would you mind explaining how to remove the traces from initrd? I'm not familiar with initrd, I just looked it up and got this: http://www.listware.net/201006/opensuse-factory/18218-opensuse-factory-m7-how-do-i-remove-nouveau-driver.html
but when i ran
grep INITRD-MODULES /etc/sysconfig/kernel
it complained that /etc/sysconfig/kernel didn't exist. so i tried to find it in Dolphin (kde filemanager, still using nouveau for gui purposes) but it turns out there is no 'sysconfig' folder in /etc/. instead, there is a folder called kernel directly in /etc/ but running
grep INITRD-MODULES /etc/kernel
didn't produce any output.
Thanks for the pointers a ton, it at least gives me a new angle to work at (hadn't known initrd affected it, (or quite frankly what initrd even was) so I'm much encouraged.