Hello everyone. I'm not a computer expert, but I recently bought an old computer for less than 10 and I wanted to install Lubuntu on it but I accomplished nothing but failures so far.

The computer has a Pentium III processor and 384MB of RAM, with a 10GB hard disk. It has (had!) Windows XP Home on it.

I have some live CDs with different distros, so I tried to enter the BIOS menu to make it boot from CD - turns out there's no such thing as a BIOS menu, only a CMOS menu. From there I set the CD-ROM as primary master instead of the hard disk, but all the different CDs I tried to boot from gave me the same error: ATAPI incompatible. I managed to burn two CDs using Nero from the Windows XP installed on the same machine, so I guess the optical drive is working, right?

The machine has two USB ports, but only one is working. I highly doubt it's able to boot from USB flash drive, but I still tried to stick it in and disable both the primary and secondary master/slaves to force it to try to boot from something else, to no end.

I did the same with a floppy disk and I successfully booted eBoot (a minimal Linux distro) from a single floppy disk, so at least that works, but it's so small it's useless to me casual user... I need a "true" OS

I cleaned the CMOS and removed and inserted the battery back, hoping to unlock the BIOS or something, I tried it all.

I downloaded Smart Boot Manager and successfully executed it but I didn't find an option to boot from CD.

I downloaded Wubi and launched it, but it kept giving me weird errors mid-installation and aborted.

I downloaded a Lubuntu ISO, extracted the kernel and initrd and put them in C: and reconfigured the boot.ini to give me the option to load grldr during boot, downloaded grub4dos, managed to get into grub menu and manually loaded kernel and initrd. Seemed to work fine, but I got stuck at a busybox/initramfs prompt.

I downloaded UNetbootin and launched it, but the first installation of Lubuntu failed after a while because I was trying to dual boot it with Windows and I didn't have enough space on the hard disk. I restarted it going #yolomode and giving Lubuntu the full disk, basically formatting the hard disk and deleting Windows for good. Seemed to work fine, kept downloading for a long while, I followed the installation wizard step by step and finally I read "Installation complete, reboot now?". I rebooted... now Lubuntu is obviously the only OS left in my machine, so it booted that, only to arrive to a black screen with blurred unreadable text that seems to be a shell (but it isn't: I tried a few commands and it acted weird). I took a photo of the screen just in case.

I rebooted multiple times but this always happens.

Now I don't even have Windows anymore, and I don't know what to do. I'm left with a computer that won't seem to boot from CD and has basically no OS. I googled a lot and it seems there's a way to install from multiple floppies, but unfortunately I only have two and one of them is damaged and can't be used (and to say I was glad I found a working one after 10+ years, good thing I never throw anything). Even then, for some reason I don't think it'd work and it seems to be by far the most technical/scary way to install the OS.

Can you guys please help me? I'm clueless as to what to do. I know it's just a cheap and old computer, but it still drives me mad!

When I turn it on, I see the Packard Bell logo and just two options: Esc to go to POST and F2 to open CMOS menu. I tried blindly F1, F12, Ctrl+Alt+S and any other combination I found on the web. Nothing.

Any help, hint, suggestion, or even a plain "You're an idiot, you should have done this and that" is warmly welcome because as of now I think I have no more tools left to try.

Unfortunately I don't know the model of my motherboard and I didn't manage to find it. I browsed the Packard Bell site to find it out but it looks like there was a serial number printed on a sticker on the side of the chassis that now isn't there. As I said I'm no expert and I can't tell what model it is just by looking at it.

Thanks in advance and please forgive my ignorance and occasional English slips, this isn't my native language.