Cor - you've had a bit of a struggle haven't you?!
Installing the rpms from the NVIDIA site is pretty straightforward, provided you've got all the right bits from the actual Mandrake CDs installed okay as well.
For the sake of the rest of this post, I'm assuming you did the sensible thing for a newbie and chose the option "Install everything cos I have no idea what I'm doing" or whatever it's called
If you *didn't* do that - think about redoing your install and making sure you do - it helps loads in the end - once you're a bit more experienced, you can go an un-install stuff you know you don't need really easily....
Right - now onto the NVIDIA bits...
When I did this, I made sure I downloaded the .src.rpm files from NVIDIA's site (there should be two of them) - it means that when you use them, the binary files will match the architecture in your machine exactly - rather than the best guess that the .i386.rpm or .i586.rpm files that they provide as precompiled jobs...
Installing a .src.rpm is fairly easy, make sure you've used the 'su -
' command to change to the root user then you type :
rpm --rebuild NVIDIA.blah.blah.src.rpm
If you've got everything from the Mandrake CD's installed ok - you should see a lot of text start flowing up your screen for a while. Then you get a prompt back.
Now type :
find . -name NVIDIA*.rpm -print
This will tell you which sub directory from there your newly built rpm is in (likely to be i686 on most modern machines)
cd <that directory>
now you type
rpm -Uvh NVIDIA*rpm
and the newly built binary RPMs will be installed ok.
The last step is to exit the file in /etc/X11 called XF86Config-4 (you did choose Xfree86 4.2.0 didn't you?).
Search through the file for the line which reads :
Comment that out by putting a '#' at the beginning of the line.
Add a new line underneath which reads :
You should also find the "Modules" section (fairly near the top of the file) and insert a line with reads :
Save the file, and type :
X should start up now, and you should, if you've done everything above correctly, get a nice big NVIDIA logo occupying the whole screen just before X starts up properly.....
Hope this helps (and that I've remembed it all right, my linux box is 200 miles away)....