Sorry, the only thing that I can think of, is to re-burn the CD's. I can remember when the mandrake 10 community first came out, they had a problem booting with the first CD, but that was sorted out with one of the updates.
If you still have the ISO images, then (if they're in windows) you download and install md5summer
and then start it, tell it to create sum's, drag and drop the ISO's into md5summer and start it.
It should give you an identical md5sum to the one available from the site where you downloaded the iso's from. and I mean identical.
Any error's at all, and you'd have to re-download the iso that gives you an incorrect md5sum.
Whereas if you have them in a linux install, then you just
to the directory where they are, and open a terminal (or you can do it from the "init 3 CLI stage) and from the root prompt, cd to the directory where the iso's are and at the # prompt
(replace the x's with the rest of the iso name/number) and wait, again it should give you the same number that you got (or should have) from the mirror download site.
Or just in case it's a possible hardware problem, you could try Knoppix
. It has (arguably) the best hardware detection of virtually any distro. It's a "live cd" version, so it run's from the cd and unless you tell it to (you can't do this by mistake), it won't write anything to your hard drive.
It should flag up any hard ware problem's. The only thing you might not be able to do is connect to the net (especially if you're using dial up). You'd still have to download it and the md5summer mentioned/linked earlier (for windows) to check the integrity of the download.
Worth a try.
Sorry I can't help more. I usually just buy a mandrake dvd directly from them (usually the boxed set power pack, as I've never had any problems)