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maybe the way i typed that wasn't too clear - i have xfree 4.3 but my only options are 4.1 or 3.3 in the graphical interface setup... should there be an option for 4.3? or if i choose 4.1 will it automatically use 4.3?
using gde, things are even worse, i cant even get the login screen to load. i still get the nvidia splash screen though. so its not just kde that isnt working right...
in the meantime i ordered mandrake 9.1, hoping that a newer version might work better, maybe an updated kde wont have the same problem.
by the way, there's also no "display manager" option under hardware in my mandrake control center... or under any other section of it.. but the other dms dont work from the command line anyway, so it doesnt really matter.
well, i was ready to give up and then i reinstalled all of mandrake from scratch and then installed the new nvidia driver all over again (only this time without updating x).... and everything works fine.
so even though the installation of x said it was successfull, it apparently wasn't... unless there's some kind of problem with using xfree 4.3 and the latest nvidia driver with kde 3.0, which i doubt.
thanks for all your help, proud.. it was an easy fix, but at least now i know much more about x if i have any problems in the future..