If you ran "init 5" as root and didn't get gdm or kdm, then you probably have a problem with your x-org configuration. What video card does your laptop use? nvidia, ati, intel or other?
Also look in /var/log/xorg.0.log for lines starting with '(EE)'. These are the lines with errors and may tell you straight off what the problem is.
Last edited by jschiwal; 04-20-2009 at 05:20 AM.