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Re: Getting amd64 stretch netinstall to work.

On 4/4/19 7:39 AM, Gene Heskett wrote:
Greetings all

I am  today, going to make my 6th attempt to make the stretch netinstall

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.

And I'd like to do this with gparted in such a way as to skip the
partitioning. I don't care if it formats the partitions I give it. But I
do NOT want them futzt with. I've even had your partitioner rearrange
the partitions/ putting a /boot partition 300G's into a 1T drive,
although that was with a previous version.  So I'm hoping it won't do
that ever again.

So how _exactly_ do I make the installer take what it finds, format it,
and just get on with it?

Cheers, Gene Heskett

Answer:  You must tell the installer _exactly_ what to do.

I always use the d-i in text mode, not GUI mode, to avoid potential problems with X windows. I recommend you do the same.

The d-i defaults to the MBR partitioning scheme. This is what I want, because my older computers do not know how to boot from GPT and my newer Wintel computers boot from both MBR and GPT (MacBook Pro only boots from GPT?). Furthermore, I use small system discs (16+ GB), which do not require GPT. I recommend you do the same on both accounts -- use small system discs and use the MBR partitioning scheme.

While I have tried d-i automatic partitioning occasionally over the years to see what it does, I always manually partition system discs I plan to keep. I recommend you do the same.

Begin by choosing a computer, disconnecting all HDD's, SSD's, USB drives, SD drives, etc., and connecting the drive you want to contain Debian to the motherboard's first SATA port or first USB port. Boot the d-i media. At the main menu, choose "Install". Work your way through the d-i pages. When you get to the "Partitioning method" page, choose "manual". The manual partitioning sub-application has many available choices. Actions are in the upper area, discs and partitions are in the lower area. Depending upon what you select, the sub-app will present you with more choices. I learned to use this sub-app the old-fashioned way -- by fumbling my way through, exploring, making mistakes, fixing them, etc.. Understand that some actions (such as encrypting a partition) make one-way changes to how the sub-app operates. If and when I get stuck with the sub-app, I can always push the reset or power buttons and start over with fresh run of d-i. The partitioning sub-app starts to make sense fairly quickly, and is faster/ easier/ less error-prone than using the recovery shell. With your knowledge and experience, I am sure you can figure out the manual partitioning sub-app too. You will then have a system disc partitioned exactly how you want it.

When you're done setting up you system disc, take an image of it.

Then connect the 2 TB disc and set it up for your bulk data and large apps.

(When you are confident with the d-i manual partitioning sub-app, you can do both the system disk and your data disk(s) at install time.)