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Trouble with the debian2.1 rescue

Here's a couple of conundrums I could not have anticipated ...

This box is an Intel 486-100 CPU, 32MB RAM, and an Adaptec 2940/2942 VLB
SCSI controller, with a Seagate ST32430 2.1GB HDD and a Toshiba
SCSI-CDROM connected.  The floppy is also on the SCSI, and there's a VLB
IDE card hosting a Pioneer ATAPI CD-ROM.

The machine starts just fine, booting the debian2.1 rescue, declaring
hdb as the Pioneer CD-ROM, but when it reaches the SCSI detecting phase,
it says, 
(scsi0) <Adaptec 284x adapter> found at VLB slot 1
(scsi0) Narrow channel, SCSI ID=7, 4/255 SCBs
(scsi0) Downloading sequencer code ... 412 instructions downloaded.

After a short pause, the console fills with SCSI error messages,
scrolling too quickly to read.  The keyboard stops responding, so I
can't read the errors.  I have tried the lilo param, "linux
aic7xxx=no_reset", but the results are the same.  I have also tried
changing the configuration of the SCSI chain, but also to no avail. 
Other OSes, including WinNT 4.0, do boot successfully, suggesting that
the system is not fatally configured.

Any suggestions?

This box is an intel 486-66 CPU, 16MB RAM, and two (2) identical VLB IDE
controllers, each hosting two (2) identical 516MB Quantum IDE HDDs. 
There is also an Adaptec 2840 ISA SCSI card, connecting a Fujitsu 1.0GB
HDD and the floppy interface.  

The machine pauses for several minutes after testing the RAM and finding
the floppy, but eventually boots normally (with no pause or other
indication of problems at the SCSI autodetect phase).  In MS-DOS mode,
all five (5) HDDs are accessible, but upon booting the debian2.1 rescue,
the kernel detects HDA, HDB, and then stop indefinitely (and I've waited
for quite some time, just to be sure).  Is this more likely to be a
hardware problem, or are there some lilo params I could try, or
something else to that effect?

Thanks for any assistance you might be able to provide, my friends.


                             Maitre John

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