Not Hopeless after all
I recently caused this problem for myself when I tried to get swat to work. Yeah, I killed the var/run/xinetd.pid file, but I just kept getting the error message.
Rather than reinstall, I just removed the line I had inserted into the /etc/xinetd.conf file, which was
#swat stream tcp nowait.400 root /usr/sbin/swat swat
If you too are trying to get swat working, adding that line isn't the way to do it in RedHat 9!
In case your xinetd.conf file is mangled beyond reconigition, here's how my (working) conf file looks:
# Simple configuration file for xinetd
# Some defaults, and include /etc/xinetd.d/
instances = 60
log_type = SYSLOG authpriv
log_on_success = HOST PID
log_on_failure = HOST
cps = 25 30