I hesitate to give advice on how to remove things without breaking other things. May I suggest something for your consideration? Does your current machine have USB 2, as opposed to USB 1.1? 2 GB. RAM? If so, you could run other distros as a live USB or I've done 'real' installs on USB drives formatted as ext2. I didn't create a swap partition and writes are pretty slow but you can install and update a full system on a larger - 8 GB. works, 16 GB is maybe better - USB flash drive. You could create a swap partition on a flash drive but I'm not sure how long the flash drive would last - it may live long and prosper, it may not. I guess it depends on how frequently the swap partition is written to.
A downside to the live USB installs with persistence for me is that I was unable to install updates. A live USB with persistence would remember data files and settings but after an update or two, the system would be broken. As to the O.P.s original question, I've had similar problems if I didn't have a wired internet connection. The install process looks for a live network connection, doesn't find it and hangs.