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Re: Debian Won't Install! (System Locks Up)

On Wednesday 12 December 2001 07:40 pm, Chris Tillman wrote:

> Just a thought: does it always bomb using the down arrow
> key? What about the page-down key? Maybe you can edge
> around it. Although of course the reason should be
> figured out and corrected, somehow.

Ah, yes--I've had a long time to try and think of stuff 
like this...and I've tried EVERYTHING--I've counted the 
number of entries in the lists and wrote them down, so that 
I don't try and scroll one more than there are entries in 
the list (this seemed to work, sometimes, and at others, it 
did not matter), I've tried the down-arrow key, the 
page-up/page-down keys, I've considered ways to enable the 
mouse during the install, I've queried the debian-user list 
many times about this, trying to figure out a way to 
install Debian w/o the install program (there were ideas 
about this, but they proved to be beyond my capacity to 
perform, I have still more to learn). I have re-booted the 
installation program over & over & over again, trying to 
figure out a way to do everything JUST RIGHT, so that I can 
get at least a little further, (so that I can see the next 
list, and write down what I need to do for that list so 
that I can do only the bare minimum necessary the NEXT 
time! :-)

I want Debian.  There must be a way to do this...

> > So, I just received my CD-ROMs containing WOODY. 
> > However, I STILL CANNOT INSTALL!  What is going on?
> I don't think Woody CDs are available yet.

True--this is a very current pre-release snapshot, as you 

> I think what
> people meant was downloading the Woody installer over the
> network (links are in the installation manual (see my
> sig).

YEP--I've tried to do this; I have tried it with Potato, 
and with Woody; I've tried it in every way possible--as a 
full-on HD install (download EVERYTHING, and go from 
there), or by downloading according to the installation 
manual, and doing a network install, (booting from a floppy 
in the process), and also making all the other floppies 
that one needs (the ones that are usually just run from the 
hard drive), I physically created the floppies, thinking 
that perhaps doing it that way would work.  I have tried to 
make sure that I had the VERY LATEST versions of the floppy 
disks.  I never tried to create my own CD-ROMs, since I 
don't have burner.  But, I have purchased the CD's now, 
twice, (once Potato, and once Woody): and from a someone 
who makes a contribution to the Debian project, both times! 
('Computer-Help Guy' in Canada).

> The woody installation packages will amount to
> about 5M, you configure the network within the installer
> and then it downloads the rest of the basic system (~30M)
> itself.

Tried, many, many times; I was trying to avoid having to 
purchase the CD's again.  Finally got tired of setting 
everything up, and went and got the CD's, because even in 
the Woody installation manual, every chance they get, they 
insist on telling you to "get the CD's!  It's EASIER! We're 

> Woody is not released yet, so if you got Woody
> CDs they were a pre-release snapshot.


> > If there are alternative ways to install Debian from
> > the CD-ROM (automatic, for instance), then I would like
> > to hear about any & all alternatives; because I figure
> > that once it is installed, the problem will go
> > away--after all, Debian IS simply Linux, and I am using
> > Linux right now!  :-)
> The next release (after woody) will have this capability.
> There is an experimental version now, I think it's been
> mentioned on debian-boot. The problem, and the reason it
> hasn't been done before now, is that it's difficult if
> not impossible to correctly anticipate or detect all the
> different kinds of hardware out there in order to make
> the right installation choices. Thus far Debian
> installation has depended greatly on the computer between
> the ears to make its job easier.

OK, well, how did people USED TO INSTALL Linux, before 
there were all these cutesy little install routines?  
Perhaps I can: format the drive, copy a bunch of files over 
there, unpack the packages myself, and etc. etc. etc. (It's 
the "etc. etc. etc." that I am having doubts about... ;-)

At first I just sorta jumped into trying to install Debian; 
I figured it shouldn't be any more difficult than the other 
Linux-es that I have installed; especially since I already 
have all the stuff I need to know about this computer 
written down fully, in logbooks that I have kept from the 
previous OSes & distros.

But then, when I hit problems, I began READING.  And I have 
read all over the website, and the installation manuals, 
and I have been subscribed to the Debian-user list, AND the 
Red Hat "Seawolf" list (since that is the distro I am 
using), but I've kept with Debian, reading, trying to 
learn, and to figure out what I am doing wrong.

Hopefully somebody will recognize the problem I am having, 
and know what is causing it, and be able to tell me what to 
do about, or if I need a new motherboard, or video card, or 
Debian hates Logitech mice, or whatever!

The screen sometimes will give a quick "flicker", and if it 
does, then sometimes I know that I am locked up.  It Will 
be when I am going through a list, or when I am trying to 
hit "left-alt-F2" to see the other tty screen (I know not 
to do that, anymore! ;-)  The flicker SOMETIMES will leave 
a blank line on the screen, (since the background of the 
install routine is grey).  The blank (black) line will be 
horizontal, and either in the middle of the screen, on the 
very line after the last position of the cursor--or it will 
be at the bottom, scrolling the screen up by one line.  At 
these times, apparently there is a carriage-return+linefeed 
issued before everything stalls.

More often, though, there is no evidence at all that 
anything has happened, except that I cannot go any 
further--I cannot do control-alt-delete, or 
control-alt-backspace, or control-alt-F2 or -F3 or 
whatever...I can only power down & then back up to reboot.

Thanks in advance for any ideas,

--Mark Seven Smith

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