Well, after spending several hours on the phone with AppleCare is seems that my mini’s ethernet port went belly up at the exact same time I tried to install the Apple USB Ethernet adapter.
It seems my ethernet port recognizes a connection but just doesn’t transfer data. I did boot from an external firewire drive and confirmed this. Crap, now I have to take my server in for repairs.
Out of curiosity I created a bootable backup of the drive and was able to boot it from G5 mini where the install is on an Intel mini. Curious, but lucky.
Now I have to figure out and try to document all the _extras_ that I put into my server install to replicate. I was told by AppleCare that I should re-install the server OS after.