Could be many things, we should start with this...
"Try Disk Utility
1. Insert the Mac OS X Install disc, then restart the computer while holding the C key.
2. When your computer finishes starting up from the disc, choose Disk Utility from the Installer menu at top of the screen. (In Mac OS X 10.4 or later, you must select your language first.)
*Important: Do not click Continue in the first screen of the Installer. If you do, you must restart from the disc again to access Disk Utility.*
3. Click the First Aid tab.
4. Select your Mac OS X volume.
5. Click Repair Disk, (not Repair Permissions). Disk Utility checks and repairs the disk."
Then try a Safe Boot, (holding Shift key down at bootup), run Disk Utility in Applications>Utilities, then highlight your drive, click on Repair Permissions, reboot when it completes.
(Safe boot may stay on the gray radian for a long time, let it go, it's trying to repair the Hard Drive.)
If perchance you can't find your install Disc, at least try it from the Safe Boot part onward.
I followed your insructions, and thank you for them, however When it came to selecting the offending HD it was not available as a selection. So I rebooted from OS10.5.8 to OS10,3.9 but the HD was not there, unlike other times.
I tried Safe Boot, but no luck - It would seem that my HD has gone.
I suppose that AppleWorks must be on that disc and thatr is why the icons are empty.?
In order to rescue all my AppleWorks docs if I reinstall the app will that get me back my docs?
I have three external HDs and this one was the 160GB one, so there is a lot on it but not as much as on the other two. -300GB and !TB. I was hopinAquag to bundle the OS 10.3.9 docs onthe 160GB over onto my 1T but it's too late for that now - pity.
When there is a endless Beachball is there a key combo that will shut down the computer, 'cos I supect my pulling the plug on the Beachball has done the damage.
I cannot remember how I got AppleWorks, is it a standalone app, or is it bundled with iLife?
Thanks for your help Aqua
As I like AW, I looked around on line and found it and bought it.
In the meantime I shall try Data Resue.
Although I don;t understnd the Conversion you offer I shall bear it in mind and come back to you if all else fails.
As a lot of my files are genealogy related I would like to rescue them, so I may be back for 'Conversion'
Thank you very much for your assitance and I shall be back to let you know the outcomes