in fact, its not only kde; its kde and gnome (which i have on my linux). that's what made me think it's a x server problem.
i've never been able to use the graphical interface (i only use command line). the x server always crashes OR rather is it the window manager that has a real problem starting up and loading completely?
upon starting up the system, the graphical interface doesn't ever load completely. the screen flickers lots of times then i'm left with an empty, blue desktop (no icons, no task bar; nothing!) and a busy cursor which i can move around the blank blue screen.
i then CTRL+ALT+Fx to move to console mode.