i have tried for about 4 days now to install mandrake 9.1 and 10.1... failed miserably... when i reboot (with floppy and cd) it says "boot failed"... donno what to do...
back to the original problem...
I had a similar problem with an older machine.
Mandrake 9.2 installed ok, but that system would not boot up. I moved the hard drive to a newer machine, and that install booted up ok. I moved the working install from the newer machine to the old one, and it refused to boot.
Both machines had been running windows 98 with no problems.
I do not have an explanation, just guessing that the bios does not like lilo. Didn't know enough at the time to try grub
I also had trouble getting the old machine to boot from the cd - ended up making a boot floppy.
Neither machine would boot from or read from the dvd, so I had to burn the 4 cd images.
About the boot priority, most modern bios will support selecting the boot device.
some use first hard drive (primary master)
second hard drive (primary slave)
third hard drive (secondary master)
some call the drives (mistakenly) drive c drive d etc
others use floppy, ide (primary master) cd-rom
these can be fussy about where the cdrom is located, and may not give you multiple hard drives to choose from.
for now, blame the bios (upgrade maybe?) and try a different way to boot up.