Unfortunately, things have not "worked fine" on this particular machine for several weeks. I should have said that I noticed the xinetd problem a couple of days ago - don't really know when it started for sure. The last time things were really fine, I was running RH7.3.
A couple of days ago, I used BIOS to disable the NIC that had been eth0. RH reactivated the disabled NIC somehow. This caused a series of problems that resulting in my using the RH network configuration tool to delete and then add back first one and then a second NIC. Then I got messages about conflicting aliases for the NICs.
Today, I physically removed the card and RH decided that I had no NIC at all (it was activated in BIOS at this point). Xinetd still freaked. I could no longer find files related to eth0 configuration on the system but have another RH installation on a machine with the same NIC driver. As root, I created an identical ifcfg-eth0 in /etc/sysconfig/devices, restarted networking, and could then connect to the LAN and Internet again. Xinetd is still monoplizing a CPU and now I cannot edit eth0 with the RH Network Device Control Tool. The permissions on ifcfg-eth0 are the same as on the "good" machine and I can edit that one with the tool.
What is xinetd looking for on this machine? I know it has some debugging and logging options but am too much of a newbie to know how to turn them on.