Hi and thanks!
A little background is probably in order here:
Since I started this thread, I tried some more analysis and was unable to find any problem with the /home partition, so I have to assume that it was a bad install of some sort.
After some thought I removed the 20Gb drive then reinstalled OS 11.0 on the 120Gb drive alone, reformatting it with the default configuration.
This got as far as the runlevel 3 login, the problem now turned out to be the NVidia proprietary driver! >:(
After reverting to the OSS driver I was able to boot Xen fine, only to find out that my CPU was too old to run “full virtualization” (Athlon 1700+) and that this is required to run a Windows OS.
Since my intent is to use the virtual OS to run the few Windows apps that won’t run under either Wine or Mono (Quickbooks Pro being the nastiest example so far) I am reverting to VMware - which DOES work fine with Windows on this machine although it is awkward.
My plan is to migrate the legacy Windows stuff to my oldest hardware while I get the newer 64 bit machines going with Linux/OS equivalents.
Our evaluation is that GNUCash will do everything that we have Quickbooks doing for example, but you don’t just dump an accounting package without a LOT of testing.
Trouble is I can’t afford to shut down my business while I do all that!
We also run some specialized Financial apps which are written by really bad programmers who know the finance end very well, so likely I iwll never manage to migrate completely.
This also means that the time I spend getting things to work depends on other priorities, sometimes the Linus stuff sits for weeks this week I have manged four straight days of working on it and made great progress.
It looks like the set up from The Perfect Desktop - OpenSUSE 11 (GNOME) | HowtoForge - Linux Howtos and Tutorials will do what I need, once I manage to get everything installed properly.
THEN I just need to pull the plug on the present WinXP system and start the migration for real.
Ironically the last machine to migrate will likely be the new Vista HP/AMD Quad machine that is giving everyone fits and started this whole migration project.
Part of the problem with it is that it needs stuff that will only run under Win 95(!!) - it won’t even run under “compatibility mode” in Vista.
Anyway thanks again for the help and hopefully I will be able to return the favor to others in the near future.
I am already planning on writing a migration guide of some sort since I am sure that we are not the only people having these problems.