It is an old Pentium 3 MMX 300 MHz, 4GB hard drive, CDROM reader, AB-BH6 (Abit?) motherboard, 256 KB RAM.
Since posting my message, I have found some advice elsewhere on this problem, but it does not work for me. I have tried:
disable acpi from the bios
set plugNplay OS = no
and disable APM
then run install disk, but enter "garbage" at the prompt
and after being returned enter
"linux acpi=off nofb"
Still my system hangs at the same spot.