Did you edit manually the config file ? then you aren't a newbie....
Well, you can try this:
> XFree86 -configure
this will do a hardware probe and write a config file on current directory
then try the generated file:
> XFree86 -xf86config <the_generated_file>
surely you will need to retouch it manually. I did this on Slackware having to edit the mouse protocol (was bad) and the video modes (keeping the useful ones). The rest was ok.
also you could try xf86config (if available) or redhat-config-xfree86 (Red Hat)