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How can I force Ubuntu 9.10 to reinstall itself without losing my information?

My panels are messed up on Ubuntu. Whenever I try to "add to panel" to an empty panel, it just dies and restarts the panels. I've tried all the tutorials online on how to fix this to no avail.

So... Is it possible to reinstall Ubuntu on my existing computer and keep all my programs?

I other words:I just want to reset all settings, not change any of my personal files/programs.

Thanks

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marked as duplicate by admintech, Wuffers, Nifle, Tom Wijsman, studiohack Jun 22 '11 at 23:15

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

    
Just run the Ubuntu setup again. It will ask you if you would like to keep programs and files. –  steve Jun 22 '11 at 15:36

2 Answers 2

Before you reinstall, create a new account. Log in using the new account, and see if the problem still exists.

If it doesn't, chances are you have a messed up config file somewhere. Using the messed up account, make a holding directory, and move all config files & directories into it, and then copy things over from the good account.

You can then try restoring existing configs one at a time to see where the problem is.

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Do not reinstall Ubuntu yet, here are the two links that could help you:
http://www.watchingthenet.com/restore-panels-in-ubuntu-back-to-their-default-settings.html
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=993449

Basically the solution should be to delete the config directory:

rm -r ~/.gconf/apps/panel

login/logout and the default settings should be up.

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