I made a thread
in the cAos section that somewhat explains my situation, but it's clearly not a cAos issue anymore.
Basically, I have an old PC i'd like to use as a home server, I've had ubuntu on it for awhile and could share files over the network nicely, but I decided to try and install a lighterweight OS because it was no longer going to be a workstation.
I can't install any version of ubuntu past 83-85% when it will freeze up (xubuntu, ubuntu server) I installed 'Damn small' linux to the HD and i get 'operating system not found.' it doesn't even seem to load grub.
cAos installed okay, and I could even kind of share files, but I'm not extremely comfortable with a command-line only config just yet. for details on that, see that this thread
I've tried installing on two different hard drives in case it was a hardware issue, both produced the same result. all drives can be read/written just fine when i boot with a knoppix or DSL live cd.
Thanks in advance to anyone who helps!