I recently purchased an A7N266-VM and have experienced similar problems on bootup with grub and lilo. Here is a quick overview my experience. Hope this is useful.
Athlon XP 2000+
DDR266 256MB (x1)
WD 7200 80Gig ATA100
Samsung CDRW & DVD drive (ATA 66/33 respectively)
Linksys 10/100 NIC (for network installations)
- Error 28 on boot under grub ("Error 28: Selected item cannot fit into memory")
- Under Lilo I get the letter "L" and a locked system.
- Floppy rescue boots normally.
- System locks up when starting X after floppy boot but this is probably due to using the default 'nv' driver and wasn't a concern.
-Reinstalled with various configurations:
--- / partition 20Gig and 2Gig (to see if it was a hard drive capacity issue) -- NO CHANGE
--- from CD instead of network -- NC
-Transfered another working drive to this box -- NC
-Swapped memory locations -- NC
-Disabled all non critical chipset features in bios -- NC
For my sanity, I installed 98SE with full updates, drivers and patches (for OS and chipset) just to see if it would work. The box turns out to be an acceptable windoze platform: Q3A played fine, UT played fine but couldn't get the sound right (sounded good but seriously choppy). CD's played beautifully.
The board works fine under 98SE and appears to work fine under RH 7.3 & 8.0 if you have a means to bypass grub and lilo. (CD, floppy...) Otherwise it will never boot and is almost as useless and troublesome as a WinModem...
I will be returning the board next week but for what I'm not sure yet. Anyone have a solid recomendation as a replacement. I will need to accomodate the rest of the components (memory, CPU, etc).
Thanks in advance,