Just an update - it seems that some of the services have become corrupted - this is a VPS and I have had the hosting company check it at their end and they rebooted it and got the following:
Starting enhanced syslogd: rsyslogdchown: invalid user: `root:adm'
Starting domain name service...: bind9named: user 'bind' unknown
Starting OpenBSD Secure Shell server: sshdPrivilege separation user sshd does not exist
Starting MySQL database server: mysqld . . . . . . . . . . . . . . failed!
Starting Courier authentication services: authdaemond.
Starting Courier IMAP server: imapd.
Starting Courier IMAP-SSL server: imapd-ssl.
Starting Courier POP3 server: pop3d.
Starting Courier POP3-SSL server: pop3d-ssl.
Starting Postfix Mail Transport Agent: postfixpostfix: fatal: file /etc/postfix/main.cf: parameter default_privs: unknown user name value: nobody
Starting SASL Authentication Daemon: saslauthdinstall: invalid user `root'
Starting internet superserver: xinetd.
Starting NTP server: ntpduser "ntp" does not exist failed!
Starting ftp server: proftpd - no such user 'proftpd'
- Fatal: User: Unknown user 'proftpd' on line 71 of '/etc/proftpd/proftpd.conf'
Starting periodic command scheduler: crond.
Starting web server: apache2install: invalid user `www-data'
apache2: bad user name www-data
Edit /etc/default/fetchmail to start fetchmail
Starting ISPConfig system...
ispconfig_httpd: bad user name admispconfig
/root/ispconfig/httpd/bin/apachectl startssl: httpd could not be started
Could not connect to MySQL server!WARNING: Can't get information about user admispconfig.
ISPConfig system is now up and running!
I can no longer access ISPConfig. I may have to ask them to rebuild the VPS and start over unless anyone has any other ideas before I make the plunge.
regards and thanks.