Just an addon to my previous message....
I didn't actually fix the problem, but I'm pretty sure that I completely wrecked the mbr and all my puny efforts at fixing it failed.
So I tried a different, and very cumbersome, approach (brought on mostly by sheer impatience):
Plugged the notebook HD into a system that I borrowed as primary HD and booted the Fedora Core 3 install DVD.
Repartitioned from inside the installer using Disk druid (yes, threw it all out again).
Installed FC3 on the HD, this time arranging the partitions the way I wanted them (and not keeping to the structure of the original partitions on the 'old' notebook HD).
Once the install was complete I replaced the drive in the Fujitsu tablet and finally got the Grub loader screen.
Plugged the HD back into the USB unit and attached to a linux box that held the original partimages and tar.gz dumps of my Linux partitions.
on the /home, / and /boot partitions of the notebook HD
Then simply untarred the /home and / and /boot partitions that I still had saved on the Linux box to the now empty / /boot and /home partitions on the notebook HD.
I did not touch the MBR this time, of course.
Once this was done, I made sure to update /etc/fstab and /boot/grub/grub.conf on the notebook HD to reflect the new partition locations.
Plugged the HD back in to the fujitsu and powered up........
Was confronted with a message to the effect that my e2fsck was out of date and not allowed to continue booting.
Placed the file
into the / of the filesystem to bypass the fsck check of the root filesystem.
And what do you know.... I'm back in my original Gentoo, albeit with lots more space, lots less time, and a broken fsck somehow.
Anybody think I should write a how-to on how *not* to upgrade a hard drive? ;-)