I have a six year old Gateway 3032 laptop. Windows XP suddenly died on me, so I installed Ubuntu 12.10 (new from Amazon) from a CD. I get the logon with password request with a top section of the screen showing the wireless connection symbol and sound etc. I put in the password and the screen fills completely with an Ubuntu desktop background. The top status bar and the Unity interface disappear at this point, and I can not get them back. I can sometimes get the Nautilus to appear by putting in a CD with Powerpoint or Excel files and can run them in LibreOffice, so I know that the GUI is not completely broken.
What happened to the Unity interface, and how do I get it back?