Reading huggy's links to learn a bit about Linux I came to the conclusion the trouble might be here.
I bought a box of decent CDROMS and reburnt the ISO files at half speed. Lo and behold the installation went surprisingly well and enjoyed having a play around for 1/2 an hour.(mind you I'm using win for this:).
My apologies to the Linux community for what I said and thanks to huggy and Woodchip for their guidance.
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