Yes, I did mean try different distros. There are so many possible combinations of hardware and software, LiveCD's are great tools for quick and dirty testing.
Of course, realize that LiveCD's do have many limitations. 256 MB of RAM is not enough for some. It is not fair to compare, say Puppy to Knoppix. Additionally, if there is a problem with the hard drive, it will not become apparent until you permanently install the system.
VL Std. and SOHO share so much of the same underpinnings, chances are that if there is a hardware driver problem, it will be present in both. Other good candidates would be Slax, DSL, Puppy, PCLOS, Mepis.