No, it's not the cable.  The cable works just fine, which is why I
_am_ able to make it all the way down until late in the Stage 3 boot,
*and* also why I _acn_m get all of the way down to the install menu
(while using the same drive & cable) when I boot from an old 6.1-RELEASE
install disk.

I have also now checked that it isn't a problem with the CD ROM drive.
I _was_ able to boot and get all of the way own to the install menu
using the exact same CD _and_ the exact same CD ROM drive on a
different Athlon XP based system that I have.

So it seems clear to me that the problem is that 7.0-RELEASE just
doesn't get along with the motherboard and/or chipset that happens
to be in this one particular system.  (Again, the motherboard is
an ASUS A7N266-VM/AA  I don't know offhand what chipset that has
on it, but I do know that it has intergrated on-board graphics.)

Lookie here!  I'm apparently not the only one who has gotten this
exact same problem, also with an Athlon XP 2000:

  http://www.mail-archive.com/freebsd-questions@freebsd.org/msg190114.html

Hummm... yea.  OK.  This is definitely NOT just me having this problem:

   http://www.freebsd.org/cgi/query-pr.cgi?pr=113160

Seems that the real problem may have nothing at all to do with the READ_BIG
errors on the CD ROM drive just prior to the point where the mountroot>
prompt comes up.  There is a whole 'nother problem that I was being distracted
from by those CD read errors (which are apparenntly recoverable... at least
as shown by a different Athlon system I have where I _can_ get to the 7.0
Install menu).

Sigh.  So I guess I'll have to file a real PR on this because the suggested
"fix" for PR 113160 simply won't work for me... the BIOS on this particular
ASUS motherboard has been "customized" by ASUS and it provides no way to
disable the 15M-16M memory hole.  :-(  Major bummer.

Regards,
rfg

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