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Just as a test, i swapped monitors, so that i could at least elminate this as being a problem.
Using the --expert mode in Xconfigurator i choose the correct S3 card. Then Xconfigurator probes the monitor (did not do this with the old monitor), so i choose to use the settings it has found.
Then i choose a resolution, 1024 downwards....
Select 'Test' and i get a blank screen for a few seconds, then it returns to Xconfigurator saying that it has not been setup correctly. During my different tests i did manage to get a 640*480 resolution, but only in the bottom half of the monitor.
I am also pretty sure that i have managed to get this to work in Mandrake, but not since. Nothings Changed!