Thanks for your detailed response and patience. I did my best to google search the temp files you mentioned, and all I came up with was the link below.
I deleted the files listed there (although some of them didn't show up) and the problem is still happening. I managed to find out how to mount a usb drive (very basic, I know, but up till now I've been a windows lifer with no computer experience) and copy over the log files you mentioned. Is there something in them that I should be looking for specifically? Also, is there an easier way to read them then with notepad in windows?
EDIT: I know this is for Linux help, but if anyone is like me and using windows to troubleshoot their log files, I found http://www.kiwisyslog.com/kiwi-log-viewer-downloads/
to be much better than notepad.
A final note: I'm not sure if it was when I was deleting files, or messing around with the usb, but after I restarted my computer to see if I could log in, it started doing a system file check, but in some weird folder, and it flickered the whole time. After that, when I ogged back into the command line, I got a bunch of buffer I/O errors on device sr), logical blocks 0-9. The numbers beside these are 17.488757-.566622. Which log file is this, and what is it telling me?
tredegar: I'll have to chalk this up to a learning experience on *buntu upgrading. I'd like to save a reinstall for a last resort because I don't even know how to begin backing up my data, let alone restoring it after reinstalling kubuntu.