triple images on envision h190l in debian netinstall or ubuntu install/live-cd
I'm trying to do minimal install of either ubuntu or debian etch on emachine amd-k6 3dprocessor, 300mhz, 384mb ram. With the ubuntu minimal install, it can't find the hard drive, a 160 gig western digital to install to. The live cd runs, but I see triple blurry images on 3/4 of the screen; only the far left is clear. The debian netinstall (minmal install and regular etch, found the hard drive where ubuntu couldn't, but I still have the same blurry triple image. I can't do anything about the resolution in the monitor; it just has a self-adjusts button, which doesn't work. I can't see anything if I login well enough to change it.
And here's the weird part. Simplymepis 6.0 installs flawlessly; it finds the monitor, sets the right resolution, everything. It runs too slow because of kde, and even windowmaker isn't really fast. What is simplymepis doing right that ubuntu and debian aren't? I really need as little stuff on this slow machine as possible, but I can't fix the resolution problem on a minimum install.
Any help or ideas is greatly appreciated. Thanks!