My computer boots from the mandrake and redhat cds but not from the slackware one.
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Does cleaning the lens help at all? I have a really poor 2nd hand DVD drive that occasionally read the Mandy bootable DVD (Linux Format cover DVD), and normally didn't. Cleaning the lens made all the difference.
You could try another CD drive or just a CD reader (might mount the CD quicker), but I suspect BIOS problem. You could make the six floppy disks and boot them. But, you do not have to compile Smart Boot Manager. Just download sbminst-static and then
./sbminst-static -d /dev/fd0
to install on the floppy disk in the drive. The only problem I have experienced with it are with my HP DVD+RW drives, doesn't even see them.