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Question about boot up, legacy (P90) machine

Help with building on a fairly old architecture needed-
Here's the configuration, 

P90 (pentium, not pentium pro or II)
Number Nine motion 971
96mb SIMM 60ns
Dell chassis, normal vertical PC, not form factor LTX.
the PCI slots and the ISA slots interspersed 4/3 fashion.

The box ran linux for two years with this same hardware build, but when I've
tried to load BSD here's what I get:

with 4.1 kern.lp / mfsroot.flp  -

kernel panic, having to do with PCI bus mastering enabled
but not supported.   I took some time to try command line
configuration, and had no luck with disabling PCI, if indeed
thats whats called for.  Also, this kernel had no module
3C509, it had some much more (imho) obscure 3Com's, like
the 3c507 .. for ISA .. but good ol ep0 was nowhere to be found.

Ok so I wanted to load 2.2.8 but couldn't locate boot images.
Settled for 3.5.1 and this happened instead:

/mfsroot not found

These were with 3.5.1 images from a FreeBSD archive mirror, fdimage.exe was used
.. I then attempted /kernel and some other guesses but no luck, as was a second
3.5.1 floppy attempted for mfsroot.flp, also with no luck.  It *would* load a
4.1 mfsroot.flp, but of course as expected that ran into issues later on in the
boot up sequence, I mainly was seeing if /mfsroot was the issue with 3.5.1 and
apparently it was.

The move to 3.5.1 instead of 4.1 was in order to get ep0 back for the ISA bus,
and to hopefully have an earlier kernel which wasn't falling into this panic
that 4.1 always gives with this computer.

Any guess or sage wisdom?  I've skimmed the easily findable references and
own the FreeBSD book (with 3.2 boot media, alas this computer 
with no bootable CD-ROM .. and anyway I really wanted to build 
it off the net rather than stale CDR's .. 


-Dave Dennis
Seattle, WA