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Potato install fails to load ROOT image

I'm trying to install potato from floppies (onto a laptop that doesn't
have a CD drive). 100% reliably and repeatably, I get the following
messages when I insert the ROOT floppy:

end_request: I/O error, dev 02:00 (floppy), sector 799
end_request: I/O error, dev 02:00 (floppy), sector 799
invalid compressed format (err=1)<5>VFS: Insert root floppy and press

(pressing enter at this point appears to try to mount the disk as the
root filesystem itself, rather than copying it to the ramdisk, so I get
a bunch of other error messages which I can transcribe if it helps...)

I've obtained this exact same error across 3 different root floppies
(the third one I actually re-downloaded the image, to make sure) and two
different rescue floppies. I'm out of ideas. Anyone?

Please CC: either me or debian-user on replies, I'm not subscribed to

Thanks very much in advance,


PS in case it helps, I'm trying to install on an AST Ascentia 800N
laptop, which is Intel 486(SX I think)-based. The floppies I'm using are
the basic 1.44 rescue.bin, root.bin and drivers-[1-3].bin, as linked
http://www.debian.org/releases/stable/i386/ch-install-methods.en.html .

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