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Ok, this is a weird one. Running Ubuntu 14.04 on a custom build, have never had any problems with system stability. Booted up today, however, and didn't even get to splash after BIOS screen. Had to hold the power button to shut down the computer. Rebooted and this time I got to grub launcher, which is unusual. Selected normal startup, and got the message that "Serious errors were found while checking the disk drive for /." Choose option "F" to fix, and it said that /tmp could not be mounted. The computer eventually booted, however, and it is functional, but now I have these problems:

  • Desktop background has been set to default
  • Hardware Sensors Indicator appears to be broken (reads "No active sensors")
  • System prefs seem to have been deleted and set to default (quick launch icons, keyboard shortcuts, etc.)

I am completely baffled. Two questions:

  • What happened? (I.e., Is my computer on the verge of dying, or is this just some weird one-off glitch?)
  • Is there any way to get my preferences back again?

Possibly relevant data:

  • System is up to date
  • Recently installed Word 2007 using wine
  • An update: The same problem happened again after I checked my déja dùp settings (which had also been reset to the default). Bizarrely, trying to set Backup the way it had been before changed the permissions on everything in my /home folder. When I restarted, I got the same error message as before. The computer did finally boot, and this time, it preserved everything I had reset after the first boot error earlier today. – J. J. McKay Nov 8 '15 at 23:09
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After doing some more digging, I discovered that this error occurs when Ubuntu is shut down prematurely. I am still unsure as to why all of my system settings were reset to their defaults.

Now the question is, why didn't my system get past the BIOS screen the first time this happened?

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