I've just updated my wife's Lenovo ThinkPad 32 bit LMDE from Update pack 5 to Update pack 7 and where the mint menu bar should be along the bottom edge of the screen is now just an empty black bar. No icons, nothinf there when an application is open, no lttle green mint icon. Nothing.
As far as I can tell - having just done the update about an hour ago - everything works except that for the menu bar being missing and that all the old desktop settings (themes and background wallpaper) have been lost and seem to be some sort of default settings.
I can't resize the black area and nothing happens if I right click in it.
I've tried running with an earlier kernel and reinstalling several of the MATE packages in synaptic (I didn't make a list but anything that looked like it might be related to desktop settings and panels or menus). No change.
I've had a look through the forums for Desktop and Window managers but found nothing like this there.
I've tried things like using the Super key and combinations of that and the Ctrl and Alt keys and have found that I can get the menu up by typing Alt+F1.
Everything works OK in terms of finding and opening programs but nothing appears in the black space as a result of any actions.
I can start applications from the Alt+F2 Run Application box but of course there's nothing t show in the menu bar that they're running so if they are minimised, they disappear from view.
They can be toggled around using Alt+Tab but the real problem is that my wife doesn't know the program names of all the programs she uses to run them all from the Alt+F2 Run Application box so she efectively can't use the machine.
So, help on this would be very much appreciated as soon as possible.