First issue, booting from the CD (?) and continuing from HDD requires you to know where you installed to. The default install is to "/dev/sda1", but it could be different. If you're sure you got that entry right, then the installation is corrupt.Reasonably sure, but to be clear, it does do a lot of stuff before the error message...
It would not be unusual for an old optical drive to not work reliably all the time. A fingerprint on the disc can be enough to confuse it.
It's a USB stick: this one doesn't have an optical drive. I think I'll try redoing the image next.
I'm not familiar with the technical term "petunia", but I assume you installed using the text installer, by typing "install" on the first screen?Petunia in this instance means bizarre and colourful, but the term has wider usage.
I tried "install32" on the assumption that that was for a 32 bit machine, but that's now giving the error message.
If I type "install", then it runs an installer with the results as discussed...
The installer needs at least 256M of RAM and 4G of hard drive space, are those specs met?That much and more!