boot error: "Nautilus could not create /home..."
release: Linux Mint 13 (maya) 32-bit
This problem started out of the blue, I wasn't even installing or updating anything. The laptop worked just fine until someone plugged in their external hard drive, it froze, and the restart failed.
It loads the OS, but I get the error "Nautilus could not create the following required folders: /home/me/Desktop, /home/me/.config/nautilus" I can still use the terminal, but nothing else works. When I try ls -anything I get "ls: cannot open directory.: Input/output error."
I fiddled with permissions to no avail. I also ran a couple of things from recovery mode, and the only change is that now when I open the terminal there's a line before the command prompt. "bash: /home/me/.bashrc: Input/output error"
Being a newb, my best idea was to try starting over and installing a new distro. So I made a boot stick that tests fine on other machines, my Ubuntu desktop will boot from it. But the laptop gives me "this is not a bootable disk."
I'm at a loss for what else to do.