Your problem with Gnome starting can't be related to installing fonts except that something apparently crashed at a bad time. What actually froze? Nautilus? Total system lockups are extremely rare, although the system might appear to be locked up if you don't know how to troubleshoot it.
Originally Posted by cchevy
First, try rebooting again. If that doesn't fix it, then you need to determine just what's crashing. At the login screen, hit F10 and select first the failsafe Gnome session to see if that works. If not, launch the failsafe terminal session.
Try starting gnome from the command line: Post any errors you see. If that doesn't start things up properly (I'm guessing it won't), then log out again and return to the failsafe terminal. Now, run the following commands one at a time, noting any error messages:
If something crashes, then you know that it's the culprit. If nothing does, then the culprit is probably one of your startup programs--but failsafe Gnome should have detected that already.
In addition to installing fonts the way you tried, you can also put them in ~/.fonts or create a directory for them under /usr/share/fonts/truetype and put them there. After either of these methods, you need to run to tell the system about your changes.