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I would take the computer apart and reseat everything. Memory, cables, power connectors, everything. Make sure the power supply is turned off. If in doubt unplug the power cord. Follow ESD protection guidelines.
If that does not help then I would shut it down overnight and then start it up and see if things work.
Do things work at the default run level (init4)?
Try coping files and see if it works, or fails. Keep in mind that there may be data loss if the system crashing while writing to the hard disk.
For testing tar: tar -czv your /usr directory to /root/test.tar.gz.
Command: tar -czvf /root/test.tar.gz /usr/*
I'm not seeing anything wrong from the pictures you've posted. Have you tried to install Slackware 13.1? Have you tried installing another distro? Something like ubuntu, Linuxmint, CentOS, etc.
Have you recently added memory, change a disk, are you using a USB device?
Installed slackware64 13.37, no noise, but screen went blank, and the
machine froze up, about 20 sec after booting from the hard drive.
Installed slackware64 13.1, no clunking noise, everything went fine;
booted into single user mode, rebooted several times to make
sure it's reproducible. Looks like I'm doomed to be an out-of-date
slacker, at least as far as my desktop is concerned.
I wonder how the slackware installer has changed over the two
most recent versions?
One difference I noticed from installing 14.0, 13.37, and 13.1 on my computer;
fdisk behaved differently. The partitioning scheme recommended by jjthomas
was accepted by 14.0 and 13.37 without any problem. I tried to use it
with 13.1, but fdisk complained about partitions not ending on a cylinder.
I tried to begin the /boot sector on 2048, but fdisk would not accept it,
as it was "out of range." On fdisk on 13.1, partition sizes had to be
entered in Mb, while in 13.37 and 14.0, fdisk used sectors. When I set
the /boot partition in fdisk for 13.1, the starting default cylinder was
63, but in the written partition table, the first partition began at 1.
fdisk for 13.1 and before default to use cylinders and 13.37 and after default to sectors, also with 14.0 (maybe 13.37 as well) it looks like it use 2048 sectors at the beginning of the first primary partition for some housekeeping thingy and if you have extended partition, then there is 2048 sectors at the beginning of each logical partition for the same thing, if you want to start at the first cylinder (sector 63), you can run fdisk from your 13.1 installation and then quit and install 14.0 without running fdisk again, i have my first partition start on the 1st cylinder and my slack 14.0 install on sda5 with no problem, my first 3 partitions are used for solaris and 2 versions of windows.
you mentioned your screen went blank after 20 seconds, is it booting at all for those 20 seconds or is it doing nothing? you can also check the log after it failed to boot to give you some idea where it stop during boot by boot from the installation CD and then mount your root partition and check the file /var/log/messages, it seems to me its a video issue, is your video card a nvidia ? check your log to see if you have something like this, it should be where it went blank and switch resolution.
kernel: [ 0.395517] vesafb: mode is 1024x768x8, linelength=1024, pages=20
kernel: [ 0.395523] vesafb: scrolling: redraw
kernel: [ 0.395528] vesafb: Pseudocolor: size=8:8:8:8, shift=0:0:0:0
kernel: [ 0.395656] vesafb: framebuffer at 0xc0000000, mapped to 0xffffc90010680000, using 1536k, total 16384k
kernel: [ 0.420537] Console: switching to colour frame buffer device 128x48
kernel: [ 0.445058] fb0: VESA VGA frame buffer device
I see five disk devices, sda, sdb, sdc, sda and sde. What are they?
Before going any further you will need to unplug everything except you monitor, mouse, keyboard, the drive you are installing to and the CD-ROM you are installing from. If you have a hard disk adapter installed, it needs to be removed as well. At this point I would not try to install from a USB stick.
Also make sure you BIOS is set to include just what you need. If you are not using the parallel port, then disable it in BIOS. Same if you have multiple drive interfaces; serial ports, etc. Make sure you AGP/PCI setting matches your video card.
I saw errors from sda2... Why are you using 3 different file systems? I would stick with ext2 for the boot partition and either ext3 or ext4 for the rest of your partitions.
Part of troubleshooting is elimination. First step is take the computer down to its bare necessities. Once you get a stable system one adds things until it breaks, again. Then we know what is causing the problems.
the pattern on your screen after it went blank looks like the frequency is too high for the monitor, like when resolution too high back in the win98 period, what i'll do is to reinstall slack 14.0 (or 13.37), when installation complete, don't restart yet, if you can edit /mnt/etc/lilo.conf, change the line append=" vt.default_utf8=0" (from your post #16) to append="video=640x480", copy it to /etc and then run lilo, and if there is no fatal error (warning is fine), then restart, you can just install package a to save time and put everything in just one partition as this is just testing
rebooted again, at boot prompt, hit tab to get the lilo prompt,
entered linux nomodeset video=640x480, hit enter, saw this; if
you listen carefully, you can hear the noise as slackware 14.0
tries to tear the insides out of my computer
looks like changing the resolution fixed the problem, the reason it didn't work the first time is because you didn't run lilo before reboot so that you have to boot using the additional argument everytime, now run lilo and you should be good booting without any argument, didn't really hear anything from within your computer, just your background noise.