actually no. That's the weird part. I have no clue how I broke it.
I had 9.1 for a week running fine w/o problems...that's when I decided to wipe the drive and get rid of windows completely and do a fresh install.
Here's what I did basically...
1 - did the install, used ReiserFS for a root partition and a /home partition, made a swap. The install went normal.
2 - Now, Mandrake has ALWAYS had this problem with my laptop, by default it initializes the network BEFORE starting PCMCIA and that causes the load to freeze. So on first boot I hit 'I' and don't start network and pcmcia. Once in KDE (first boot with DM worked fine at this point) I used 'su' so I could rename the S11pcmcia symlinks in the rc*.d directories to S09pcmcia. I also added the lines I need for my sound chipset on the laptop (NeoMagicWave) in Modules.conf..
3 - Reboot, get into MDKDM and I have only the 'default' and 'failsafe' options in the window manager selection. Either gets me what I described.
4 - Used 'su' and 'init 3' to kill X and go to console. From there I 'startx' and I'm in KDE without a problem. So I reboot.
5 - Once rebooted I'm in MDKDM again, now all the installed windowmanagers are listed, but choosing any of them only gets me to that stupid XConsole.
6 - Do init 3 again, go into KDE, fireup Mandrake Control Center and I chose KDM for display Manager...got same result as above (all wms listed, but get only Xconsole)
7 - Changed to GDM, that works normally. The only anomaly I can find is that when I shutdown the laptop now when using GDM I see a message "shutting down dm.....[FAILED]" but nothing else seems off.
I haven't the faintest idea where to go on this...
BTW I do GUI as root from time to time
but not often and only when I have a LOT of stuff that needs doing as root. I usually try to use 'su'