Old Windows hand: Wubi installer needs some help

I'm a long-time Windows user interested in Linux, and based on several recommendations, gave Wubi a whirl. I finally finished the installation, and I must say it's been much flakier than installing Windows. If Linux wants to beat out Windows, it'll have to do better than this.

At first installation seemed straightfoward. I downloaded the Wubi installation file, and it in turn downloaded a 694.5 MB file. After that file downloaded, in an extremely short amount of time, the installation program told me it needed to rebot. I told it to go ahead.

For some reason, though, my Thinkpad T41 didn't reboot. So I chose to reboot from the Start menu. It refused to reboot again. I tried pressing Ctrl-Alt-Del twice. Again, no go. Eventually, I had to unplug the power cord, and take out the battery, then put the battery back in again and plug the power cord back in, to force a reboot.

At that point, I thought I was in business. A dual-boot screen appeared. I chose Ubuntu, and figured I was on my way.

Wrong. I booted into a screen that looked something like this:

BusyBox v1.1.3 (Debian 1:1.1.3-3ubuntu3) Built-in shell (ash)
Enter 'help' for a list of built in commands.
(initramfs)

That can't be right, I figured. So I rebooted (this time it worked), and chose Ubuntu from the dual-boot screen.

Once again the mysterious screen appeared. I typed help at the prompt to find the list of commands. It was no help.

I rebooted yet again. And this time, for reasons known only to the Linux Gods, I booted into a Ubuntu GUI that began configuring my system. But then, after about ten minutes, Ubuntu seemed to crash and then rebooted.

But this time, things seemed to work. It now appears that Ubuntu is finally installed on my system as a dual-boot option and seems to be working.

I've installed lots of different versions of Windows and lots of different betas, and I have to say that so far I'm very unimpressed. I can't believe, though, that this is the standard installation routine. Can someone out there help --- what went wrong? What should have happened?

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