I have tried to install Ubuntu and ArchLinux on the machine and the installation went fine but the boot process fails with both system. In the case of Arch the boot doesn't even start. In the case of Ubuntu the boot either stuck on grub rescue console after a message of ``out of disk'' or grub is loaded but I can't load the system (stuck on kernel load for a huge period of time and finally reload grub menu). is the farthest I have gotten. I also tried Slax (which froze during loading) and XBMC Live (which froze as well).
I have a machine very similar to this. The main differences are: larger 320GB HD made by Toshiba with S.M.A.R.T technology and 1GB of memory.