First off, I just wanted to express how GRAND and IMPORTANT I believe the linux communities are. In the about 5 months it's been since I really started to get into linux, I've convinced many of the people close to me, including colleagues and friends, to run it. My entire family has made the switch, including my uncle that is terrified of computers. They've never been happier with their machines! I am therefore honored to be able to contribute by submitting my problem, and hopefully finding a solution. May it also help others in the future.
I was using my XFCE session in Xubuntu 12.04 like always, when the desktop suddenly started to flicker. It flickered 4 or 5 times before the desktop turned completely gray, and all the desktop icons disappeared.
When I tried to click Xfce-applications-menu ( from the top panel), the whole panel flickered. I clicked the button a couple more times, and the panel crashed completely.
I can relaunch the panel with no hassle, but the problem persists.
The strange part is that the rest of the panel, that contains the launchers, window buttons, action buttons, calendar and more, are working just fine. For instance, I can reboot my computer using the action buttons. I can also apparently run any program using Alt+F2, or by using my still-working docky-bar. I did, however, notice that I can't access the display-settings from xfce4-settings-manager. I get an error saying "Unable to start the Xfce Display Settings".
Another strange thing happens when I launch the file manager (nautilus): The desktop icons reappear, and the desktop turns blue! All the other problems remain.
So yeah, I'm beat. ^^
Any suggestions are welcome.