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My new Inspiron 3521 came with 12.04 preinstalled - that's why I got it in the first place. The graphic cards ran too hot, so I installed ATI, learned how to switch to the onboard Intel Ivy-Bridge and everything was cool, but the system began to hang. I read somewhere that this problem would be fixed in a newer kernel version so I decided to update the distro to 12.10. Here the onboard would not work anymore - the desktop background is present and I can get a terminal and launch applications from it, but there is no window manager.

I tried a couple of times to get it to work, got the 'the system is running in low-graphics mode' error, got out of it after a lot of research (+crying), but when trying one last time to revert to the onboard card (due to the ATI running extremely hot) everything somehow got completely broken. It seems this is the end of the line. However, I remembered that when I was configuring the preinstalled system it asked my if I want to make some sort of backup image of it and I agreed. When loading GRUB I have the option reset ubuntu to factory settings, and I tried it, but it does nothing..

Could anyone give me an idea of what to do? Thank you

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Welcome to Ask Ubuntu! Please edit your question to add more information. That is how this site works - comments are not fit for this. Anyway, I think if your notebook malfunctioned ever since you bought it, you should return it. Also, the body of your question is a bit different from the title. For the title: ask Dell support to provide you a way to recover the system state to what it should be at factory defaults. –  gertvdijk Jun 21 '13 at 12:13
I see that this question has been flagged as a duplicate of How to roll back Ubuntu to a previous version?, but this is about to install the Dell preloaded version of Ubuntu, which might be different in terms of drivers installed. –  gertvdijk Jun 21 '13 at 12:17
@gertvdijk sorry about commenting instead of editing the question. The machine did not malfunction. I did not test it personally on windows but during my searches I found several people with the exact machine with similar problems related to the dual graphic cards (on ALL major linux distributions!) but with absolutely no problem on windows. The machine has a Ubuntu sticker on it, and I verified it is Ubuntu certified. I will delete my other comment. –  Radu Jun 21 '13 at 12:49
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