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Can't boot -- 'shadow RAM' at fault...?

I'm trying to get 'potato' up-and-running on a box that thought it
would have Windoze, a Compaq Presario 4660.  CMOS says 2 instances of
shadow RAM are present, but doesn't provide a way to turn that
'feature' off.  Debian gets as far as the line about "freeing unused
kernel memory" and then halts, system locked up at that point.

 - Is this -likely- to be a shadow RAM problem?
 - Would Phoenix really have made it impossible to turn shadowing off?
 - Any solution in view other than "buy different BIOS"...?
 - Any other tips, clues, theories on why Debian is halting there?

Thanks kindly,

 -- Jeff --   <http://www.wellnow.com>

 "There's nothing left in the world to prove.  All that's worth doing
  is to love one another, using whatever means are available to serve."

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