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Okay, I installed Mandrake 8.1 without problems, initially.
However, I wanted the latest best nvidia drivers for my GEForce2 card, so I downloaded the appropriate rpms from the nvidia site. But when I followed the directions and made the modifications to the X11config file, it no longer boots properly. Here is what happens:
When I boot up (by boot disk, mind you), it promps me to enter "linux <params>" but since I just want a regular boot most of the time, I just do "linux" and it used to work. Now, after loading all the drivers, doing all of the checks, and auto-logging me in, it goes into this infinite loop. The screens that keep repeating are the Nvidia screen (the white one with the logo), the blue KDE background (without icons), and the login screen. I can't break out of this loop without hitting ctrl-alt-del.
I think I might be able to fix the problem if I can just get to the file system, but that would mean having to boot without starting the Xserver. Anyone know what params I need to do that? It seems pretty trivial...i'm just not sure where to find it.
All joking apart, but you are using the same kernel as the one specified for your particular download? I recently decided to upgrade my kernel (apparently it's good for you ) and found that the NVidia drivers were knackered - they are kernel version specific. I would advise that if at all possible, use the source (hmm, sounds like Obi Wan is near), because you can then recompile them to your new kernel.