Ok... googled and googled and came up with three "solutions":
Deleting the ntfs partition, restoring the bios defaults, and erasing the mbr using dd.
Windows apparently has a hard time with Linux mbr.... damn.
Still doesn't work. Oh, well. Restored the MBR with a VL install cd.
My problem now is when restoring the BIOS to the defaults, the CPU fan does not move from a (more or less) constant speed. Even if the cpus are being stressed.
To be fair, I welcome the silence and the temps do not seem much hotter. Perhaps up to 5 degrees more in the cores (using coretemp) than before.
Still, it's awful... what if it heats too much?
Now, I cannot find any BIOS setting to change the fan speed or control.... ARGHHH!
Besides telling me I'm a jerk for doing really dangerous things, messing with my BIOS, and using dd as root in the machine where I do all my work.
(reminds me of my DOS days, in which I would do anything and everything to my computer.... difference being, now I actually have real work there).