Running FreeBSD 5.0 installer, I see a few messages along the lines of "configured IRQ 3 is not in bitmap of irqs" and then the following pair of lines:

ad0: READ command timeout tag=0 serv=0 - resetting
ata0: resetting devices ..

And then the system seems to jam, the drive light still on, and no further progress is made even after several minutes.

Solved it, thanks to the wisdom of the Web. A Google search and some luck led me to the nugget that disabling DMA mode for the IDE drive (and possibly disconnecting troublesome CD drives - but I didn't need to do that) would stop the boot jamming.

So I've successfully installed FreeBSD on one machine (with a CD drive) and run it on another (without).

Thank you to JJB and Joe for replying to me personally.
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