For some reason my bootup isn't working. I get an error akin to "Operating System Not Found". So I tried bootrepair, and that didn't work. So then I decided I would just save my personal files, wipe everything, and reinstall. Except when I go to the /home directory, my username folder isn't there, instead it goes to the Live CD's desktop and file folders. Is there some other error occurring? Is there a way to recover the files?
Finding the Installed System's Partition(s)
When you're running from the live CD/DVD/USB,
You have to find your hard disk, which is listed on the left side of any file browser window, near the top. Mount that (or if there's more than one volume listed, mount the one for your Ubuntu system, or if you're not sure, mount them all and go through them to see). As Mark Rooney commented, you can just click on it to mount it. Then find the home folder in there.
That will probably be sufficient to enable you to copy your files out. Remember that copying them, say, to the desktop of the live CD system would be useless, as they would go away when you reboot. Instead you must:
Overcoming Errors About Insufficient Permissions
If you are told that you lack permissions to access any of the files, then you can get around this by using a Nautilus (i.e., file browser) window running as root. To do that, press Alt+F2, type in
A file browser window run this way pretty much has the power to perform any action, and programs launched from it--for example, by right-clicking on a document in it and clicking to open it--will run as root as well. So you should be careful. And close the root Nautilus window when you're done with it so you don't accidentally use it to break something.
If Your File Browser Isn't
Do you have an encrypted home directory? You'll find a bunch of encrypted files in
How do you "go to the /home directory?" With a "cd" shell command, by clicking on an icon in Nautilus, or what?