Re: what did hwinfo do to my machine? - SOLVED
After I ran hwinfo (to detect a modem), my machine runs very slowly at
the beginning of booting.
(GRUB takes about 8 seconds between displaying [the] "Welcome to GRUB!"
text and the "error: fd0 read error." text, and another 25 seconds for
the screen to go blank on the way to displaying the menu.
What the heck did hwinfo do to my machine?
Thanks to some suggestions that somehow caused me to check basic floppy
access, I discovered that the problem was ... (get ready for a big
letdown) ... a loose floppy cable.
(Apparently plugging in the modem--or, more likely, unplugging and
re-plugging the motherboard-to-DB9 adapter cable to check
something--jostled a incompletely seated floppy drive cable enough to
disconnect some pins.
Re-seating the floppy cable has restored the previous behavior--no
major delays between the "Welcome to GRUB!" text and the "error: fd0
read error." text, or from there to the GRUB menu.)
Thanks for the help.