This sounds like a backup system needs to be thought over. I'm thinking Super Duper (http://www.shirt-pocket.com/SuperDuper/SuperDuperDescription.html ) since backups are all about when the world turns grey.
i recently had some trouble with my os. tried to install a kext file and this led to kernal panic. I reinstalled os from another partition, off the original instal disk. Much to my surprise it left my system intact, all applications working, a few deserialized. My problem now is that my quicktime 7 pro will not open any files, movies or audio and any application reliant on quicktime 7 also has problems. I also have quicktime 10 installed. I'm a registered user of quicktime 7 and downloaded the installer and re-installed but problem persists. I appreciate any advice. I cannot use time machine to restore due to a recent external hard drive crash also.