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I am using Ubuntu 8.04, and it was working fine until a few days ago, the pop screen for ShutDown started taking too long to come(about 3 mins) and in the mean time computer freezes. However, after about 3 mins when it appears everything looks normal and when shut down is clicked, it shut downs smoothly.

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You need to upgrade. 8.04 has reached end of life on the desktop, and is only getting critical security fixes for certain packages used on server edition.

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