System completely unstable - probably hardware [solved]
I am encountering serious problems trying to use my computer.
I have a Fujitsu-Siemens Amilo D 7830 laptop (P4 2.4GHz, 500 Mo RAM, Ati Radeon 9600) running Ubuntu Dapper.
I have used Ubuntu (5.4 and 6.6) for six months now and never had any serious problem. All my hardware is properly supported.
This week the computer has started to go completely unstable. This started with occasional crashes, evolving onto systematic crashes. Firefox, Thunderbird, gftp, Bluefish, Gnome-panel, eog, Nautilus, the terminal, just about every program I use had crashes, from "[...] quitting unexpectedly" messages to freezes to disappearing instantly. (this is very distressful).
I did a RAM test (from LiveCD) and made sure there was space on the HD (7 Gb out of 40) but this did not change anything.
This slowly evolved onto a situation where the hard drive had errors and I had to run fsck systematically upon startup, to clear inodes etc etc. When I managed to boot, the system would be completely unusable (unable to launch any program).
Right now the system is unable to boot from hard drive, and running fsck, even manually, results in kernel panick errors and various freezes.
So thinking it would be a hard drive problem, I decided to go for a complete re-install (most files are back-upped fortunately). Unfortunately the computer cannot boot from liveCD either (neither Ubuntu 5.4 or 6.6). I have various error messages (seems to change each time) and when I finally managed to land on the gnome desktop, I immediately had similar crashes ("gnome-panel quits unexpectedly").
I therefore think it's a hardware problem.
My question is, what could be responsible for this? It doesn't seem to be the hard drive. Could the CPU, the RAM, the motherboard, the power supply be in cause?
If you have any suggestions I would gladly read them, since I am left without anything working at all. I have no backup pc, and had planned for my laptop to last another year at least.
Thanks very much!