I have a complete confusion of boot problems on an old netbook. It's dual boot, details below, used every ~2 months for travelling.

1) One day it simply wouldn't boot. Power-light on, brief flicker of HD light, then blank screen, not even the slight glow of a black screen, it's like a monitor without power. Repeatedly pushing and holding the start button eventually produced a response and I could boot into Windows (suspected that an update maybe hadn't completed?). After that, restart from Windows or Mint gives me GRUB as nomral, but shut-down/start from Mint gives a dead startup screen again.

2) I decide even Mint needs to go, it is too slow anyway, and decide to test Puppy Linux. I make the bootable USB. Plug Puppy-USB into netbook, start, same dead response as before. Again repeat-push-hold start button to get to GRUB again. Test the USB on another dual-boot laptop, works beautifully.

3) Try the Puppy-USB in all the USB-ports, every one gives dead screen and messes up the startup.

4) I run out of ideas and hope look for exert advice on StackExchange. Does anyone have a suggestion about what's going on? Has something happened to the Mint shutdown? How to fix and how to get Puppy installed?

I have run "sudo grup-update", both with and without the Puppy-USB plugged in. Same output both times, basically same as GRUB menu.

Hardware: Samsung N150Plus, 1 GB RAM, 1 GHz, 32-bit, lots of HD space (200 GB+)

Operating System: Dual boot Mint-Cinnamon + Windows 7,normally selected in GRUB at startup, two partitions. Both OS are 100% updated.

Bootable USB: Xenialpup 7.5, using the 32-bit .iso found here http://distro.ibiblio.org/puppylinux/puppy-xenial/32/

UPDATE Reinstalled the whole system, both OSes, and it is now booting entirely normally.

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    If you are adept with hardware, you could remove the HDD (5,400 RPM, 250GB) and attach to a desktop. Not only could you iinstall Puppy there, it would also tell you if it's new drive time, and with excellent 500GB SSDs < US$100, you might consider an upgrade worthy. – K7AAY Jan 8 '19 at 17:06
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because OP is looking for a software solution to a hardware problem. – Fabby Jan 9 '19 at 0:20
  • Thanks for the replies! You think it is a HW problem? with the HD, or can it be something else? Sorry, thought the OS had become corrupted. Go ahead and close, but any advice on potential fixes that don't require new HW are welcome (not so easy to get pieces in this corner of the world) – Perplexed Penguin Jan 12 '19 at 9:28
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    You might be interested to know that after (re)installeing both OSes it is now booting entirely normally :) – Perplexed Penguin Jan 13 '19 at 9:03
  • +1 Thanks for sharing your solution :-) – sudodus Jan 13 '19 at 9:30