My computer locked up during upgrade to 11.10. I ended up copying my whole home directory to a second partition and reinstalling marking that partition as mount point for home and not formatting. I had to fix some permission/ownership issues on ~/.ICEauthority and then recursively chowned the home directory. After reboot I was able to log in successfully.
After logging in there is no side bar. At the top I have the File/Edit/View/../Help menus but I cant seem to get anything to run.
I've been googling, trying to find a command-line solution to reset all UI settings to default since I'm sure is some of the configuration files in my home directory thats screwing it all up but I haven't found anything that works.
I really would like to get ubuntu back working by Monday or I'll have to boot up into windows and ssh into the school linux server to get my work done.