Lost my account settings

I changed my password via passwd in a terminal window last night. This morning when I logged out and back in (I forget why I logged out) my desktop was back to the default, my downloaded files were missing, etc.. I tracked the missing data to an archive in my home directory called patrick.sparseimage. I copied the directories back over and things are working Ok. What did I do wrong here?

I guess I should point out that this happened on a Powerbook running OSX.
Mar 30, 2004
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Your Mac's Specs
12" Apple PowerBook G4 (1.5GHz)
I'm just guessing here...but don't change your password from the Terminal again. Use the "My Account" pane in System Preferences. My guess is that the Unix passwd command is not sufficient to modify your account information for the Apple-specific parts of OS X.

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