I was somewhat able to reinstall SUSE 10.0 on my machine after much anguish.
During the first several times, almost all packages failed to install due to a db error. (This was before root was set). The installation hung the system twice and my therminal alarm went off and shut down during the install.

I finished the install but on its boot, the screen went into a terminal login in where I could not log as root but as a user than had to switch to root?
Q1) Why?

From root I ran rpm -vv --rebuilddb
This went quickly and much of it could not be read.
Q2) If I had known better could I have piped the output to a file?
e.g. rpm -vv --rebuilddb > rpmLog.txt

When I rebooted from the hard drive, I was able to get an truly worthless Chameleon desktop. Worthless in that it only had two icons
Computer and Trash. It was missing all three of the panel menues (Applications, Places, and Desktop). I would open a terminal but I could not find any application. Okay, I am not exactly sure what I should be looking for here.
Q3) Can anyone help?

I rebooted the machine with CD1 in the drive and did an Installation Repair System This found:

Reiser File System on port /dev/hdc2 is corrupted. A valid / (root) partition was found on /dev/hdd6/ [The machine has two HD + CDRom, CDRecorder, and a Floppy drives].

Q4) Where did this /dev/hdc2/ partition come from and what should I do with it? And if I should touch it? How? Command syntax please.

After package review the following packages had to be re-installed:

devs
postfix
yast2-users

The reinstall appeared to take.

The boot loader was "in error" so I selected to rebuild it. Q5) Did this break anything?

On reboot from HD, the same broken desktop came up.

Q6) Is anyone helpful reader able to explain to a Linux newbie, how to correct the GNOME desktop?

Note: All of this trouble started when I attempted to add C/C++ and Java tools to the normal install. That install failed for lack of space in /boot. I followed the repair instruction for a SUSE 7.3 Reference Manual.