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I have a system having run plain Ubuntu for 4-5 years. All updates have been installed at availability and worked nice. After upgrade to 12.10, I am without menus and launchers. No window borders and no possibilities for resizing or moving windows. Launching 'ccsm' I see an error saying something like: Can't write - dconf channel is closed.

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possible duplicate of How do I reset my Unity configuration? –  Ringtail Nov 18 '12 at 16:29
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The kernel in a new installation comes ready to upgrade with a .17 kernel and headers for the .18 version.

You basically need to install linux-headers-generic before installing the graphics driver.

You can see my own solution here on ask-ubuntu towards the bottom of the page although admittedly some steps maybe be unnecessary i.e. excessively cautious. However, that's what got it working for me, which is the main thing.

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This is in right direction. I have an nvidia-card (GT 9400). I found in the startx log (in the terminal after "startx -- :1"): "Fatal error: nvidia-current not found". There is no file close to that name in Synaptic. –  user75740 Nov 18 '12 at 9:33
    
No experience with Nvidia I'm afraid but I don't need Synaptic for the ATI driver (although fglrx is indeed there). I used the ATI driver from the software center sources. –  Simon Hoare Nov 18 '12 at 10:04
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More than likely it is something in the config that was done on a previous release that is now causing problems for Unity. Prior to 12.10 you could just 'unity --reset' however this no longer works. Have a look at this answer, particular the second one which is for 12.10

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There are indeed some oddities in my installation with different kernel versions reported in different places - from 3.0.0-12 to 3.5.0.19. I may eventually end up making a install –  user75740 Nov 18 '12 at 9:37
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