Bear in mind that Moodle does do some cacheing, so you may not immediately see the result of making a change like that.
Does this help?
Yes, it's good to know that Moodle is doing some chacheing, that might explain some or all of the system behavior I see.
Is there any way I can get the system to "sync its cache"...so I can do some further tests to make sure both the moodle system and I are sane? ;)
If that doesn't resolve it, I'll take more of the details in the other part of your reply.
Installing and upgrading help
Can I get the skinny on the $CFG->dataroot location rules?
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