So I don't really know if this problem fits into any of the major categories, so I will post here.
I currently run - err, ran!
- a Windows 7 laptop, dual booted with LMDE. The thing has a small Windows recovery partition, a ~250GB ntfs Windows partition, and an extended partition, where lives a ~64GB ext4 Linux partition, 8GB swap space, and a ~350GB ntfs storage space (D:).
I wanted to try out another Linux version, so, using Windows' diskmgmt.msc, I shortened the D: drive a little, and created another ext4 partition for "other_Linux_version", about 16GB.
With the "other_Linux_version" liveUSB, I booted and installed it on the newly created partition, using the same swap space for both "Linux'es". All was well.
Rebooted the computer, and noticed that Windows loader was not present. Hmm... Went in and ran update-grub, to see if 30_os-prober was seeing the Windows loader partition at all, and it was not. (It did, however, see the Windows recovery one.) Same for both Linux installs - no Windows loader at grub.
Anyway, I rebooted the computer, this time with the LMDE liveUSB, and SPLAT. Lots of garbled text running past on the screen, finally stopping at kernel panic, out of memory and no killable processes, and kernel panic, returning to text console, or text, whatever - was very un-cool.
Now, every possible boot attempt - Linux USB, Windows 7 repair disc, HDD boot, even recovery media from "pc_manufacturer" - ends in failure.
With the Linux liveUSB's, I get to kernel panic every time. With any Windows boot disc, whether the repair disc or the recovery media, I get to the Windows 7 splash screen, then nothing, just occasional HDD access lights blinking for a period. Nothing past that.
I have also gotten a message (I don't quite remember exactly what message - I am at work) talking about overheat, and CPU being clocked down. Then stall forever.
Is my laptop dead? I was able to boot into memtest86+, and the test passed for that, so I am reasonably sure the RAM's okay. Yippee - the cheapest part is not fried
Thanks in advance.
Trying not to cry big fat man-tears,