I have a computer which was unexpectedly shut down during a distribution upgrade (Ubuntu 8.10 -> 9.04). It now won't finish booting - various X errors, then it goes to the login screen but won't allow logins.
I have a backup of it and the /home data is all still OK on the drive so it's no emergancy, but a complete rebuild is still an annoying and time consuming process. Is there any way to recover from this? I have a 9.04 CD, I was debating trying installing over the top - is that a good idea?
Failing that, is there any good way of inspecting the drive and generating a list of software installed, and preferably even the setttings from outside /home (like /etc)?
If I've got to start again from scratch, any recommendations for dealing with the person responsible for the unexpected shutdown? :)
EDIT: Thank you very much for all the answers, I really need to accept all the answers as I needed to use bits from each. I was able to fully repair the install using something like this:
sudo dpkg --configure -a sudo apt-get update sudo dpkg --configure -a sudo dpkg --configure -a --abort-after=99999 sudo apt-get dist-upgrade sudo apt-get -f install sudo apt-get dist-upgrade