so i worked it out.
I guess, whenever NOBODY answers, it means NOBODY is having the same
problem, which means it is much more likely something i've done, than
something the program has done.
in this instance that turns out to be the case.
in january, somehow (don't ask me how) i managed to mark everything
C:\Documents and Settings\*USER*\Local Settings\Application Data\
as read only.
That meant that Google Desktop (and Outlook) could not access it's
database. I suppose in an ideal world google desktop would tell me,
"you idiot, you made my database read only and now i can't run", and
I'd be able to fix it. instead it just wouldn't run.
So. Messing around again today, this time trying to get Outlook to
start (I really should have addressed that problem earlier but I just
hate that program and was kinda happy to have a reason not to use it),
and taking my lead from this guide:http://www.insideoe.com/problems/errors.htm#foldersdbx
I realised Outlook's databases were marked read only. I cleared the
read only checkbox on their folder and it launched. SO then i figured
it might be the same problem with google. It was.
If you think you've made a similar mistake, here's how I fixed it.
Go to C:\Documents and Settings\*your windows user name*\Local Settings
right click on the folder "Google Desktop", select "Properties",
uncheck "Read Only". A dialogue box should appear that reads:
Confirm Attribute Changes
"You have chosen to make the following changes:
Do you want to apply this change to this folder only, or do you want
to apply it to all subfolders and files as well?"
Make sure the radio button by
"Apply changes to this folder, subfolders and files"
is selected, hit apply, hit ok.
Google desktop should launch now. and take a good while to index all
the files you've created while it hasn't been able to get in