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Error loading ramdisk

Greetings to all of you GNUser's!

I have this disturbing problem with a computer I have at work; it's a
dual-boot Win98/Caldera eDesktop 2.4 box but I'd like to put Debian 2.2 there instead of Caldera and here's the problem: 
After having tryed almost all of the most common Linux dists (each dist in
several versions, old & new) on the market, the only one that would/will install
on this particular box is Caldera (both 2.3 & 2.4) with the help of 'Lisa' the
text-mode installer program. All of the other dists just hang on me, they
freeze when; 

'loading second stage ramdisk' 
'the base system is being extracted from*
or 'reading description files'

in the beginning of the installation process. If at all they manage to shoot
up a message before they die it's something like;

'error loading ramdisk'
'mount failed: Invalid argument'
'Base system unknown'

I have tryed to adjust the BIOS in all the different ways, and also put it into
'original configuration' but without any luck. 

This is the hardware:
Two IDE harddisks, the first is 6GB with Win98 on 3GB and Linux on 3GB, the
second is 2GB where we save all the work files from Windows. Note: I haven't
been able to make Linux read the second hd, I've tryed with hdb and hdb1
in fstab...:-(Any advice on that?)
Intel Pentium PCI
S3VIRGE with 2MB video RAM 
Typical 15 inch monitor (Teco information systems)

Any solution possible? Any other method to install Debian than the one I use
(from cd-rom after booting with floppy) to get by this problem?

Grateful for all the hints I can get

@~~ EagleIce ~ gnu4u@linux.nu ~~@
@~~ Running GNU/Linux & KDE ~~@

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