Sidebar and console missing

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http://askubuntu.com – I'm a newbie on the Ubuntu scene, and loaded 12.10 64 bit initially on a DVD I burned with the iso....then after a short check that all worked, I installed from the desktop loader in the live version. I've retained Windows 7 Pro, and have the Grub loader. It proceeded fine, though after a set of software updates were complete, I now have no sidebar, and top console...and find that the only way to access any menus is by right clicking the desktop, then choosing change desktop background; and then into settings. Any idea how to proceed? Thanks, for any help, Ubuntu community! (HowTos)