I'd compile 2.2 and 2.4 kernels with most conservative settings,
put them on a diskettes and try at several PCs.
No, not a full Linux, just a kernel.
That way you can collect some data as to which PCs do
not like 2.4
Also you can stick debugging in the early boot stages
If you have/can install DOS, you may use this bootloader
for debugging. It is small and source is easy to understand
You need *devel.tar* file only if you don't have Borland C,
otherwise take much smaller linld095.tar.bz2
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