Hi Bandit, the following worked for me when my new Fluxbuntu install stalled at the "clock screen;" it is certainly worth a try. (Note, though that I don't have the Smartstep; mine is a Dell Latitude Cpx.)
Originally Posted by NoSmokingBandit
1. Restart the computer and wait for Grub to appear.
2. You will have 3 seconds to press esc to for Grub options.
3. Press 'e' to edit the first line that starts 'Ubuntu 7.10 kernel'.
4. Scroll down to the second line that starts with 'kernel' and press 'e' to edit it.
5. Delete the word 'splash' at the end of the line.
6. Press Enter.
7. Press 'b' to boot.
8. You'll see a series of text messages instead of the white screen. Hopefully, a login screen will appear! If so, proceed with these instructions to make the change permanent. If not, sorry!
9. Once logged in, double-click the Console icon at the top left and type:
10. Delete all instances (2 by my count) of the word 'splash'
sudo nano /boot/grub/menu.lst
11. Save the file by Ctrl+O, then Enter.