So I was helping a person here in the dorm fix her iBook that was giving her major problems. They all started when she upgraded to Mac OS X 10.2.8 -- it seemed like she just did the upgrade, so she probably got the second version of Mac OS X 10.2.8. Nevertheless, on restart (and she said the installation worked perfectly), she got a kernel panic on startup superimposed upon the grey Apple logo (the "user-friendly"-style one). I'd tried repairing permissions and doing a disk check, but neither worked. So I decided that a clean install of the system would probably be the best option, since I couldn't even get to the Finder to reapply the combo updater. We did an archive and install option that preserved her user and network settings. When that finished, though, it solved the original kernel panic problem, but a new set of problems cropped up. The first problem was that it would get to the login screen, and then after she put in her login and password, it booted her into console mode, asking for a login and password. Once she put in her login there, it did the standard "Welcome to Darwin" message, and then stood their at the console. So I issued the "logout" command, and it came back to the login window. This time, when she logged in, it logged in to her user account under the normal Aqua/Mac OS X. However, the Finder kept quitting and relaunching and quitting and relaunching and quitting and relaunching. In the Force Quit window, there were multiple instances of the Finder! I tried launching System Preferences to (on a whim) try and update the system software to 10.2.8 (her installation disks install 10.2.0), but it always gave me the spinning rainbow cursor before I got to that point (and we weren't on the network so it wouldn't have worked anyway). Currently we're doing an Archive and Install without migrating over user settings. I'm hoping that will work. Does anybody have any insight as to why this all happened (and perhaps why 10.2.8 gave a kernel panic in the first place?)? The one thing I can think of that might have gone wrong with the Archive and Install option is that it migrated settings from a newer version of Mac OS X to an older version (10.2.8 -> 10.2), and so maybe there were settings in there that the older version of Mac OS X didn't understand.