thanks m (sorry, can't see your name now)
had thought of googling as you suggested. now to tell the others what i found...
this thread http://drupal.org/node/203187#comment-701024
with 56 posts shed some light. post 52 said do this:
mysql -u root -p
i added: USE db_d
then (as given): mysql> UPDATE system SET status=1 WHERE name='block' OR name='user' OR name='node' OR name='filter';
am now on the Configure site dialogue