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debian 3 upgrade lost PATH

Hello team,
I sent the following to Brian Mays,

Hi Brian,
for some reason I have lost the path in my upgrade.  I thought it 
would be a safe upgrade to go from stable to testing so I did and 
now I have no X, no pcmcia, etcetra.  Dselect said that PATH 
wasn't showing usr/local /usr/bin/ usr/sbin etcetra. to be able to 
maintain this computers operability I used mc to find lilo and ran it 
to make sure it configured.  Now I am writing to you on the same 
machine with win98. Would you please tell me where to write it.  
So I can go back to my debian 3.  

His answer
> Mike - The two usual places where the path is set and changed 
are the
> following files:
>     /etc/login.defs
>     /etc/profile

So I changed profile as login.defs ok and no different.  Dselect is 
looking for files to tell it what to do and can't find them. MC still 
works.  I ran ldconfig from mc and it made no difference I have 
written to Brian and am asking for your help while I wait for his 
reply.  This is the message I sent to Brian in reply:

Date sent:      	Mon, 25 Feb 2002 08:58:58 +1030

Thanks Brian,
I added usr/local/bin and the rest to profile.  They were already 
present in login.defs and it unfortunately has made no difference.
Yesterday I downloaded 200 meg of files for the upgrade and it 
appeared dselect installed everything.  However  looking today 
dselect sees the installed versions are the old ones. But I watched 
them all get upgraded yesterday.  X cannot find what it needs 
dselect cannot find what it needs install info etcetra.  I want to 
maintain this upgrade somehow but now have no idea how.


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