Ubuntu quit working

i went to turn on my computer and it was acting normal until it got the the ubuntu logo.
it showed only the circle with the 3 circles on it, stayed there for a while, then the logo disappeared and the screen stayed blank.

so i turned it off and tried again.
this is the list it gave me to choose from.

2.6.31-21-generic . (this is normal i assume. i tried it and the same thing happened)

2.6.31-21-generic(recovery mode) (tried this and it just gave me a bunch of commands that i could use. but i dont know enough about computers to know how to use them)

2.6.31-20-generic (i think i tried this one too)

2.6.31-20-generic(recovery)

2.6.31-14-generic

2.6.31-14-generic(recovery)

memory test (memtest86+) (i tried this, let it run until it started over again. then pressed esc and it rebooted and brought me back to this list)

memory test (memtest86+, serial console 115200)

really if i cant just get my computer to go back to normal, i'd like to take my files and such off of it so i dont lose them. but i dont even know how to get it to that basic of a startup.
then, if i get my files, i'd put vista back on and deal with it.

any ideas?

Ubuntu quit working

Upgrades don't always work 100%. Don't worry your data files will still be OK.
You can first try to boot into the recovery mode, then you only need to type in your login name & your password and next, type 'startx' and press enter.

If you still have a problem try to download the live CD and burn as an .iso (image) file. You then can boot the live CD and you should be able to access your files.
Or even do a clean installation but first backup your personal data!

Hope this works for you if not let me know I'll give you more info.

Have fun, Paul

Most of the time you can

Most of the time you can simply select the newest version, (2.6.31-21-generic in this instance.) If not you can boot via recovery mode as has already been stated and resolve the issue. Let us know if you need more assistance.

Try all of the entries.

You want to make sure that you try each of the non recovery options when you run into problems. They are basically different versions of the Operating System, so if you run into problems, they may only affect the newest one. If they all do not work, post back here, and we can help you troubleshoot it.