Hi. I have a similar problem which I posted in this forum ( applicatingions are restored to default every restart ). I tried this solution and didn’t seem to work. In addition to losing the desktop, I can’t seem to control it as well. The default applications in the favorites panel is restored every restart. I also can’t change the background image and several other settings. My desktop is not appearing as blank though. I can still use it normally. But I really can’t seem to alter the settings. I also lost the icons at the top panel. Well technically they are just invisible.
by the way, I was trying to install gtk+extra and lm-sensors when this happened. To install gtk+extra i had to install gtk±2.0 and up plus its dependencies. In one instance I had to an LDCONFIG. I also activated a haldaemon service and a lm-sensors service. Anyway just wanted to share this in case it means something.