Machine described in first post. Samsung 250gb hd, Vid card = GeForce GTS250AMD Athlon 64 processor.2gb ram. Also on this drive is a Win7 partition, and I have another small hd with a Mandriva distro on it. Downloaded PCLOS2010 ISO, burnt to disk and checked, all good. Installed and operated very well for a month or so. I think it was when I tried a couple of widgets that the above described problem started(mentioned in second post). I have searched the site for similar problems (as mentioned in first post) but could not find one exactly the same so I asked for help on the forum. I have found that one can make a bad matter infinitely worse by messing around with settings etc unless one is certain one knows exactly what one is doing. To save you the trouble of posting further to this request for help unclev I have done a clean install and all is now well. I will mark this as solved.