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[K12OSN] Back again

Hello! <warning - frustrated newbie>

I hope I have addressed this to the proper list - this is not an LTSP question. It is a Redhat installation question of the simplest nature. If not, can you tell me which list is best for this?

---history begins---
I tried to play with RH a couple of years ago and found it too frustrating for my apparently walnut-sized brain. Now I am a couple years older and supposed to be a wee bit wiser. But here I am again and can't seem to do the easiest of things... I must be an idiot. Anyways...

I have a RH7 shrinkwrap CD set that I bought over a year ago and haven't played with. I installed it on an HP Vectra (P2-266 with 64MB Ram). It ran OK but I had the network settings goofed up (could find the DHCP server) and so I played with network settings in GNOME. Then I made some hardware changes (swapped out the RAM for a 128 MB RAM chip and pulled a SCSI card out). All of a sudden lpd couldn't find 'red1', GNOME won't start, takes forever to startup, and whatever. I wasn't taking notes so I can't tell you all what went wrong.
--history over---

So, hey, I'm pretty smart. I'll just reinstall it. No dice. The BIOS has the boot order to be:
     removable --> CD --> HD
No matter what I do, it boots to the hard disk effectively making it so that I cannot reinstall the software. At the first appearance of the command line it suggests I enter "linux <paramas>" which I do. Doesn't seem to matter. The graphical interface never materializes after I log in as root and enter startx at the prompt. I can have a command line session I suppose but have no idea where to turn.

Should I repair somehow? How can I get it to boot properly? Am I just too thick headed to do Linux?


"It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers." 
  --James Thurber

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