A friend has an old Compaq laptop set up to run Ubuntu 11.04 and Windows Vista. The computer was apparently operating properly until a few days ago, when it suddenly started malfunctioning. Ubuntu refuses to load past the boot menu -- there's a black screen after selecting the operating system and nothing else. Windows, however, boots fine but breaks after login; the desktop fragments into clear sections and colored lines and the system stops responding. The machine works under Windows Safe Mode.
My guess is that this is a RAM or a motherboard issue, but it's just a guess. I'm wondering if someone can help me try to sort things out by teaching me how to best go about diagnosing efficiently.
Thanks very much!