Here's a desperate cry for help.
-My father has an iBook G4 800, 640 ram, 60gig hdd. He takes a lot of pictures, and has a huge iPhoto library. He told me that his computer has been behaving really slow, and that when he deletes a photo from iPhoto, a white blank icon with a question mark shows up.
Really weird, so I decide to back up his iPhoto library on my external just in case his hdd will crap out.
-I drag the iPhoto lib onto my external. I leave, come back...