Fixed...I'm using damnsmall linux (damnsmalllinux.org) and it detects my hard ware fine.
After my redhat drive crashed im not allowed to install linux on my pc anymore (damn parents)...so i downloaded knoppix-std.
I booted it up using knoppix lang=us
and it all went fine up until too
and then the screen turned balcck and it sat there accessing the cd drive. i waited a few minutes and then just rebooted it.
I have an ati radeon 9000, 2.53 ghz p4, 512 mb ddr, 50x cdrom drive.