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strange hardware problem?

Hello all... sorry for the long letter. hope you find it entertaining.
This story eventually becomes debian related please be patient...

	I have two of these machines and they are both in the same condition -

	The machines are Gateway P4D-66 (486-66mhz). They have been running
Debian for about a year with no problems. The have been partitioned so
that they are dual bootable dos&windows with tcpip networking enabled,
or debian - which boots by default. The msdos configuration is used for
emergency situations if a new contractor or temp should need an extra
machine for a day or so...

	I had to put NT workstation on the msdos partition, after the initial
installation of the nt software WITHOUT the network portion installed I
reboot. After rebooting I get linux to be the primary partition and
eventually lilo kicks in and linux is up and running again - no problem,
everything works well... as usual.

	Eventually, (weeks later) I go back to the NT installation and I decide
to get the networking portion of the NT operating system installed and
running. I go through the install and when nearing the end of the
install NT tells me something like "starting the network" at this point
the machine locks up solid - mouse and everything.

	SO WHAT! Who gives a crap, its NT, why the hell is he submitting this
to the debian group? Well it seems that by trying to install the network
portion of NT it has done something to the machine. Now when debian
linux trys to boot, it ALSO locks up when it comes time to start the
network portion located in the /etc/boot file. If I comment out the
starting of the network, the machine boots fine!!! But theres obviously
no network, no web... When I try to start the network by hand, linux
locks up solid, similar to NT.

	I swapped the NIC card, and other parts, and eventually swapped the
motherboard from an identical machine. AND the networking in linux
worked! So the machine is technically fixed. That is, until my intern
trys to fix the broken machine (which is now the fixed machine) which is
when he smoked the second box on me. 

	Any ideas/help would be greatly appreciated...

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