Okay, I finally got my mitts on a 24" imac 2.8GHz running tiger. Got it used but in mint shape just 4 days ago. I plan on upgrading to snow leopard soon but I wanted to burn all my files from an old HDD to DL discs first. So after transferring several gigs to a few folders on the mac's desktop and also customizing system preferences from how the previous owner left it, I noticed earlier today when I tried to save web articles that it wouldn't allow me to as it had the day before with the same browser (firefox). So I rebooted it and everything I had transferred from my HDD and also previously saved from the web disappeared from the desktop where I was storing it temporarily and it was as if all the sys preferences reverted back to default (not even how the previous owner left it), yet all the files that were stored or installed in the mac HD are still there, just not the folders with gigs of backup files I left on the desktop!! wtf? Anyone experience this? For what its worth, the programs I installed before this happened were Cog, Xee, updated Firefox and renamed the computer and admin login, but perhaps most importantly, I installed StartupSound.prefPane (to enable startup sound mute option in sys preferences); I say most importantly because apparently this app can cause problems rebooting! Here's the site: http://www5e.biglobe.ne.jp/~arcana/StartupSound/index.en.html I had seen others vouch for it so figured it was safe. Anyways, I tried following the directions on uninstalling it in safe boot, but the dmg file i originally installed was one of the files stored on the desktop!! <shakes head> So I did the next best thing I could think of and went into Mac HD>Library>PreferencePanes and trashed the file from there and the other associated files in library>startup items, etc. Restarted it and nothing's changed except the option is gone from Sys Pref, the start up sound is back and I can save web pages again. I know the back up files must still be on the drive somewhere because the available space is still the same, plus like I said, the few other files that I did store in folders in the Mac HD are still there. This is really screwing with my head. Can someone get me out of this hell please!! I'm brand new to this system so maybe I'm overlooking something simple??