Desktop Doesnt Load Right In Normal Boot #iATKOS

Ive spent literally all weekend trying to get Snow Leopard working well on my old Dell 9400.

Ive now had a lot of success, and feel like im almost there, safe mode seems to boot almost fine, full resolutions for my display (not sure if qe/ci works, can i test that in safe mode?)

but when do a normal boot, the desktop just doesnt load properly, its white or black but the mouse works, and if i click finder or something like that its loading but only a white box is displayed. its hard to describe it so heres a picture!

any ideas? i have tried searching but couldnt find anything probably because im not describing it right!