I think it might be some bug with Red Hat 8 (Red Hat 8 is quite old by now...)
You might want to give Red Hat 9 a try ( you can get it from free from redhat.com) or to the newer Red Hat flavor of Fedora Core ( http://fedora.redhat.com ) .
Here is a link of someone installing Red Hat 9 on that same laptop you have:
If you can't download a newer version, perhaps you can post on the flea market area. We have many users who are always willing to burn you a copy for free.