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Re: Getting amd64 stretch netinstall to work.

On Thursday 04 April 2019 12:29:33 Charlie Kravetz wrote:

> On Thu, 4 Apr 2019 11:09:13 -0400
> Gene Heskett <gheskett@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> >On Thursday 04 April 2019 10:55:23 Greg Wooledge wrote:
> >> 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.
> I wonder if that long delay is while it is fscking the hard drive? It
> can take quite a while with a drive that big.

My QC drive cage has activity LED's, There was none. 
> >> Are you trying to install the boot loader portion of grub to a
> >> PARTITION? Instead of to the front of a DISK?
> >>
That has been adequately explained  previously.

> >> 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.

Only if that first 500 megs hasn't been used for something else, in this 
case the fix was to partition 300 megs as boot so this dumbassed bios 
could find it.

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

Not with this math crippled bios bearing a 2006 copyright. It MUST be 
wholly within the first couple hundred megabytes of the beginning of the 
disk or it can't find it, and it is the most recent bios available for 
an Asus M2N-SLI Deluxe motherboard, version 1701.

> >> 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.
> >
> >Yes.
> >
> >> 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.

No. Without a /boot partition, just a directory entry, the installer is 
free to use that empty space, and the file system WILL use the available 
space for other things. This puts all the grub stuff, installed as the 
last thing the installer does, way too far into the disk for old bios's 
to find.  Your version of a "legacy" bios is a snapshot taken a month 
before UEFI became the M$ dictatorial law. I go back another 40 years 
into the '70's. I go back far enough I've dragged management into my 
office to show them how a computer should work, running os9 on a trs-80 
color computer, multiuser, multitasking, when they were still running 
dos-2.1 on their 8086 boxes on their $2600 desks.

But no one ever got fired for buying I've Been Moved boxes...

Once in a while, the old man is right.

> >In the mbr, like it wants to. On the reboot if it ever touches the
> > disk, the led blink is too fast to see, all I see on screen after
> > post is a blinking cursor at the upper left corner. I'd give it a
> > while to e2fsck the drive, but theres zero drive activity.
> >
> >Cheers, Gene Heskett

Cheers, Gene Heskett
"There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty:
 soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order."
-Ed Howdershelt (Author)
Genes Web page <http://geneslinuxbox.net:6309/gene>