Thanks for response.
All my CDs are from Edmunds Enterprises,
"OldBob" [the retiree] has dial-up, and the CDs Mandrake 9.0 and Red Hat 8.0 work perfectly on my desktop machine.
I am starting to suspect this "refurbished" Thinkpad which came with Win98SE installed has its own "problems" and it "crashes" [BSOD] all the time !!!
The ultimate "solution" may be to Fdisk & format and install my own copy of Win98SE.
I have two copies of Win98SE on two different hard drives on my desktop machine with "no problems at all !!"
So far I have tried to keep the present version of Win98SE because it "appears to have notebook only files" that are not on my desktop machine.