Ok. If I understand you correctly, you could
change to runlevel 3... and if you saw the errors, you typed startx, right?? Well first off, I STRONGLY recommend you to FIRST upgrade you kernel to the latets Red Hat 2.4.20-20.9 kernel (found on RH's FTP site). You will
need the files kernel-2.4.20-20.9.<architecture>.rpm
otherwise the driver from NVIDIA won't install correctly (with the latest kernel). The new kernel has improved system performance plus a few security fixes. The <architecture> of the kernel will vary if your computer uses an i586 (Pentium classic, AMD K6 plain) processor, i686 (Pentium Pro, II, III, IV; AMD K6-2, K6-3) processor or athlon (found in the athlon branch on the FTP) ir you use an Athlon processor (Classic, Thunderbird & XP). To install those files you downloaded (make sure they are accesible in linux, eg in a CD burnt in Windows or a shared partition, one you can mount on Linux) you just need to change to the directory you downloaded them and type.
This will update your kernel and update/install the kernel sources (need to compile the NVIDIA driver).
Then you need the drivers, get them from NVIDIA (the lattest release is 4496, make sure they have a "pkg2" in the name) and then just execute the autoexecutable archive-installer by
that in order to execute the NVIDIA installer (as it happens with any other executable file in linux) from the current directory (assuming you changed to the directory the file is located in, and did not type the entire path to it) you must
precede the name of the command with ./ (dot slash). That indicates to your shell (the command interpreter, in this case most likely BASH) to execute the command from
the current directory. Of course you may download all the files needed in Windows, burn them into a CD, and then just install them from Linux, first the Kenrel (and sources) then the driver.
Assuming you don't know how to access the cdrom from the command line: The drive, unlike MS-DOS will not be ready just by insterting it into the drive, you'll need to mount
it first. To do so all you have to do is just to type the command (you guessed it) mount into the shell and specify the PATH to the mount point (a directory under your root tree), in most cases this will be the path (included Red Hat):
Then just change to that directory and you can procede with the Kernel upgrade/driver install. To try out the driver, just type X: it will give you a black screen with an X-shapped cursor that you can move around, then to exit from that (ugly) environment, press simutaneously ctrl+alt+backspace, that should bring you back to the shell, after you made all that, just re-edit the file /etc/inittab (as you did before) and change again the runlevel to 5. All you have to do next is to type.
And you'll be presented with the first boot GUI of Red Hat 9. The rest is self explainatory.