For the record I was able to resolve this by editing the xorg.conf file – replacing the driver name with “vesa” (under Section “Device”). Vesa is not my video card and I am unclear how this solution works but I found this solution on a different site and it did work in my case.
I agree that a more updated version is in order. However it would have been nice to get some tips (other than the one… thanks!) – especially since the computer is only five years old, works fine (except for this small problem) and this was such an easy solution.
Vesa is the low-end generic graphics driver, for a simple layman’s explanation.
… and running the version of openSUSE that you are poses significant risks as well as lack of support, such as updated drivers and so forth. Your system should run a lot better under a newer and supported version, with a lot fewer problems.
I expect you are going to be running into a lot more issues in the near future if you insist on staying with such an ancient version.