GUI randomly(Seems that way) not loading
Hello all I'm relatively new to Ubuntu and Linux in general. I've been running ubuntu 12.04 on an old dell for a couple of months now. I've seemed to run into a problem where the GUI does not load and I'm left to the LUI. I've figured out that I can log into the machine with my user name and password, and upon searching these threads the command startx is supposed to start my GUI. However; when I invoke the startx command all I see is my desktop background, no dash and no control bar at the top of my screen. Programs still work in this environment as long as I know how to start them, like pushing ctrl+alt+T to get into the terminal. is there another command I need to invoke to start the rest of the desktop environment?? And what I really want to know is how can I make sure the desktop loads everytime???