuntu. It says something like
"Kernel 2.6.something"
"Kernel 2.6.something (recovery mode)"
"Kernel 2.6 somethingOLDERversionNumber"

IF YOU DO NOT EVER SEE A MENU LIKE THAT then it is very likely that
The first boot screen is from Vista (boot loader on master boot record), which calls the Ubuntu boot loader (unless Vista is chosen of course) -
and THE UBUNTU BOOT LOADER that is installed on a partition rather than the master boot record IS BROKEN.
This can be restored with a life CD. There are howtos on the Web on this.
A Program called grub-install is used. Proceed carefully.

Otherwise, with aforementioned boot options available, try to boot an older Kernel version number. The newest one probably comes from an update. So the old one may still boot and a driver conflict that caused trouble
may not be there.

Good luck,