After noticing odd events occurring on my desktop computer, which led to not being able to boot normally, I did a scan for viruses on multiple levels (Initially failed scans from the OS in safe mode, so then I ran some scans from a Live Ubuntu CD, and then again in safe mode with some success). The scans found and deleted/quarantined a few things. However, I still could not get it to boot in normal mode. It would always hang up before the log in screen appeared.
I was starting to think there was an issue with my graphics card because; After opening it up to check for dust, I realized that in all my previous dust cleaning sessions, I missed cleaning out the graphics card fan! Some 4 years of dust was caked on... I suspect this led to over heating. I couldn't be 100% sure it was my graphics card, and I didn't want to shell out the money for a replacement so quickly. So I decided to cut my loses, wipe my hard drives and attempt a re install.
During the installation, it hung up on the "detecting graphics" screen, which supported my idea that my graphics card over heated.
I feel certain now that the viruses are gone, but I wanted a second opinion before I bought a new graphics card. How can I check to see if I need to replace my graphics card? I can't think of anyone willing who would let me "borrow" their graphic card to see if I can continue installation.