Yaeh, it sounds like the CD is horked. Coasters are cheap, try another burn.
burning the iso's as disk images and not just plunking them on the CDs as files, right?
You probably know the difference, but since you only said "put them on 2 cd's", I had to ask.
As far a partition goes, you only need to have enough free space on the drive; the installer will take you through the partitioning process.