I think my problem is a hardware problem even though I am running Ubuntu Linux. I had a home built system and Ubuntu started acting weird. Sometimes it would not boot. Some times I would get weird error messages. Sometimes I would lose data. This computer had 2 hard drives. A couple months ago I rebuilt the system with an MSI motherboard, i3 processor, new RAM (4 gig). The older of the 2 hard drives I removed but reused the newer one. I re-installed Ubuntu and everything worked well for a while, but now I think Ubuntu is getting corrupt again. For example, I got a weird terminal window pop up for a few seconds then go away but the screen was distorted. I rebooted and noticed I could not launch Control Center or Software Center. Today I opened my email program (Evolution) and my Inbox, Sent, Draft, Saved, etc. folders are all gone. I have my contacts but everything else, even the folders are just gone. The other thing is my system takes much longer to boot as it did when I first built it a couple months ago. It stays on the motherboard splash screen for at least 2 full minutes before it proceeds on.
Every once in a while I can hear a few ticks coming from the computer case. I am thinking this is the arm on the hard drive. So I am thinking this drive has a problem. So I ordered a brand new hard drive. That will be the only part, other than the DVD drive, that is from the old system.
Question: Do you think I am on the right path to solving this problem or do you have other ideas?
Linux tends to be highly tolerant of faulty hardware, but it is entirely possible that the hardware is failing.
Facing the same systems, I probably would have made the same assumption.
I use Ubuntu Linux myself and it never complains about the 500 GB DVR hard drive in my computer while the Windows XP I dual boot with always complains about it.
I never tried to find a program on Ubuntu that would do a defrag or a surface scan or anything like that on the HD, but you might want to look into it. There should be something similar invented by somebody already.
As for the computer booting up slowly, my Ubuntu boots up more and more slowly every time I upgrade to a newer version (Jumpy, Lucid, Natty, etc). I think this is pretty normal for Ubuntu and it might be a good idea to make an all new CD and blow away all of Ubuntu and completely reinstall with a CD of the new version from scratch every 3 or 4 versions because of it.
That could have something to do with that problem.