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Bug#357704: Floppy install does not configure boot dir and grub correctly

Hi Christian,

thanks for your email reply. i have some more detailed info for you, based on a third installation attempt following your advice.

i re-ran the same installation on the same box and diskettes as before, and took careful notes at step 16, the 'install grub boot loader' step.

step 16 said that it had detected a list of OS's on my computer. but the list showed only one entry, 'Debian GNU/Linux (testing/unstable), which could refer to my existing hda3 'testing' OS or my newly installed hda4 'testing' OS. the entry in the list shows no device info, so i cannot tell whether it refers to hda3 or hda4.

(it would be good to see device info because, if there are multiple installations of the same debian release on the same box, you could tell which is which.)

then step 16 said that, if the list is complete (which it is not), it should be safe to install the boot loader to the MBR of the first harddrive. step 16 offered the default of 'install to MBR', but i did not choose this default because the list was not complete. i chose 'no', hoping to find a menu which would re-scan hda for OS's and choose again. but step 16 presented me only with some examples of how to enter the boot device. so i entered '/dev/hda' (which, i think, is the same as its default anyway), then step 16 installed the boot loader to hda.

finally, i completed the remaining steps and rebooted. grub started with only one choice, hda3, my original 'testing' installation. so the outcome of this third installation attempt is the same as the first two, so i think that my steps and menu choices were correct.

my analysis: i think that the initial problem is that the OS list is not correct. the install script does not detect all of the OS's on hda. in my case, there should be 3 OSs:

hda1 // windows
hda2 // linux swap
hda3 // existing working debian 'testing' (still working well, i am using it now as i type)
hda4 // newly installed 'testing' which i am trying to install

since the OS list is not correct, all of the script logic that follows does not have the correct input to configure grub and the grub boot menu correctly.

for more information, i also mounted hda on /mnt/tmp to have a look. again, the app software was installed, but hda4/boot is empty, except for the grub subdirectory and files. there is no kernel image stuff in hda4/boot (i am comparing it to /hda3/boot, which has vmlinuz, config, initrd, system.map, and all that stuff for booting the kernel.)

anyway, i hope this info is useful. let me know if you would like more info.

On Sun, 2006-03-19 at 08:37 +0100, Christian Perrier wrote:
(third try as the stupid RBL and so-called "ant-spam system" used by
your ISP blocked my first answer....please use a real ISP)

Quoting Anthony Merhi (anthony.merhi@verizon.net):
> Package: installation-reports
> -> 
> -> If you don't mind, please don't put my e-mail address on the web.
> -> 

The Debian BTS has a web interface. So I'm afraid that reporting this
bug already exposes your mail address.

I'm alays puzzled by people wanting to hide their mail address. Do you
really want to communicate? :-)

> I booted boot.img in expert mode, mounted root.img, loaded
> net-drivers.img for the SiS900, configured static IP, then downloaded
> the rest from a mirror without a problem.
> I chose Standard System and Desktop/Workstation for software.
> However, while the app software was installed to the correct partition
> (hda4), the OS was not installed, and grub did not add hda4 as a menu
> choice.

You don't explain us what you exactly did at the GRUB installation
step. Did you leave the default choices or did you something weird
like asking to install GRUB on hda4?

If you did the latter, then what you see is expected....the
grub-installer did not touch the GRUB install on the MBR, which is
still the one you see booting. This GRUB points to /dev/hda3 as
root...which hasn't been touched by the installer and of course does
not offer hda4 as an option.

If you leave the *default* GRUB option to install on /dev/hda (ie the
MBR), then a new GRUB will be installed on the MBR and it will use
/dev/hda4 as root....and will offer the 3 choices, I guess.

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