I tried updating packages in gslapt. I was having an issue with the cairo dock (the dustbin app, specifically) and I thought updating it might solve the problem. I saw that several packages had later versions available, such as dbus, gtk+, etc.
I clicked on mark all available updates or something and it ticked the boxes on all the packages for which updates are available. Then I clicked on execute and it had a long list of packages to be updated, about a dozen to be added, and two to be removed.
It proceeded to download the packages and then on to installing them. About half way through installation, gslapt disappeared from the screen without warning. Then the cairo dock disappeared. I tried to access the menu button on the taskbar then it disappeared. I tried to right-click the desktop, then the desktop itself disappeared. All that was left was a gray screen and a mouse pointer. Only thing that would still work was the screensaver. I didn't know what else to do so I initiated a shutdown by pressing the power button.
When I turned the computer back on, it was listing a bunch of files being truncated. I don't remember the paths, but most ended in .so something I think, maybe library files? Then it was showing services starting, then the logo screen, then back to the text screen, and it stops right after trying to start xfce4. It says "gdm-binary: no suitable security token can be found", then in the gui it shows a dialog box that says "The greeter application appears to be crashing. Attempting to use a different one." then in text mode it repeats "gdm-binary gtk-warning: ignoring the separator setting." Then goes to a screen that says "The display server has shut down about 6 times in the last 90 seconds. It is likely that something bad is going on. Waiting for 2 minutes before trying again on display :0."
So I guess I did something bad in gslapt. There perhaps should be a warning saying something like "don't try to upgrade all packages at once or the computer will choke to death". So how can I fix it? Reinstall the OS from the CD again? What would be the proper way to keep packages up to date without hosing the system?