I spent the weekend building and re-building the Linux installation on my laptop, only to decide in the end that something about the new (3.5+) Linux kernels hates my hardware.
The whole episode started when I foolishly decided to upgrade from Ubuntu 12.04 to Ubuntu 12.10. I believe that 12.10 is running a 3.5.X kernel.
The upgrade was without incident, except that when all was done, the laptop wouldn't boot! It showed a splash screen, then the screen went dark, and it was unresponsive.
Eventually I figured out that I could interrupt into the GRUB menu and choose an older kernel, and then the laptop booted, but it was very unstable and kept printing "a system error has occurred".
I happened to have a Fedora 17 CD around, so I re-built the laptop with Fedora 17 on it.
The laptop was fine, so I decided to run Software Update, which again ran for hours, and decided to take me to a 3.6.X kernel.
Once again, the laptop failed to boot, and once again if I overrode the GRUB menu and chose "Advanced Settings" and picked an older kernel, it came up, grudgingly.
So, for now, I'm running on a stock Fedora 17 installation, aware that I apparently can no longer update to the latest kernel.
At least until I can figure out what part of my hardware the new kernel hates.
Which probably means:
- Updating to the latest software
- Allowing the machine to fail to boot a few times
- Choosing an older kernel and getting back into the machine
- Trying to find some log files with some clues about what's wrong
- Re-installing back down to the older Linux
Ugh. I'm not really looking forward to this process.