Never install an update while working on a deadline.
Never install an update without a backup.
Always make sure your system updates are known to be compatible with all your mission critical applications before updating your system.
Your best choice now, is to backup your mission critical documents first, if you don't already have a backup, erase and install your system, install your mission critical applications, and bring over the mission critical documents.
In the future always follow these steps when upgrading*:
Download and run Extensis' Suitcase Fusion 3 Removal Tool. Then reinstall Suitcase from your original disks or purchased download.
Note that you will lose all font sets and fonts stored in the vault. Also note that this may not fix the issue with SF. The updates you applied may have exaggerated problems the hard drive already had, which we see frequently on these forums.
Thank you for your response – I am running 10.6.8 (apologies for any confusion if I didn't make it clear in my earlier post).
I have just returned from a meeting so was pleasantly surprised to see so many responses. And I normally *do* know better and in my old job I would have never updated whilst on a deadline. Somehow working from home (only my second week) has made me forget all the rules!
I am a bit scared of removing anything or reinstalling at the mo. But I will look into it. I feel quite out of touch with how Macs operate now (I was clearer about OS9). But thank you and fingers crossed that it works!