Fedora Core 4
For quite some time I wanted to install FC4 next to my XP at home, however I never found the time. Last week I thought about it again and was on the edge of leaving it be another few weeks, because I was not in the mood to change my hard drives' partitioning. To my surprise I found 60GB of unpartitioned space lying around. Obviously I had left them free when I installed the new hard disk almost a year ago, probably for a Linux installation :)
I downloaded the FC4 DVD image, verified the checksum and burnt it onto a DVD-R. Then I booted from the DVD, seeing the initial screen of Fedora asking for boot parameters (skip hardware detection, rescue mode etc.) Wanting a "regular" install I just hit return. As a good start, a few seconds later, right after loading the kernel and initializing the initrd, I got a kernel panic. I cannot say that I was particularly amused, not even getting anywhere near the actual setup sequence. Trying for about half an our modifying the kernel parameters I got nowhere further. On the verge of giving up and using the unpartitioned space for Windows, too, I googled for "fedora core 4 kernel panic". I did not hope for anything helpful with such generic search terms, but to my surprise one of the top results actually offered help.
It said something like "enter some garbage at the boot prompt, then hit enter". And in fact it worked! When the boot prompt had complained about the unknown input (something like sdjkghfskjdhf) I just pressed enter again and the installer started! Now that's something to remember, isn't it?
Installation went fine and after some fiddling with the xorg.conf I got the dual-head setup with the nVidia driver right as well. However there still seems to be some problem with the sound card. Maybe it is confused because there are both a SB Live and the onboard audio chip. I will look into that tonight. Maybe I just have to enter some garbage into a config file...