nvidia module does not load automaticly with startx
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If you put it in /etc/modules, it should automatically be loaded during boot up. I don't remember having to manually enter the nvidia driver in /etc/modules when I installed, but it has been a long time ago. I did have to manually put "nvnet" in /etc/modules to get networking to work on my nforce motherboard.
I seem to be having similar difficulties with my Mandrake 9.2. I used the NVIDIA-Linux-x86-1.0-5328-pkg1.run and now in order to get X to start I have to log in as root and load the nvidia.o module by hand (insmod nvidia.o) exit root and then run X. A member, faheyd suggested that I try unloading the 5328 package and install the 4496 package. I had the same results. When the computer boots I get three flashes (right before CUPS on the command line) and then it fails.