In this case, I highly doubt that anyone has experienced the same problem, nor will be able to help me -- but I figured I should post this for (possible) posterity
On a lark, I decided to wipe out my Mint 7 install on my 2002-era Fujitsu Lifebook P2120 laptop (with a strange 'Transmeta' CPU). I have now tried it about 4 or 5 times, and it never completes -- instead, it hangs:
- Most of the time it hangs after about 10 minutes or so, right at the point of trying to copy/install "/usr/lib/jvm/java-6-sun-184.108.40.206/jre/lib/i386/jli/libjli.so"
- One time it hung near the very end while trying to copy/install stuff from "/tmp"
At first I suspected a bad DVD burn (this laptop is not capable of booting for USB). This morning, I used different DVD media/brand, and I got a good MD5SUM value, so I was very optimistic that this would be the solution. However, it was not. It hangs forever at the same spot -- not crashes. Very odd! How can 'copying' a file behave like this? It should either work or die.
I even has started to suspect silly thing, like trying both 'ext4' and 'ext3' as the filing system format -- but no difference. I am scratching my head wondering what other technique I could use to get LMDE on that little old laptop :/