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Thanks for your reply. I can't connect the linux desktop to the internet because of an IT policy issue in the department.

I have solved the issue by installing Fedora 17 DVD on which I could install the nVidia driver without any stability issues. Then I built gcc 4.6.3 from source in a local directory and tricked CUDA 5.0 installer to use the local version of gcc 4.6.3. Instead of gcc 4.7 being called which is the default gcc version on Fedora 17 and is incompatible with CUDA 5.0. I appreciate your help and thanks for your time.