Jeanine, I finally caught up on all te other notes here. lol. While you are...
I finally caught up on all te other notes here. lol. While you are booted from a live CD, it's not likely that you have any other drives mounted, so any software you install is being installed into a RAM disk and will be lost the next time you boot. CDs, after all, are write-only file systems. If you are still interested in fixing the existing ubuntu install, I'm more than happy to help you with that. But if you want to start over with another linux distribution, or to re-install ubuntu from scratch, that's ok, too. It's your call.
If you are interested in learning more about Linux and how all the pieces fit together and how they work, then I suggest you stick with the fixing-what-you-have road, since you stand to learn a lot along the way.
If you just want it to work, NOW. Well, burn youself a shiny new install CD from a user-friendly distro and install from scratch (Ubuntu, Mint, Mepis, just to name a few user- firnedly distributions).
that's my $0.02.