Did the rename after checking the content of the file. The settings were still there.
Did GDM Configure. Didn't touch anything but the theme, which I found can't be toggled on and off. One needs to make a different choice. Toggled Mandriva on, then went back to PCLXDE. Autologon was set to me and I left that alone. Shut down, booted back. It paused at the Avio log page instead of the PCLXDE one on the way out and has booted back to the Avio log-on. Logged on as me, and did GDM Configure again. The theme was Avio, which I changed, and there was no autologin set. Established that as me too, and shut down. Restarted, it went to...to... (real time here, it's doing it)... the Avio login screen. GDM has reset itself to Avio and wiped the autolog. Reset that but left Avio and I'm rebooting now. It's up and stopped at the login. And GDM has removed my autolog again. What do you make of this, Watson?
(EDIT) Please bear in mind that I am an expert at making plausible arguments around things I know nothing about, but could we (as in you) craft a unique native Custom.conf file for this thing that would "tick all the boxes" and make it go? That said, I must admit that it is an insecure portable device and as such is probably better off with a passworded log-on, but that's a cop-out, and I'd really like to know what the blasted thing's problem is!