Hi frank and kjpetrie,
I think it is the classic video driver issue (not always though)
So from the terminal switch to root, fire up pcc, change the graphic card settings to vesa temporarily, strartx, log into a vesa graphic session. Later if graphics working and synaptic up to date retry to apply the correct video driver and test it.
so start terminal session as user:
# (after applying root password to have a root session)
#pcc (or try drakconf)
....you now should be able to reconfigure the graphics card, choose vesa which works for everything...
#startx (starts a graphical session, does it work)
Later when up to date into the Control Centre and try the correct video driver, if it works sorted, otherwise bang in vesa again.
ps it took me several years to understand that if your video driver is not working you do not need to re-install your whole system. It is just knowing how to do it, easy when you know how.
pps frank, its rare you have to dip into a terminal. Do not be afraid and enjoy the experience.