Okay, here is the deal...
I have two boxes running RedHat 6. They are both having the same problem; the /var/run/utmp file is constantly getting corrupted. Top won't run, and everytime I log in now, it sets my terminal to "dumb" automatically. I can manually change it to something like vt100 or linux, but I need to fix the /var/run/utmp problem as I think it is the root of the cause.
I have tried re-creating the utmp file by doing a touch /var/run/utmp but when I logout and back in the file is corrupted again. I don't have any problems when I ssh in via SecureCRT (except for top not working). I'm guessing that ssh doesn't use utmp for the terminal settings. So I'm kinda stumped why this file keeps on corrupting. Any ideas?