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Bug#236351: installation-reports bug

Package: installation-reports

Debian-installer-version: I believe it was the i386 100MB CD from http://www.debian.org/devel/debian-installer/, downloaded about 24 Feb 2004 uname -a: 2.4.22-1-386 (having already upgraded at this time, I don't have the other details)
Date: about 2 March 2004
Method: Booted off the CD; configured networking, dual-boot with WinXP, after base install reconfigured sources.list to point to unstable and dist-upgraded

Machine: Dell Optiplex GX270
Processor: 2.20 GHz Celeron
Memory: 256MB
Root Device: 40 GB IDE /dev/hda (brand/model unknown)
Root Size/partition table:
Disk /dev/hda: 41.1 GB, 41110142976 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 4998 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

  Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/hda1   *           1        2550    20482843+   7  HPFS/NTFS WinXP
/dev/hda2            2551        4998    19663560    5  Extended
/dev/hda5 2551 3766 9767488+ c W95 FAT32 (LBA) /dos (for sharing between the two OSes)
/dev/hda6            3767        3790      192748+  83  Linux /
/dev/hda7            3791        3814      192748+  83  Linux /boot
/dev/hda8            3815        4179     2931831   83  Linux /usr
/dev/hda9            4180        4270      730926   83  Linux /var
/dev/hda10           4271        4732     3710983+  83  Linux /home
/dev/hda11           4733        4856      995998+  83  Linux /tmp
/dev/hda12           4857        4998     1140583+  82  Linux swap

Output of lspci:

00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corp. 82865G/PE/P Processor to I/O Controller (rev 02) 00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corp. 82865G Integrated Graphics Device (rev 02)
00:1d.0 USB Controller: Intel Corp. 82801EB USB (rev 02)
00:1d.1 USB Controller: Intel Corp. 82801EB USB (rev 02)
00:1d.2 USB Controller: Intel Corp. 82801EB USB (rev 02)
00:1d.3 USB Controller: Intel Corp. 82801EB USB (rev 02)
00:1d.7 USB Controller: Intel Corp. 82801EB USB2 (rev 02)
00:1e.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corp. 82801BA/CA/DB/EB PCI Bridge (rev c2)
00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corp. 82801EB LPC Interface Controller (rev 02)
00:1f.1 IDE interface: Intel Corp. 82801EB Ultra ATA Storage Controller (rev 02) 00:1f.2 IDE interface: Intel Corp. 82801EB Ultra ATA Storage Controller (rev 02)
00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corp. 82801EB SMBus Controller (rev 02)
00:1f.5 Multimedia audio controller: Intel Corp. 82801EB AC'97 Audio Controller (rev 02) 01:0c.0 Ethernet controller: Intel Corp. 82540EM Gigabit Ethernet Controller (rev 02)
Base System Installation Checklist:

Initial boot worked:    [O]
Configure network HW:   [O]
Config network:         [O]
Detect CD:              [O]
Load installer modules: [O]
Detect hard drives:     [O]
Partition hard drives:  [O]
Create file systems:    [O]
Mount partitions:       [E]
Install base system:    [O]
Install boot loader:    [E]
Reboot:                 [O]
[O] = OK, [E] = Error (please elaborate below), [ ] = didn't try it


First, apologies for not taking better notes/remembering better/having this form in front of me when I did the install.

Second . . .

When mounting partitions, after I mounted the FAT32 partition on /dos, the swap partition was listed as already mounted. I don't remember the exact details, but it seems that I had to unmount swap and then remount, or maybe do the same to the /dos partition.

When it came time to install the boot loader, it did not offer me a chance to dual-boot, nor did it include the WinXP boot capability; I had to manually fix that later (which for me wasn't a problem, but for a newbie it would've been).

In the "Configure and Mount Partitions" screen, I was surprised to see that the nomenclature had changed from something like "/dev/hda" to "/dev/ide/host0/bus0/target-/lun0/part1". A help screen with what this terminology means, how it relates to the older terminology, and why the change, would go a long way toward making the installation friendlier.

When deciding on the type of file system to use (ext2, reiser, etc), it would be very helpful to have a help screen with a brief explanation of the different types, pros and cons, when I might want to use this vs that, should I mix types, etc.

I really like the "Go Back" button on several of the screens.

On the partitioning screen, it was not clear that some of my partitions would not be overwritten/reformatted; it would be very helpful if the screen marked such partitions with something like "won't be touched" or "leave as is", etc.

During the initialization, there needs to be some feedback; once I hit the "continue" button (or whatever it was), the next minute or few the computer just sat there, and I had no idea if the installation had hung, or if the partitions were being initialized, or what. If I had been the impatient type, especially a newbie coming from the world of Windows where reboots are expected, I might would've hit the reset button to "recover from the freeze-up".

I made a note about "what if I don't want to" in relation to installing LILO onto the hard disk. I don't remember the details, but I suspect I wasn't given a choice about installing LILO. That choice needs to be offered.

I have another note about "what does this long string mean '/dev/ide/host0.../disc'". I suspect that's another suggestion to have a help screen explaining the new nomenclature for dealing with drives.

Overall, the installer has a lot of promise, but the whole reason for it (as I understand it), is to make the process friendlier. In that vein, I offer the above comments.


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