I've installed RHEL 5.8 the same way before many times and never had an issue like this. In this case, I installed RHEL 5.8 on a server with hardware from 2006-2007 which I had not installed on before and now I am running into a problem.
After I ran the installer and rebooted, it stayed at the GRUB screen "Booting Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server (2.6.18-308.el5) in 4 seconds...". The screen doesn't change, the "4 seconds" never counts down. See attached screenshot. I've waited 5 minutes or so and it just stays here until I hit a key to enter the grub boot menu and choose the line to boot. Once I get into the OS all is fine.
Here's why I think this problem is hwclock related:
#1 My motherboard BIOS time is set to GMT. When I'm in RHEL and check the time (I'm in PST timezone), it's off by the amount of time I waited at that grub screen.
#2 Here's another clue it's hwclock related. When reset the system, when it stops the services during the shutdown procedure, I get an error during the "Syncing hardware clock to system time Timed out waiting for time change." See attached screenshot.
Any ideas what's going on and how I should fix this?
I did try timeout=0 and that fixed the problem as it doesn't wait for input, however that's not a solution for me as there could come a time I do need to edit something in the grub boot menu.
# grub.conf generated by anaconda
# Note that you do not have to rerun grub after making changes to this file
# NOTICE: You have a /boot partition. This means that
# all kernel and initrd paths are relative to /boot/, eg.
# root (hd0,0)
# kernel /vmlinuz-version ro root=/dev/VolGroup00/LogVol00
# initrd /initrd-version.img
title Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server (2.6.18-308.el5)
kernel /vmlinuz-2.6.18-308.el5 ro root=/dev/VolGroup00/LogVol00 rhgb