My problem started only after I upgraded my hardware. I'll describe the problem and the changes that led to it.
I have to restart my computer a second time before my icon set and controls are shown properly. The first time I boot up, I get an ancient looking set of controls. (By controls, I mean buttons, window splitters, etc.). My custom icon set is replaced by an ancient looking icon set I've never seen in Ubuntu before. (Maybe it is a Debian default? It certainly isn't stock Ubuntu). The Gnome panels are completely different from normal too. I simply reboot again and everything comes up the way it should. Every time I start my computer, I have to restart a second time. After that, no problems until I need to shut it down and start again.
I'm running a relatively new installation of Ubuntu 10.10. I changed the theme to a bisigi theme (http://www.bisigi-project.org/?page_id=6&lang=en
) and everything was fine. No problems at all until...
Then I upgraded my video card from an older nVidia to a GT430. I had to change a couple things in xorg.conf. For that, I just used the suggestions made by the nVidia settings utility. I also upgraded my mobo and RAM (from 4GB to 16).
These problems started only after I upgraded my hardware. Of course, the hardware upgrade involved the above noted software configuration changes. (xorg.conf was the only required change.)
I'm looking for ideas on how to troubleshoot this? I don't even know the first step. For example, what logs should I check? Should I suspect a hardware problem (e.g., bad video card) or is this software/configuration related?