thanks soul-crusher. I'll grab the latest bios for my mobo and flash it this evening when i get home. Also, I believe that agpart is compiled into my kernel, so the nvagp 1 setting may not actually be using the nvagp.
I should mention here that last night i removed one line from my xf86config, and now the machine *seems* to be working. Actually, the exact steps were this after removing the line from the xf86config:
reboot. at gui logon, logged in as root into failsafe mode. ran init3 to kill X.
Now, this *may* have made a difference to me. I unloaded the nvidia module from here, then re-loaded it before restarting X.
SO, now the system has not quite hung up yet. (not sure if its really running up to par. the whole thing feels slow with gkrellm, a superkaramba tranparent bar, and a couple of windows). It feels slow, but at least it is working.
One other thing. Has anyone else noticed this? If i am using the nvidia drivers, and start the machine up, the fan on the vidcard spins along happily. but the minute X starts up, the fan stops! Now, I wasnt sure if it ever came back on again (i was too busy trying to get things going), but this has happened with 2 new cards from the store!
Heres the strange part. If i drop out of X the fan comes back on, spinning happily. If I reload X, the fan just comes to a halt. Anyone else here notice this? THis is with the 4496 drivers.
Je ne sais RIEN!