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Problems with Pioneer cd-rom

I am looking for a distribution (Linux or BSD) that will install on a Pioneer CD-ROM ATAPI Model DR-A24X 0104 without hanging (or a suggestion how to get the cd-rom to work; yes, I have tried autoboot).  RedHat 5.1 and 5.2 both hang.  The system is an old Cyrix 486-DX with a 1 Gb drive.  It is currently running RedHat 5.1, but the installation was from the hard disk and there was plenty I did not include.  The CD-ROM is recognized during boot and I insmod isofs, but all I get are timeouts when I try to mount the drive.  It would be great to start over with a clean system and I would prefer not to use a gazillion floppies.

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