I have a laptop from work which runs a locked down XP and work rules preclude installing anything on it anyway. It would be nice to run what I want from a USB key. From your recent roundup Damn Small Linux looks good.
I have downloaded and burnt two CD images dsl-1.2.iso, dsl-1.2-syslinux.iso.
Both CDs are bootable and contain KNOPPIX, lost+found and index.html files and folders. One also has a boot folder.
If I boot off the CD with the boot folder then no matter what options I select I see the start of the kernel loading (2.4.26) and then the screen goes blank and the machine locks solid. Power off/on and repeat.
The second CD fails in a similar way except that the failsafe option works. However the failsafe option disables useful things like USB support (see 'background').
I looked in the boot older and found an isolinux folder containing (amongs other files) isolinux.cfg. This appeared to include the options used for a failsafe boot (nousb nofirewire noagp, etc.) so I tried that with the other CD but it always locked up. (I thought I could start with a successful boot and then remove options until I isolated the problem and had USB working).
For reference Knoppix 3.8.2 runs vanilla straight from the CD (but is a bit big for my USB key).
I have looked in linux-laptops.org but I haven't found anything relevant so I am open to any ideas (or alternatives) so that I can install linux on a USB key and run it on this machine with support for ethernet, wireless and as much else as is possible.
Thanks for any advice.