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My U11.10 was not booting up. I tried to "repair" by reinstalling using live CD, option "Upgrade from 11.10 to 11.10" (none of your personal files will be touched). When the installation was almost over, it got stuck on the keyboard layout, it says that all files were copied, and it was waiting for me. Systeme will not respond so I force shut down. When it cameback, it only had a guess account but I can't find my files. where would they be??? How can I recover them? Please, I need just to get those files. This was my file server. Thank you!

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Boot using live cd and make sure that file exists – Tachyons Mar 1 '12 at 15:16
If you can enter as guest, try to see if your old files are there. ls /home/ should give a list of all user home directories present in the system. If you see your old one, chances are you can recover it. – Rmano Mar 1 '12 at 15:34

If you're unable to access your files, but you think they should be on the disk, use the "Try Ubuntu Without Installing" option when you boot off the Ubuntu CD. From there, it should boot to a usable, though not very speedy, Ubuntu desktop. It's running entirely off the CD.

Use file browser to open the hard drive, and navigate to /home/<your username> on the hard drive. You should see your personal files.

From there, you could for example connect to the Internet and back them up. Or you could insert a USB thumb drive, and copy your files to it. Whatever you do, make sure those files are safe. For example, if you copy your files to a thumb drive, plug the drive into another computer and make sure they are usable and all there.

From there, you can continue to debug your problem, either by resurrecting the previous install, or installing from scratch. And in the future, always back up your files before any major software installation or upgrade. Additionally, keep in mind you can upgrade Ubuntu versions from within Ubuntu -- you don't need the CD.

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