Solved: Woody with a Promise Ultra133 and other hardware
Ok, I've solved my problem with the Promise Ultra133, and its probably good for other hardware supported by 2.4.19 and 2.4.20 but not by Debian's 2.4.18(-bf2.4).
This does require you have an existing distribution or know someone that will compile a kernel for you.
Get and untar the source to 2.4.20, and hardware driver patches you need, and configure yourself a kernel with the required drivers for your hardware (I had it built in). I'd suggest you leave out things like sound cards, etc as you don't need it for the installation. You *must* build it with the following as built in drivers:
ramdisk, loop, msdos, fat, elf, ext2fs, procfs
do a "make dep bzImage" and when done, mount your rescue disk (if you have one) or you'll have to download a bf-2.4 rescue and root disk.
delete linux.bin and replace it with your custom built kernel (rename it from bzImage to linux.bin.
Then (from the readme file on the rescue disk):
"Change directory to the boot disk and run ./rdev.sh to configure the kernel.
Optionally, edit syslinux.cfg to add arguments to the "DEFAULT"
line, or add an "APPEND" line with arguments to be appended to any
user-typed command line as well as the default."
You should be good from here. Now there's a catch of course.
When you install the kernel and drivers, it copies the bf-2.4 kernel to your harddrive, which you can't use. So you'll have to use the rescue disk (at boot: rescue <root part>) to go to the next phase of the install. After installing you'll still need the rescue disk to get in, then just make your kernel with everything you need, and whatever you want as modules, edit your lilo.conf yada yada and don't forget to run LILO. And put your rescue disk away for when you really need it.
Oh, and during the first install phase it will ask you about mapping the drives (regarding my Promise Ultra133 problem). If you're using a PCI IDE card I'd suggest saying yes (won't work for me otherwise as I learned with Slackware), otherwise you can probably get away with saying no.
And hopefully you now have a working Debian installation.
Tower Operator, Interborough Rapid Transit