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Newbie cd installation problems

I`ve been a Windows user up to now so please excuse my ignorance.
I`m trying to install Debian 2.1 from the "Official" Binary- i386 CD. My computer, a 486 with 2 hard drives, a floppy and a CD drive wouldn`t boot CDs so I started the the installation from DOS, fine.
Things went well until I got to the stage "Install Operating System Kernel and Modules"
Seems whichever device I select for the CDROM returns the message "The CD-ROM was not mounted successfully"  
 I`ve looked at the ttty3 terminal and hda and hdb give the message "mount: wrong fs type, bad option, bad superblock on /dev/cdrom, or too many mounted file systems"
hdc and hdd give the message "mount: the kernel does not recognize /dev/cdrom as a block device (`maybe insmod driver`?)
The SCSI option just brings up the "No SCSI Adapter" screen.
All other options give the message "mount: special  device /dev/cdrom does not exist"
To make matters worse this is a spare PC bought cheaply so I have no real idea of any of the hardware specifications, and no Windows OS to check them on.
I really would like to escape from Microsoft so any help would be much appreciated.
Paul Walton

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