dstiles - 11:39 pm on Dec 15, 2012 (gmt 0)
PCInk - After installing for the first time it is important to update ALL the packages offered - the installation package is already out of date as soon as it's available - and to update BEFORE installing extra software, which quite possibly relies on the latest version of already-installed software. This applies to all installations, windows as well as linux and others; the difference with windows is they do not make the updates available until a Tuesday and then only once a month.
Personally I would always clean the machine before installing a brand new OS (and especially before re-installing due to failure), keeping only the data files.
As I noted above, I dumped ubuntu 12 soon after installing it on a clean machine. After several years using ubuntu, from 7 on, I just could not get to grips with 12. So, wipe clean and install Mint.
On the other hand, I got Mint up a running in only a few hours, including updating and a general installtion of my "essential" software (ie stuff I need to do my job AND to play music and videos) and have been using it ever since, every day for several hours a day. I still have ubuntu two machines but they will be Mint soon.