I guess a comparison of the modules available in the older working Gnome release and the newer one would show up the differences --- you may find some module required by your hardware is missing.
The thought did occur to me but, unfortunately, the automatic archiver is set to keep 3 generations, so I've got .iso's for Gnome 2009.0, 2009.1 and 2009.2. Gnome 2008 dropped off the cliff 90 days after 2009.2 got added to the archive. The physical DVDs that the .iso's were burned onto seem to be long gone.
Anyway, that is looking backward. Looking forward:
a) I see on the main site that they have Kernel- 220.127.116.11 in testing. It is possible that this may get fixed with the new kernel, if it is a kernel problem.
b) If a) fails, it is probably less effort on my part to look at other Gnome distros rather than trying to resurrect past PCLOS releases that have gone down the sewer.
c) I am not sure I want to pursue b) just for the sake of having a distro on a USB stick.
I've been roaming around the local computer shops, trying to simulate an emergency shopping spree for replacement hardware. When I walk into a computer store, my question is, "Does this desktop machine I'm looking at on the display shelf run PCLinuxOS Gnome? If the answer is, "YES", then I will buy it on the spot."
I am finding that retailers will let me drop my camcorder mini-DVD with ZEN-mini on it into the DVD drive of the display machine and reboot it, but they won't let me diddle with the BIOS settings (change hard drive boot order) to see if the display machine will boot MiniME-2008 from the LiveUSB stick. The typical comment is, "If you want to mess with the BIOS, you need to pay for the machine first."
So, for my purposes, it looks like using a LiveUSB stick as an aid for selecting hardware that runs Linux is out of the question. The camcorder mini-DVD, although physically not as convenient to carry as a flash drive would be, is the practical solution that retailers will tolerate.
I think I will let this matter rest for the time being. Thanks for your help.