Ok, here's whats gone down so far:
- Boot disks failed to work. I checked the md5sums, and they were different. I'm assuming it got corrupted during the download.
- Because of this, I decided to redownload Debian. After I deleted my current debian install files, I thought "gee, since I'm storing this on a fat32 partition, I might as well switch it over to ext2, might make things easier. So I load up cfdisk, delete the partition that I was storing Debian on, then make a new one in ext2fs. I save the partition, but it gives me an error. It says it wrote the partition table, but could not re-read it, and that I should reboot my computer for the changes to take effect. I edited /etc/fstab to match the new partition, and I rebooted. When it booted, it wouldn't boot properly, it said the edited partition had the wrong magic numbers or something. I managed to 'fix' it by deleting the partition and removing the line from /etc/fstab. Now I can boot, but I have a big useless 2 GB chunk of disk that I'd like to store my debian install files on.
I'm planning to just download the boot disks this time, and install over ftp. I'd like to fix my partitions within mandrake, for the learning experience, but ultimately it won't matter because I'll fix it up in the Debian install (it does give me a chance to edit my partitions during the install, right?)