Hey guys... this is my VERY FIRST post. I have been a long time reader and have gained a lot of help from reading the posts here. But now I really need your help. My iMac is slowly dying. [800MHz 17inch iMac w/ 512 MB RAM 10.2.8] It started with my desktop icons... I could not drag them at all. Then when I clicked on the dock, the icon I clicked would go generic. Now most all of my icons are generic in the finder in all folders. Next, I can't get system preferences to come up, and I can't get iDisk to work, or Virex. Now iTunes won't see my iPod. There's more, some files I double click (like .sit and .dmg) tell me that there is no default application selected to open the file. Sometimes I hang completely and I cannot even force quit anything. I have restarted repeatedly. I have forced quit the finder. I have repaired my permissions to no avail. In fact, I have done so several times, and each time it finds something else to repair. I have zapped my PRAM, I have used Xupport to empty my caches. Any helpful suggestion is greatly appreciated. I am beginning to realize that I will probably have to reinstall the OS, which I am dreading. I will need some help with this. I used to do all of this sort of thing with my old SE/SE30/MacII and even my old Clone with system 7 and 8, but with OSX and my iMac I have become lazy and spoiled. If I choose to reinstall, can I use my iPod to back up my files? If so, how? Can I use the backup utility to backup everything from all users at once? If I install the OS from my CDs, will I have to reinstall everything, all apps and docs? Should I bite the bullet and install Panther now? Thanks in advance for any help you can give to me... Oh, by the way, I have no experience with the terminal, but I'm willing to try anything! Thanks!