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Having unbelievable trouble booting from CD

Does anyone know any reason why I might be having trouble installing on a MDD PowerMac G4? (2x867, combo drive)

I have downloaded and burned Woody (Debian 3.0r2 PPC), Sarge PPC, and Ubuntu Warty PPC. All checked out correctly.

I can not get any of them to boot at all. Once I got Ubuntu to boot into the install interface (after failing before that), but it said it had problems detecting the CD-ROM drive half-way through (after it had already read from it??), and since then it will not boot anymore. Neither of the others has ever successfully booted at all.

I've tried holding 'c', as well as command-option-shift-delete. Except for the one time Ubuntu booted, all that happens is I hear the drive spin some, the fans roar at various levels, then quiet, and no signal is ever sent to my monitor.

Has anyone ever experienced this? Is is an incompatibility with the particular CD-ROM drive? Apple System profile says it is a Philips CDDS5101 rev A3.5, if that matters.

Any help is appreciated.

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