Where has my task list gone?

  golfpro 11:02 15 Mar 07

When I tried to access my Thunderbird Email program today, I was confronted with a pop-up from Thunderbird telling me that I needed to download a security update. I tried to download this but it refused to install saying that I needed to close all applications and try again. This I did but it still would not install, and I could not get rid if the Pop-up, also when I tried to close down the PC altogether, it would not shut down. I tried to close it in the task list (Running programs) by ending Thunderbird when I did this the program installed, but took out most of my links in the task list. So where have the links gone and how can I get them back.
What's more important, why did this happen?

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