FWIW, I have 2 computers, my older one gave me the same problems you have described. This particular box has seen more action than Irak, Lots of reinstalling different distros, etc. I have cleaned the hd with 'wipe' and 'shred', and it worked for a while. Finally, I broke down and got me a brand new hd and installed it. I also use the text installer, no problems since. Sometimes the metadata from previous distros get in the way.