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I have an old micron 133MHz PC with 80 MB of RAM and a 1.2GB drive. After several attempts of installing RH 7.1 and the disk locking up about 90% through, I decided to repartition the disk using DOS FDISK, allocated the whole disk, formatted it and ran scandisk.
Scandisk surface scan already had a bad 'cluster' marked in it.. which confirmed my hunch that this was the problem.
Now the question is how do I work around it? Since this is a clean install, I'm only (at least to my knowledge) able to boot using the disk I created to run the installation program. I'm able to use linux's fdisk to reset my drive geometry and parition the disk. Using expert mode, I'm able to see that there are bad sectors using 'v'. I would have thought that checking the 'check for bad sectors' box would have worked around this block, but it's not working.
I assume I could re-organize my partitions if I knew which cylinder/head/sector was causing the problem... setting up the partitions (/boot, <swap>, /) around the problem.
The other alternative is to spend a few $'s and buy a new/used drive... not sure if that is worth the $'s for a 133Mhz system.