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AMD64 Install (failure) report

Processor/Mobo:  Athlon64 3800 Venice; ASUS A8N-SLI Premium
IDE0 -- LiteOn DVD-ROM, WD 1200JB 120GB
IDE1 -- WD 1200JB 120GB, WD 800JB 80GB
SATA0 -- WD 2500KS 250GB
PCI-E:  nVidia 6800GS 256MB
PCI:  Creative SB Live 5.1

Install source:  Etch Netinstall CD image dated 2006/01/11.  A few weeks
old, but I've successfully used it several times to install on this same
machine, with the same hardware, as practice / just screwing around.

First half of the install went fine.  Problem #1 came on the reboot --
the Grub menu came up fine, but booting the kernel failed with an
error 17.  This I had to solve by going to the Grub command line.
The problem ended up being that when menu.lst was written and Grub
was installed, the SATA drive (on which the operating system was
installed) was identified as (hd3) (the three IDE drives got (hd0)
through (hd2)), so the "root" line in Grub's menu.lst identified the
root partition as (hd3,0).  However, when actually run during the
reboot, the SATA drive got associated with (hd0), with the IDE
drives going to (hd1) through (hd3).  So I had to specify root,
kernel and initrd by hand from the command line.  Booting then

Problem #2 was a showstopper:  during the second half of the install,
after using what looks like the current incarnation of tasksel to pick
stuff to install, I got configuration questions about those packages
(e.g. exim configuration stuff).  Then, at the point where it'd
presumably start installing and configuring all the packages it had
fetched, my screen flooded with a zillion instances of:

/bin/sh: /usr/sbin/termwrap: No such file or directory
/bin/sh: line 0: exec: /usr/sbin/termwrap: cannot execute: No such file or directory

followed by one instance of:
INIT: Id "1" respawning too fast: disabled for 5 minutes.

after which the console just sat there.

>From inspecting my mirror (debian.csail.mit.edu), the package
base-config appears to have gone weird around January 1.  There
are two versions on the mirror; 2.73 has a 251k .deb file which
includes /usr/sbin/termwrap, while 2.76 has a 41k .deb which
does not (and which is also missing lots of other stuff in the
2.73 file).

So maybe after rebooting into the system to finish the install,
"updated" versions of packages installed from the netinstall CD
are fetched, and that one is broken?  But then how was I able to
install successfully previous times since January 11?  Maybe
some other package's install script calls termwrap, and isn't
supposed to anymore?

Advice on how to proceed with install much appreciated.


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