After installing XFCE5 & all updates without any glitches, I ran into some panic when I was proceeding to install a Swiftweasel Add-on from Mozilla's site. The small Swiftweasel add-on window & main window froze up & I had to manually end the process.
After that, I opened a Terminal window & proceeded to "sudo apt-get update", however terminal failed to recognize my password (same as my login). Somehow, I was able to get to "aptitude", where I ran an update. It found some conflicts, & proceeded to update.
I then did a "sudo apt-get update", & while it was working, my terminal screen proceeded to be filled with wierd, repetitious symbols, such as ""/3""... across the board.
So, I proceeded to reboot I received many repititious system beeps, prior to entering grub. The grub menu came up & I was able to boot into Mint. However, those same repetitious symbols came back in the text prior to the sign-on page.
Mint desktop came up no problem, but the same issues with Swiftweasel & terminal persist.
I decided to just reinstall with the LiveCD, however, I get the very same "//3'".... during portions of the startup between the load & desktop while running off of the LiveCD. When I finally get to the LiveCD desktop, I receive an error message (something like..can't find ///home/ubuiqity...)
Because, the problem exists with the installed system & LiveCD, I'm just not convinced it's a Mint5 error.
The system is dual-booted with XP & I have booted to XP, but don't appear to have any abnormal issues there. I have run anti-virus checks & malware checks, all fine.
I have also reset the "Bios" to defaults.
The laptop in question does likely have a slowly failing keyboard. However, I don't want to jump to judgement on that being the culprit.
Mint5 Gnome & Ubuntu were previously on the machine, with the current keyboard state, & performed fine.
UPDATE...just running XP & had a "temporary" lockup of about 20 seconds. During which, I received system beeps when either rubbing the touchpad or clicking on either buttons. Slightly after that, my lockup cleared & back to working ok