Re installed tarballs - looked clean and dandy. On reboot (at appropriate runlevel) X started fine.
found out about the change to the 3dconfig file and did that and 3Ddiagthat comes up mostly okay - it doesn't find the kernel module. (I even has a vi session - very weird to me that editor)
Nv-Check also okayish but think that the kernel module isn't loaded however lsmod shows a whacking 1.4 meg module in there.
tried to enable 3d via Sax (standalone and via Yast) and it tells me I need to install NVIDIA_GLX and NVIDIA_kernel modules. I think its looking for the standard supplied modules. I did a YOU update on these before tackling the latest drivers as an article on the register had warned about this checking going on.
I don't really want to re-install Suse - its the hours of YOU updating on a v.90 modem with an ISP with a 2 hour cutoff that puts me off - but I need to find out what state my software is actually in and how to fix it.
Some pointers to procedure/protocol would be great - I can read fast...