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Here is what happens. I turn on the computer and it gives some sort of warning in white letters
in a red box that says that there is no partition. I figure that this is OK since that is how
I remember setting up the system. I thought that there was no issue with it having no partition
That makes absolutely no sense. There has to be a partition that you installed into. When you get an error, we need exact text. It is hard to help you when you only tell us the general theme of the error. You couldn't have installed to no partition, as the files had to go somewhere inside a partition. They can't exist in unpartitioned space.
So, thinking that the problem must be with the fact that my laptop has an ancient screen resolution,
I decided to connect a more modern monitor to the laptop and try again. This time, it pretty much the same
as it did before except for the very end there was a different error instead of a blank screen.
That won't work at all. You can't go from the laptop built in screen to an external monitor, because you need to configure X for a dual headed display. Just plugging in a monitor will only show you the boot, which you took images of. Once the boot is done and X starts, it will start on the laptop only. Fortunately, the last screenshot you posted showed the problem there. Your refresh rates are nowhere near where they should be.
Your horizontal frequency is set to 15.7 when it needs to be between 30-70, and vertical is set to 30 when it needs to be between 50-120. To change those values, edit the file /etc/X11/xorg.conf. Specifically, change the H and V refresh rates to those specified by the monitor, unless those were the external monitor, and not your laptop's. Get the correct values from the laptop manufacturer's website, or just go for a middle-of-the field value.
The next screen shows the menu for starting in single user mode:
That is called the grub menu, and shows exactly what we would expect. Grub normally gives the choice of default boot and single user. Single user is only intended to be used for fixing problems, not actual use.
Here are the following screens after I select single user mode:
All of those are the normal boot process.
Try setting your xorg.conf to better values, and see what happens. The blank screen you describe on a normal boot is actually exactly what should happen if you have bad resolutions. To the computer's point of view, everything is fine, which is why you get no errors. The problem is a conflict between the way things are set and the way they should be set.
You may find it best to boot into text (as mentioned earlier, hit ctrl-alt-f1, or f2), become root, and issue the command
That should give you the options of automatically detecting the default values for things like the refresh settings.
1. Boot Debian on your laptop like normal. (default)
2. WAIT for it to finish loading and put up the black screen.
3. Press "Ctrl+Alt+F1". (This will bring you to terminal 1)
4. Type in "root" then enter.
5. Type in the root password, then enter.
6. Type in "dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg", then enter.
7. Follow the step by step instructions.
8. Type in "reboot", then enter. (If all goes well, you may not even need this step)
9. You may wish to repeat this process if you are unsure of how to answer some of the steps.
10. If your system is still not starting correctly, then you need an easier distro. Try Xubuntu. (It's lighter on resources than the regular Ubuntu. X/Ubuntu are both the spawn of Debian.)
That's fine man. I still suggest getting VERY familiar with the command line. The power of linux doesn't come out so much through GUI, but in the CLI. The GUI is an easy thing to use, and certainly has its purpose, but the CLI has a steeper learning curve, and many times the potential of things that you can do with it.
Are you aware that the netinstall/business card doesn't install a graphical interface by default? That is part of how it is kept small. You get the graphics going by apt-get install (kde, gnome, xfce etc) or using aptitude to do the same. If you get as far as the login prompt and have internet connectivity, that is all that is supposed to happen. Beyond that, it's your game to play/setup as you want.
I know earlier you tried an install disk with xfce included, but if you tried a smaller installer later, you won't have any X windows installed.