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Re: Getting amd64 stretch netinstall to work.

On Thu, Apr 04, 2019 at 10:39:19AM -0400, Gene Heskett wrote:
> I am  today, going to make my 6th attempt to make the stretch netinstall 
> work.
> I think I have sussed the failure mode, which seems to be that by the 
> time its finslly gets around to installing grub, its too far into the 
> diksk for the dumb bios on this old Asus mobo to find it, so this time I 
> am going to add a /boot as first partition. At 2 or 3 hundred megs.

Are you trying to install the boot loader portion of grub to a PARTITION?
Instead of to the front of a DISK?

The boot loader part of GRUB goes in the first bytes of the disk.  That's
where the BIOS reads it from, and then executes it.

That boot loader portion then looks for its configuration file in your
Debian /boot partition, which can be anywhere on the disk.

Or at least, that's how things work in legacy BIOS.  (U)EFI is a different
story.  Since you claim this is an "old" machine and even used the word
"bios", I assume you're using legacy BIOS and MBR (not GPT) disklabels.

When you partition a disk with an MBR disklabel, you leave a small gap
at the front of the disk for the boot loader and partition table.  They
go into that unpartitioned space.

The Debian installer already handles all of this for you, even in manual
partitioning mode (which is what I always use).  I can't even guess how
you've failed this process 5 times, unless it's because you keep putting
GRUB in the wrong place.