8.04 to 8.10 upgrade died!

Ok, I was upgrading to 8.10 yesterday, when something happened and my pc froze up entirely during the upgrade.  Now, I have grub telling me that 8.10 is available, and when I try to login, I get to the login screen, do so, then get a white screen of death wherein the only keys that work are the sleep button on my microsoft keyboard, and the ctrl-alt L, and ctrl-alt-backspace.  Then, when I try to use one of the alternate login modes--gnome, terminal, etc.....or reboot into safe mode, I get the same white screen.  Sometimes I get the cursor to change to the little I shape, and then hitting enter causes the little round "thinking cursosr" to happen, but nothing actually happens.  In safe mode where you get the command line, I tried dpkg --configure -a  apt-get install -f  Nothing  apt-get install upgrade  nothing.....says can't resolve the URL's.  apt-get update  apt-get dist-upgrade  Nothing....  So the question I have is how can I remove this half-installed upgrade and preserve all my settings and my info from 8.04, which was working fine.  Yah, I should have saved the info before, but this is too late for that.  How can I save evolution and my other docs?  I try to login in 8.04 kernel, and can---but all my settings and customizations are gone and I hve a generic install.....with the ibex backdrop.  when I hit system/about.....it doesn't give me a version of Ubuntu....just blanks in that spot.  Our first release (Warty Warthog) was in October 2004 so its version was 4.10. This version () was released in  so its version number is .I hope this makes sense....