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I had no idea what to search for in regards to this problem, so if it's a repeat sorry! For about five months I had an installation of Mandrake 9.1 on my PC with Windows XP. Recently, I formatted and a "small" problem came up. I used my old install CDs and did my normal setup, when I logged onto mandrake the Start menu was almost completely empty, and I couldn't access anything. I decided to try about ten different configs, and I got the same result. I thought it might be bad disks.... re-downloaded the ISOs and burned them to CDs, the same problem. Has anyone else encountered this or can help? If system specs are needed I could repost.... and I have made no hardware changes between installations.
If its what I think it is, its the same problem I had.
Basically KDM is screwed up. Try booting up in console mode (run level 3 instead of 5...search for inittab on the forum for how to do this) and try using 'startx' if everything works ok, then its MDKKDM that's screwed up.
I'm in KDE right now on Mandrake 9.1... I didn't know if it had any effect, so I decided to switch the root drive from hda6 to hda7, and changed the file-system to xtf or something like that, heh.... no effect. I right-clicked the start-menu icon, and clicked menu editor, nothing happened. =/ One error during installation I had that I've had before was the failed installation of zapping-o.6.5-2mdk.i586.rpm, and I don't think this has anything to do with the the problem... but never know.
Also, in the MandrakeGalaxy welcome screen, I click "This Computer" - tune your system, configure services... etc., and it says Title: Error Mandrake Galaxy, contents: Unable to run the command specified. The file or directory file:/usr/share/applnk-mdk/Configuration/Mandrake Control Center.desktop does not exist. O_O
Distribution: K/Ubuntu 12.04/14.04, Scientific Linux 6.3/6.4, Android-x86, Pretty much all distros at one point...
Mandrake Galaxy is the default theme in Mandrake 9.1. If there was a failure in properly installing that, then it is likely that your menu system is screwed up... just as I said.
You can try to re-install the Mandrake Galaxy stuff from a repaired RPM or you can try to manually re-build your menu system (which for a newbie, or even experienced user for that matter, is a pain in the arse). You would be better off trying to re-burn the installation CDs and check the ISO checksums to make sure the disks are good. Then re-install the OS. Since you have no user data (presumably), you need not refrain from formating the /home partition...
also check the Mandrakesoft website for any patches related to installation on your system. Sometimes things get broken for just one type of CPU or something...