Update =+=+=+ Ok, thanks for the replies and help. I wimped out after all and took the w$ndoze route I guess I don't reflect the name of my nick after as much as I'd like oh well...aside from that I'm up and running now.
Install+=+=++=+ Clean install pressed F1 and typed patch. Did recommended installation with the usr partition included. When I had the chance to install packages I did every single development pack and all the document packs. I asked X not to start on boot up. I finished the install and rebooted. Came back up and went the nvidia download section and got all three types of ways to install just in case something went wrong. I did not this time switch my version of xfree86 so I was running 3.36 with 4.10 as the other option.
Logged out and made sure I was not in X by typing init 3 (thanks dbhost) and then ran the rpm src method. Crossing my fingers and squinting my eyes it finished with only a message saying a lib.* was going to be renamed because of possible conflicts.
This is where I lucked out. I mistakenly configured the XF86Config-4 file even though my system was using the XF86Config one. So my system booted fast and loaded programs well but without accelerated support i.e no opengl.
Thinking, well I can just add the entries for glx, extmod, and nvidia in the XF86Config file and everything should work alright right, wrong the XF86Config file for the 3.36 versin of X didn't pick up the options. After a rebooted I realized this. So I got the bright idea that it was time to go to the mandrake control panel and swith my xfree86 files to the 4.10 version because the nvidia drivers require it. Went in changed to GeForce3 this time and it asked which server I wanted, chose 4.10. I went back to my XF86Config file and changed everything back the way it was. Rebooted the computer booted fast again but I did'nt get a nvidia eye which is odd because I haven't placed the switch in the config file yet I have opengl support.
mttr thanks for you suggestion but it was over my head. My modules.conf file looked exactly like yours. I wish I was one of those guys that can look at the modules and config files and all the rest of the names for them and pick out whats wrong....maybe one day.
That tv-out suggestion was good to, sometimes the weirdest fixes are the only ones that works...
Thunderbird I was using Gnome 1.2.2
I wish I could say confidently that this would work with everyone with a athlon xp 1700 gforce4 mx 420 and mandrake 8.1 but if I did then you might as well call me Bill Clinton......At least when you do get a box configured exactly how you want it or pretty close at least it actually becomes yours and not just another w$ndoze clone. On to the next project... the saga continues....