Finally! managed to get the baby running after fiddling with many configurations..
So here' s what went right and wrong..
As in last post WSeB went nuts with default install process.
But fortunately COMMAND Prompt (F2) was visible. At there I rem'ed out drivers hoping it would guide me further.
While trying to rem out the unnecessary parts, i found that WSeB would install via int13h driver, and tried to load AHA U2W driver, instead of the built in COMPAQ array.
I got the OS/2 support disk from COMPAQ(HP) and installed the devices from there. CPQARRAY.ADD. That went a bit further, but would not stop the trapping issues. REMming out the I2O also did help a bit, but still i'd get the trap.
I disassembled the unit, tried to play with the cache accelerator unit, and there it hit me, "F2 CMD loads fine, but straight boot fails. Only noticable difference is that straight boot tried to load the OS2APIC.PSD file. what about the APIC/MPT stuff.." and searched around the site to look for the PSD file for SMP.
HP has a PSD file dated for 2002, which was more recent than the one shipped with WSeB. Did a new round of install, with the PSD from COMAPQ, and now it installs, and runs like a charm!
Updatd the CPQARRAY.ADD, removed all unused devices and hey, it feels like a Ghz system with 8 550XEON running.
So my story ends here.