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I've been trying to install Mandrake Linux 9.0 on 2 separate laptops, but the first of these problems is also effecting Mandrake 10:
I boot the CD1 fine. It offers to install itself with that small blue F1/enter prompt. I hit enter, the progress bar completes. The screen goes black with the distro name/version at the top and options to view logs/kernal messages at the bottom. A dialogue with 'Loading program into memory' for a title and with a red progress bar appears. Here's the problem. Most times, this progess bar never completes. If it does, nothing happens when the bar vanishes. It crashes and a reboot is needed. Both Mandrake 9.0 and 10.0 suffer from this.
I found a workaround for 9.0: if I start with CD2 (not an install CD but bootable anyway), then switch to the install CD when asked to, I can complete memory loading and move on to the second stage install, where I'm asked for language. After selecting this, it does something with my Firewire hardware, and crashes. The cursor becomes a watch.
I haven't been able to try this in 10.0 as I only have the first CD for it...