davey crockett has swung over to newbies-gurus, &c, where we are continuing
The question was asked here and should be answered here to avoid confusion, what's the point of going over to newbies and gurus thread where it will be buried in pages of chat,
I responded earlier to a question regarding this Topic, only later to realize that a question pertaining to it had been moved elsewhere. Going from Topic to Topic to solve issues is the hard way of doing things, and requires to keep several tabs open to follow any instructions.
Having everything in the Topic is also good for future reference, so am going to copy/paste some of the content of the other to have it here, much of the rest of this post is just that.
Yes, clean install is always the best way to go, when possible, and in the case of Ubuntu, there's no reason not to do this. Even in the case of Windows, the only OS that's mandatory upgrade (if one wants it), is 8.1 from Windows 8, no clean install allowed w/out a new key, upgrade only. So if you can help it, stick with Windows 7 for as long as possible, if you're going to dual boot Windows & Linux.
Plus EasyBCD 2.2 can help if you're a LInux dual booter, especially Windows 8 or above. It will allow one to keep their Linux install intact, even through Windows Upgrades. This is to be installed on Windows, if needed.
With Windows 7 (or below), it's OK to dual boot both OS's the native LInux way.
By clean install of Ubuntu, I'm referring to this site, where to get your ISO file to create install media. Be sure to get the correct bit version for your system.
And ignore this advice in the link below, as I stated earlier, it's nothing but trouble. This type of install causes lots of problems, and though on the main page there's a provided link to this, Nick, Wiz, Al, Kaosu & others will second me that this is the wrong way to get a new version of Ubuntu. Even if you get a notification where you do for System Updates that a new one is available, don't do it.
This is why LInux MInt doesn't offer this option natively, yes one can do it, but it's not the recommended path. Upgrade installs are the worst way to move to a new OS, and things are little better, if any, since the turn of the century, and this has a lot to do with why your system is in a mess.
Of course, this is something that can fixed, by a clean install, with media from the link provided.
Don't let this get you discouraged, many others has fell into the same trap, it's good that you posted early, so that the situation can be properly addressed. And note that you don't have to get a new Ubuntu every time one's available, stick with LTS releases, these are supported for 5 years, and on the download page of a new version, it'll say if it's LTS or not. Make notes of these things. A new LTS is offered every 2 to 3 years, not every 6 to 9 months. You need to download the latest LTS of Ubuntu while the link is there, otherwise, you'll get a short term release if you don't know how to look for previous versions.
Hang in there, and if in doubt, always ask us first.
Better that than the troubles associated with less than optimal installs, and you'll also enjoy your Ubuntu OS much more.
So the first step is in getting the OS, in the link above with the Ubuntu OS Download, you can do this from Windows if Ubuntu isn't working. Being that you have only 1GiB of RAM, you'll be better off with xubuntu, of LInux MInt 17 Xfce, both are Xfce environments (lightweight desktop). The Full version of Ubuntu is just too much. Here are the links, you decide. Nick may present more.
This is just my personal opinion & that only, you decide what you want to run. Linux Mint is as close as a drop in replacement for Windows as they come & the OS gets better with each release, though I normally stick with LTS releases, may grab a short one right before the next long one comes out.
You can use ImgBurn to burn these to DVD's, or whatever DVD writing software you may have. Some XP system won't write to DVD, if so, you'll need a Flash drive or SD card of 2GiB or larger. Let us know if you can't burn to DVD.
As a final reminder, please post all issues related to this issue in this Topic, and if Wiz or another member asks a question as to what you posted in the other Topic you posted this issue in, have those members ask questions here. Copy & paste the link to the Topic if needed.
Good Luck to the world of Linux!