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Ubuntu desktop upgrade 10.04 to 10.10 failed because I did not check the media

Submitted by Peter on Mon, 2010-10-18 14:26

An Ubuntu desktop 10.04 based computer upgrade to 10.10 and the problems created by a CD burn error. I normally check the media, the files on the CD or DVD, before starting an installation. This one time I skipped the check and bang, the computer is dead!

The computer

There is nothing special about the computer. It is just an ordinary desktop computer with a CD drive and a couple of disks. I chose the AMD64 version of the Ubuntu desktop download because the processor is 64 bit. The motherboard is about a year old and works with Ubuntu 10.04 so should work with Ubuntu 10.10.

Boot from CD

Download Ubuntu desktop 10.10 to CD or a USB stick. I used a CD so I can store the CD with the computer.

Boot the computer from the CD. You may have to change a BIOS setting to allow a boot from CD.

The screen turns a pink swirly colour, the Ubuntu 10 desktop background, then displays a fuzzy image that could be a keyboard and a human. Hit the spacebar when you see the icon. The spacebar will switch you into an installation option menu.

Installation language

Language: English [Enter]

Installation options

You get a list of installation options. You should choose Check disk for defects. I chose Install Ubuntu.

Ubuntu grinds away for a while reading the CD. The disks are changed during this stage. Any failure of the CD could leave you with an unusable operating system.

CD failure

Ubuntu 10.10 stopped reading the CD then blinked the cursor icon between the regular cursor image and a wait symbol.

I rebooted from the CD and ran the option to test the files on the CD. You hit the spacebar to get the options menu then select Check disk for defects. The check found one error.

Check finished: Errors found in 1 files!

I tried rebooting back to the original system without the CD but the disk corruption was too great.

This is the first time for a download or burn failure using good broadband and quality CD media. I repeated the download and burned a new CD. I tested the new CD for defects before starting the installation again and the CD passed the test.

With the new clean disk, the installation passed this point without error.


The Welcome screen is a nice graphical display and works with the mouse. More Linux distributions should work towards this type of clean easy installation interface.

English [Forward]

Preparing to install

This screen has a bunch of notes about the installation. There is a reminder to plug your notebook in to the power so the notebook does not shut down during the installation.

You need Internet access for the installation because Ubuntu downloads a pile of updates. Ubuntu updates are published every six months and, close to the end of the six months, Ubuntu has to catch up a hundred or more megabytes of updates. There is no option to use a local cache of updates. I recommend you make the initial installation as short as possible, you complete the installation first then install the updates as a separate process.

Allocate drive space

The options presented are shown in the following list. There is no option to upgrade the existing operating system. I assume this is because the disk contents are corrupt. All because I did not run the CD check.

  • Install along side other operating systems
  • Erase and use entire disk
  • Specify partitions manually (advanced)


I selected the option to specify the partitions manually so I could see what is left of the original partitions. The original partitions exist but the operating system is corrupted and will not load. I am stuck with a complete reinstall.


Do what I normally do. Run the check on the CD before using the CD. You can mark the CD with a tick if you are using write once media or you can update the label for rewritable media. The extra time for the check is far less than the time required to recover a broken system.