Well , "hwconf" wasn't the problem even though it seemed that way.I copied over "cp /mnt/backupOS/etc/sysconfig/hwconf /etc/sysconfig/hwconf",
rebooted, problem fixed ... Very weird.
It recurred again, and i'll be dammed why as i've had this box up for two
years now. So... trying to fix this i've just upgraded to kernel 2.6.30,
and it seems fine.
Hmmphh. I've had this week off work , and
instead of watching dvds have been f-ing doing OS maintenance :-(