Unfortunatly, I'm not sure I can be very helpfull beyond what the FAQ says (I also have a freezing pb and a post on this forum :-( ).
-Using or not rpm is not important
-do insmod nvidia (as root) to load the module
-To check if the module is loaded, do lsmod.If your module is loaded, the error log should be different.
I'm sorry I don't know more...