Finder won't work, dead Desktop!

Sep 25, 2012
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Hello, I really need some help!

I have a Mac OS X 10.4 (pretty old now)

My computer mouse started doing the rainbow spin and everything was lagging, so I did a force restart with the keyboard. When my computer restarted, everything that was on my Desktop including the HardDrive icon was gone! My bottom doc with certain applications, the finder icon, and the trash icon are still there, but every time I click on one it doesn't openCrash report tries to then open but it crashes as well).

Normally there is a black arrow under the Finder icon but it is not there anymore, which makes me think Finder isn't running and my computer is essentially dead while showing the Desktop. I tried all the reset options, a safeboot (it was giving me the gray loading screen of death until I did that), plus a SMC and PRAM reset, and nothing. I don't have any of the CD's with me anymore. I mostly just want to see if I can save some of my stuff since I last backed up a month ago, then buy a new computer. Please help!

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