I checked this 10 gb hdd in another computer and it checked out OK. System Rescue CD was used as well as a Windows hdd checking program. I reformatted it to NTFS and reinstalled it in the Compaq. It is now used for storage in this new configuration.
Then I resized the 40 gb drive I was using for Wiin2K and reinstalled Mint 7 Xfce CE there. This time it went without a hitch. No problems what so ever.
I, also. swapped out the IDE cable just to be safe. This may have been the original culprit. I don't know how old the old IDE cable was. I just never thought of it until after everything else was done.
This little Compaq, usually, sucks up (KDE, Xfce, Fluxbox) distros like a sponge. Things are running smoothly now. I guess the IDE cable MAY have been at fault.
The CD was fine. This is not the first cd I've burned. I have produced my share of coasters, but not lately. I know it could still happen.
2.5 gb's for a full install of Mint 7 Xfce CE? I wondered about that. It acted like drive capacity had been exceded, but no warnings were shown. It just stopped at about 78-88% and then the progress bar would stop, the hdd activity light would quit and the CD would spin down and things came to a halt. I thought it hit a hard pull and would pick up when it was done. After leaving it on all night installing this didn't happen. It was frozen.
I apologize for running on like this, but I just wanted to put as much info in for someone else having this problem on an old machine.