Hi, I'm trying to install FreeBSD 5.1-RELEASE on an older IBM thinkpad
770 laptop.  This is a Pentium-233 MHz vintage model, with 256MB RAM.  I
chose 5.1 because I have a Cardbus 3com 575 Ethernet apaptor and it
looks like there's no support for Cardbus at all in -stable.

So I boot the laptop from the 5.1-RELEASE mini CD-ROM, and a buch of
messages scroll by.  Before I can read them I'm in the blue sysinstall
screen, so I have no way of really reading what the kernel said.  I was
able to catch more than a few "unable to map IRQ" lines or something
like that.

Anyway, my Ethernet card is not activated, so I can't use it to
install.  If I choose to install from the CDROM all goes fine and it
says it's copying the base files into /.  But somewhere in the middle of
this process the CDROM will just "hang."  The activity LED goes on solid
and the installer program just times out trying to read any more from
the disk.  After a while it pops up an error about "Unable to read, do I
want to retry?"  But it really doesn't matter what I do at this point,
it seems the CDROM interface is totally borked until I reset the system.

So, it's apparent to me that there's probably some kernel settings that
I need to mess with.  Either I need to get the Ethernet card recognised,
or I need to figure out why this CDROM just hangs all of a sudden.  I
have tried re-burning the CD-R at a slower speed, this had no effect. 
I'm pretty sure that the CDROM is fine, as I've installed other
operating systems without any problem.

I've read the FreeBSD handbook, but it talks about this whole kernel
config process that I never see.  There's one line in there about how
this is deprecated in -current in favor of the "device.hints" method. 
However, the documentation on how to use this method is non-existant. 
What exactly am I supposed to set?  I've looked at the manpage of the xl
driver that this card uses, and it says nothing about hints.  I managed
to get into the loader command line interface, but I have no idea what
commands I need to use or options I need to set.  And I can't read the
boot messages because they scroll off the screen.  In linux I would just
use ctrl-alt-Fn and switch to a different virtual terminal and then use
shift-pageup to read the messages, but I haven't found a way to do this
in FreeBSD.

Any ideas?

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