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Trouble installing 'Woody' Debian from CD

I am very new to Linux. I have been unable to boot the 'Woody' version of Debian from a CD. The computer I am attempting this on is somewhat elderly and is built from generic Windows/Intel-compatible components. The processor is a Cyrix M II (generic i386); I'm unsure about the harddrive and CD drive. The current OS is Windows ME, so you can see why I want to switch. ;-)

Each time I attempt to boot from the CD, Windows just starts as usual. For a while as I tried to install Debian, Windows was starting in safe mode (which is not that unusual for this computer) and not recognizing the existence of the CD drive at all (which has never happened before). However, both of these problems have gone away, so I'm not sure if this is just a coincidence or not.

I know the CD works, as it has booted successfully on other computers, and I believe the computer is configured to boot from the CD drive first (I have been able to boot Windows disks on it in the past). So I think the problem must either be with the hardware or the OS, but I'm not sure how to determine what it is. Any help would be greatly appreciated.


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