Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

i started to use linux ubuntu not a while ago and I am already addicted to it. I really liked programming c++ via the terminal, (ya know 3 terminals and dual screens all that makes you feel like a pro)

but recently I don't know what happened, a lot of strange things happened to my OS -

  1. when i boot , i only get my wallpaper (no icons and no nothing)

  2. when i use the dual screens i get a very weird error, i googled it out and found that i must edit something like /etc/X11/conf or something like that.

  3. the screen started to gimme some strange lines and even blackness sometimes, i think its due to my VGA driver.

  4. and sometimes when i shut down i get a message saying not enough memory. I am running ubuntu on my toshiba satalite L650 core i3 , 2 gigs ram , 1 gig VGA ATI.

All i want is just to get to gain access to my HDD because there are a lot of important things that i don't wanna lose.

i would really appreciate some help, thanks in advance

share|improve this question
disconnecting to another monitor will you able 2 use machine without error. – twister_void Apr 2 '12 at 8:55
no i cant , cuz when i boot the only thing im getting is the wallpaper, no icons and no nothing – VeXe Apr 2 '12 at 9:03
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Getting Access to your HDD to Recover Data on external hdd on to other partion

Try these Steps :

  • Downloading Ubuntu

if you have image of Ubuntu then skip first step :

  • Burning the Ubuntu Live CD

if you already have live usb disk or live cd then skip these 2 step

  • Starting Ubuntu

With a pen drive in your computer and your Ubuntu Live CD in your cd-rom restart your computer

If your computer prompts you, you DO want to boot from a cd. Your computer will now begin to start Ubuntu. A screen will appear asking if you would like to "Try Ubuntu" or install it. Click "Try Ubuntu". Wait for Ubuntu to load. From the bar at the top of the screen click "Places". Inside the drop down menu that appears click "Computer". A window will open with a list of your hard drives and other storage devices (pen drives, backup drives, CD drives etc)

Double click on your Hard Drive.

Now that you can see your hard drive you need to navigate to where your files are stored

Save data .

After that open terminal and try reset unity

Try following commands in terminal (CTRL+ALT+T)

unity --reset
unity --replace
share|improve this answer
really thanx , but is there a way to fix the OS ? cuz i have alot of packages installed and i dont wanna lose them. – VeXe Apr 2 '12 at 9:14
@VeXe What exatcly error are you getting on booting system – twister_void Apr 2 '12 at 9:22
i get no error when i boot, when i reach my desktop i hear the login sound and all i get is the wallpaper (no icon no docky) – VeXe Apr 2 '12 at 9:45
i tried all the different options in the recovery boot mode , but no result ! – VeXe Apr 2 '12 at 9:46
one more important things i forgot to mention is that i originally had win7 installed then i installed ubuntu on a different drive (not a virtual machine) after i installed ubuntu , i deleted my win7 , could it be that ubuntu was storing something of vital importance in the drive that contained win7 ? – VeXe Apr 2 '12 at 9:49

your window manager seems to have some problems.

  • what happens when you click on the desktop (also try a right and center click)
  • can you switch to a terminal window with ctrl+alt+1 (or 2,3,4)?
share|improve this answer
nothing happens when i right click , and also there's no terminal ofcourse (alt+ctrl+t) doesnt work. – VeXe Apr 2 '12 at 19:51
So you probably don't have a working window manager. Can you switch to a terminal window (NOT ctrl+alt+T, but ctrl-alt-F1)? – ohno Apr 3 '12 at 5:11
no, i cant do anything – VeXe Apr 3 '12 at 9:26
That looks like a full system lockup(Xorg is not responding) – hexafraction Jul 2 '12 at 19:56

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.