I also turned off plug and play support in Bios. When I did this, the install generated a new error in a pop up box--
"Could not uncompress second stage ram disk. This is probably an hardware error while reading the data (this may be caused ba a hardware failure or a linux kernel bug)"
I used factory created CD's for this install attempt-Mandrake 8.1. I know the CD's work because I got them at a free seminar and used these CD's to install Mandrake there on site.
Any other suggestions? I think I am gonna try a different PC.