O-P, Muungwana & Snapshot,
Now I'm totally confused! Following O-P's instructions, I edited menu.lst so verbose was activated, rebooted, yes text scrolled at a fast rate of knots down the screen then went to a black screen with a single "_" character at the extreme top left, no flashing kernel panic LED's on the keyboard.
OK, so I pressed the reset button to see if it repeated same, and guess what... well... I'm typing this in PCLinux!!! it rebooted and loaded as if butter wouldn't melt in it's mouth!!!
So I'm now scratching my head wandering what on earth is that all about
So if anyone could enlighten me... perhaps this OS must be so advanced it's an organic lifeform, give a weekend to repair/heal itself on it's own... even more astounding considering the computer wasn't switched on!
Seriously 'though, reading muungwana's post above and looking at the facts, I wonder if it is a kernel issue and I need to upgrade if I'm to continue to use updates... I'll leave you guys to advise if and what version and how, 'though it beats me how I'm actually doing this now on a successfully booted system!
Waiting for "enlightment",