I've tried a live USB with Ubuntu 12.04.1 (both i386 and AMD 64-bit) as well as 11.10, as well as Ubuntu 10.04 on a DVD and Fedora 17 on a live USB. In all cases, selecting the option to boot into Ubuntu or install Ubuntu causes the machine to lock up in various places (for example, in a couple of cases the screen just blanks out after I select to try Ubuntu, and in another case a checklist that has some items like SATA 0:0:0:0 shows up and freezes before it would successfully boot to the home screen).
The machine does successfully boot into Windows (I've tried this on two separate E31's, one of which was straight out the box, and I still haven't gone through the out of box experience with). I've verified at least a few of these options on my older laptop to check that I correctly created the live boot media.
The closest to success I came was using the overnight build of Ubuntu, which successfully came up, but with severely mangled graphics.
Do I have any remaining options to try to install linux on an E31?