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I am a Linux developer and I enjoy it, but recently my netbook started having series of weird freezes, the screen first mashes up completely, and after a few minutes only my desktop background shows and every few seconds a window that has previously been open comes up and down very fast. It's like it's quickly changing states. After this I have to forcefully restart it (push the power button for a few seconds to shut it down, and again to start it). This is a huge problem for me because it happens often (every hour, used to be just every week, like it's speeding up) and I have a lot of programs and files that have to be loaded for work.

additional info: when logging in, I'm presented with these options: Recovery, Ubuntu, Ubuntu Classic, Ubuntu Classic (no effects), Ubuntu (safe mode) and User Defined Session. I usually choose Ubuntu, but I tried Ubuntu Classic and the results are the same.

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I see you're new to the site. Please remember to click the checkmark (or "tick" depending on what they call it in your country) to accept an answer when you are satisfied that it solves the problem. –  Mike Rowave Sep 7 '11 at 18:03
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Could be an overheating problem. I knew somebody who was having similar problems, which were solved by resting the laptop on a cooling pad.

Maybe you don't need to go as far as that, but you could start by ensuring it has enough air space underneath.

It also could be a problem caused by corruption of an important system file. To rule that out, put a live version of Linux on a USB flash drive (see http://www.pendrivelinux.com) and use that for a while instead of running it from the hard drive. If you don't see any such problems running Linux with the live USB, it's probably due to OS file corruption and you'll need to reinstall or restore the operating system. Perhaps also replace the hard drive, in case the corruption is due to physical problems with the hard drive.

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That could probably be it. I one of those guys who develop Under a blanket in my bed. Not sure if "one of those guys" is a correct expression though, I might be the only one... –  akled Sep 5 '11 at 13:24
    
Resting the laptop directly on a bed or blanket definitely would contribute to overheating. In addition to not allowing air space underneath the laptop, blankets are made of materials designed to keep warm things warm. –  Mike Rowave Sep 5 '11 at 13:32
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