Taking a single WP instance to multisite

I created an AWS EC2 instance for WordPress, downloaded WP, installed WP and then created a DB on a AWS RDS instance. I then connected through wp-config the DB to WP and I get the sample site with Hello World Post and can get into the Admin Panel.

I then enable Multisite, change wp-config and .htaccess with the mods provided by WP.
When I log back in I get "Cannot connect to the database". I reload the admin panel and WP tells me that the DB needs to be repaired, I select repair (as opposed to repair and optimize) and get the following errors which it is suggested i post to get some help in the WP forums.

wp_1_posts: Table 'joemulti.wp_1_posts' doesn't exist
wp_1_comments: Table 'joemulti.wp_1_comments' doesn't exist
wp_1_links: Table 'joemulti.wp_1_links' doesn't exist
wp_1_options: Table 'joemulti.wp_1_options' doesn't exist
wp_1_postmeta: Table 'joemulti.wp_1_postmeta' doesn't exist
wp_1_terms: Table 'joemulti.wp_1_terms' doesn't exist
wp_1_term_taxonomy: Table 'joemulti.wp_1_term_taxonomy' doesn't exist
wp_1_term_relationships: Table 'joemulti.wp_1_term_relationships' doesn't exist
wp_1_commentmeta: Table 'joemulti.wp_1_commentmeta' doesn't exist

I have been trying without any success to get Multisite working for 6 weeks. I started by taking a site that had 3,999 posts and converted it but could not see any of the posts. I opened a ticket but it never got much traction.

Next I took a smaller site and encountered other problems with trying to export/import sites - images didn't come over, the posts didn't point to the right images, ...

So, now, I take a virgin WP installation with the sample data and attempt to convert it to multisite and get the errors above. Immediately prior to inserting the WP_ALLOW_MULTISITE define we can move through the admin panel and see the site on different computers. So I am very confident that WP was installed and working with the DB.

It CANNOT be this hard!!!!! But I cannot seem to get ahead of this.