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So I turned off my computer and went shopping and when I came home and turned on my computer everything went as usual but I've lost all my files and programs as if I re-installed Ubuntu. Please help and thanks in advance.

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Did you shut it down properly, or did you just turn it off? If you just turned it off, then you probably corrupted your hard disk. – Paul Tomblin Jul 20 '12 at 20:30
Looks like it is time for the backups! – mdpc Jul 20 '12 at 20:30
Have you installed (or reinstalled) Ubuntu on that machine more than once, previously? It sounds like you loaded into a different installation. Sometimes MBR gets wiped out and needs to be rebuilt or GRUB needs to be reinstalled. – Brandon Bertelsen Jul 20 '12 at 20:31
Please, post the output of sudo fdisk -l, mount and df -h. – Eric Carvalho Jul 20 '12 at 20:41
May it be that you accidentally logged in to a guest session? – Takkat Jul 20 '12 at 20:42

Based on the output of mount, i can tell you're running the system from a LiveUSB. This will not save any programs or files you store, and they will disappear when you shut down.

You need to install ubuntu to your hard drive, or to another external drive in order to keep any files or programs. (Ubuntu will also run faster when installed to a hard drive)

You can also set up a persistent thumb drive. See for more information on that.

If you've already installed Ubuntu to your thumb drive, then it seems you've accidentally booted to a thumb drive. Shut down, remove the thumb drive, and turn your computer back on everything should be back to where it was.

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Where is the 'output of mount'? The question poser doesn't seem to have posted it, or has deleted it? – user76204 Jul 21 '12 at 16:52
@Mik: It was posted in a comment... Its gone now though. – undecim Jul 22 '12 at 0:35

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