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For more information please see Planet.osm/diffs See Databases and data access APIs#Database Schemas for loading a planet file into a database.See OSM file formats#Map-data for a list of tools which are able to manipulate osm files.
There are also files called Extracts which contain Open Street Map Data for individual continents, countries, and metropolitan areas.
You might find that, if you have been editing while the export has been running, that the way may be in there but the nodes are not.
You can take a planet file and apply the daily diffs using Osmosis to create a consistent planet file (however you may still have some problems with old bad data in Open Street Map from before the introduction of the API 0.6).
These have been produced with Osmosis and can be used to reconstruct the full dataset (see examples at OSM Wiki pages Osmosis and osmupdate).
Since these only contain the differences, they are much smaller files; A daily diff is generally about 40 MB compressed.
Once you have the file you will need to unpack it, and then disk I/O will be your bottleneck.