Sorry about my very general "doesn't load right" language. I should have said it didn't load right on an HP Omnibook 900 and a 5 year old Compaq desktop. I will have to wait to give further details on the HP as it is now up in Canada with my girlfriend's son, not to return for a month. I have loaded it on other HP Omnibook 900s with no problem so I shouldn't have even brought that up as it is almost certainly some kind of a problem with the machine itself. In fact I am writing this on an Omnibook 900 running Vector 5.8 perfectly.
As to the Compaq though, my Mother's computer, I think I am right. It just wouldn't run right after loading. Way too slow. Nothing I could do. I finally replaced it with another computer and it ran fine. Don't know how better to describe it. I had the hard drive divided into three partitions as usual, one swap, one for Vector and programs, and other for data. Formatted with reiserfs. 1028 swap drive. 10g programs. 20+ data. Installed fine (or seemed to) but just took forever to load programs after the install. Programs worked fine after finally loading. No clue. Still have the machine so if anyone has ideas, great.
For some reason, I suspect the problem with both these machines was a formatting problem. I used to have directions on a way to use fdisk to completely rid the hard drive, including the master boot record, of all vestiges of windows but can't find them anymore.