I'm gonna go ahead and admit I'm like a small monkey playing with sticks when I sit down in front of a Mac that isn't functioning properly. Our entire network is comprised of PCs, and one lone user in the group is using a Mac.
A week ago he was complaining that adobe wouldn't print to his local printer. After reinstalling adobe and toying around with some settings I went to the ol' standby and tried restarting the computer. Well prior to the restart it was running Mac OS 10.1.5 and after restarting it booted into OS 9.2.x! I was utterly confused and couldn't figure out how to boot back into OS X (again, monkey with sticks) so I put in the OS X install disc that came with the Mac. After letting it reinstall for a bit it came up to the login screen with the users login name and everything looked normal. Except now after entering the password it just sits there spinning the beach ball. If I hit control+escape it brings up the force quit menu, and I can see multiple copies of Finder starting/running. It fills the entire window.
So anything, any kind of advice at this point would be an improvement. We're already considering purchasing a PC and just surplussing the mac.