1. To preserve the "original" load on the laptop I found that the commercial products such as Partition manager, Partition magic etc. while a bit expensive for a one time use ($50 - $80). will save you many hours of grief. Even after defragmenting the NTFS drive I could not shrink the partition due to files located near the end of the partition. Partition Manager handled moving the files and shrinking the partition.
2. Disable Legacy USB support or use USB / PS2 keyboard and mouse for the initial load. RH 9.0 would not run with the laptop when booted from the CD. However it ran fine once installed. This turned out to be an issue with Legacy USB enabled in the BIOS.
3. PCMCIA support is extremely iffy. I had to disable this to get the install to fully boot. I have not resolved this issue completely.
4. The install configuration of the XFree86 did not work. The configurator could not figure out what type of display I had, and my guess was incorrect. I ended up using "XFree86 -configure" to generate a XF86Config.new file to replace the one generated by the install. The "settings" display incorrect information but the screen works great. I am running 1152x864x16bit ( I think) even thought the settings say 800x600x256 colors.
I am still playing with some of the settings and setup but I now have a functional dual boot laptop. (RH 9.0 and WXP Pro).
For those who may have missed this info:
Laptop HP ZE4400 BTO (Build to order)
20 GB hard drive
ATI Radeon UI display adapter
15" SXGA 1152x864 native resolution
3.5" floppy installed
Athlon XP 2400+ ( checks out at 1.8ghz)
WXP Pro original install with a bunch of Windows apps ( most have been removed)