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I tried to upgrade Ubuntu from 11.10 to 12.04. I left it for 24 hours but the upgrade did not complete. Hence I cancelled the upgrade.

I thought I will copy all the files that I have to a DVD/CD and try try downloading a copy of Ubuntu. But now, I cannot open any file or copy them. I cannot even shutdown my laptop.

I have many important files on my laptop. Can someone help me retrieve my files from my laptop?

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If you have access to a different laptop/PC, you can download Ubuntu Live CD, and boot your hung laptop with the live CD. Once you do that you can safely copy over your data to a backup drive or burn it on a DVD and then re-install Ubuntu on your laptop.

Guide on creating and using a Live CD can be found here.

Guid on re-installing XUbuntu is here.

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