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I had a Linux Mint 9 and Windows 7 dual boot machine that was working fine until Mint was auto updated. Now it won't boot up, live CD's get to the splash screen menu but won't proceed any further. Sometimes the machine hangs and gives long lines of text errors in the form of xxx.xxxxx i/o error sda 5 and etc.

What really confuses me is that the live CD's won't work and I cannot do a clean re-install either using Ubuntu, Mint or Windows 7.

What might be causing this and how can I correct it?

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A LiveCD may error attempting to detect the hard drive and it's working state, but you don't even need a hard drive to boot to a LiveCD. What I would suggest is disconnecting your hard drive, and trying again to boot to a LiveCD. At that point if the system still throws errors, you know the problem isn't related to the Update or the software on the system at all. Your problem could be a bad stick of Ram, failing power supply, blown capacitor, etc.

Now... if you pull the hard drive and it boots fine to the LiveCD, you have just identified the problem, namely the hard drive. It could be failing, and causing your issues (not being able to do a clean install of any OS).

Part of the diagnostic process is isolating possible causes and eliminating them as suspects.

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thank you very much for your reply. yes i went down that route on my own. with the hard disk disconnected the live cd booted fine. but if just attempting to detect teh hard disk can stop the live cd from booting and cannot give me an option to do a clean reinstall it is extremely disappointing and counterintuitive to say the least. – venom04 May 5 '12 at 0:41
but thank u for ur helpful reply :) – venom04 May 5 '12 at 0:55

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