Thanks for your input Just18.
It was created with minime.2012.02
But I re-did this minime install a couple of times. The original install behaved ok, but after updating, the nvidia-current driver was incompatible and gave me a desktop with 6 identical, miniature desktops.
I had the same experience with previous installed systems so I knew I needed to change video drivers.
I changes to nouveau, which worked in my installed system, but with each reboot I got the same 6x desktop. At the time I thought the driver was at fault, so I re-created the live usb twice with the same results. So with a new liveusb I pinned the original minime2012.02 nvidia current.
Now I see that the nouveau driver would have worked, but the problem was that my driver settings were not saved after reboot.
I hope that makes sense.