Login window loads slow, can't login


Hello I am working with my G4 that is having some problems. Allow me to explain; The computer starts extremely slow, and takes for ever to load the login window, then once it is loaded the password to the main account doesnt work, Iv'e tried resetting the password using the disk utility on the OS X CD, but once i try to login, it still shakes me off and the password doesnt work. This is actually my mothers computer and she wanted me to try and fix it for her. I installed OS 10.2.3 on the other drive and it works good, but for some reason i cant upgrade to 10.2.8 which she needs for some business related microsoft word documents.

The computer was working fine saturday night, and I beleive she may have ran the software update and updated to 10.3.9 (from 10.3.4?) before evrything went wrong. This may or may not be the case. If anyone has had a similar problem or knows how to fix this please help!!

Try booting with the OS X disc and from the "Installer" menu select "Disk Utility" and then do a repair permissions and repair disk.
Need to replace the contents of private/var/db folder with known working one... you will need a utility like Cocktail to do this