Ok, here goes. I was playing with the xconfig stuff trying to get my LCD to work. I am running Mandrake 6.0 on an Intel Celeron box.
I got to a point where I made the display settings change and accidentally told it to start X when it boots. Now, when it boots up i try to login (quickly) as root with the pwd but it then goes and launches X. Here's where the problem is, since it was not configured properly I cannot see anything and cannot figure out a way to break out to a shell.
I tried ctrl-c, ctrl-z, alt-f1 through f12 etc. (guessing as you can tell). The only time I see something is when I press Alt and two f-keys simultaneously. When I do this it flashes the mandrake login graphic and prompt and then disappears. Somehow I am stuck and cannot figure out how to fix it.
To reboot I hit alt-ctrl-del twice and it reboots ok (somehow thinks it was shutdown properly).