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Bug#385768: installation-reports: Failed to reboot x86 SCSI system

Christian Perrier a écrit :
>> This wasn't successful but I guess this is the old problem that we have with
>> Alcatel Speedtouch DSL modems with (at least) the first Debian Installer on
>> Debian Sarge. I might provide install reports dedicated to network configuration
>> later when I manage to reboot the machine with Etch Debian Installer.
> Is this a USB DSL modem ? These things usually need some firmware crap
> to be loaded and the installer currently doesn't support this for
> them. IIRC, there's a dedicated package for these modems so that
> mostly means that you should install the stuff after the general
> system install.

No this is not the USB DSL modem. This is the ethernet one. I realize
I should have been more precise on this after sending my report, sorry.

I already described the problem when testing Sarge installers :
and I guess the situation has not changed.

According to what was said on debian-boot@lists.debian.org in 2004, the
modem is faulty because it acts has a DHCP server, and is discover as
such by the Debian Installer, while it doesn't provide a route to the

The modem is supposed to be configurable enough through its web
interface, cf. http://forum.zebulon.fr/index.php?showtopic=88739
to be able to act as a true DHCP server. The main problem is that this
is not the shipping default and thus joe users simply think that
Debian cannot be installed on those ethernet modems. The other problem
is that many users fear a bit to break the configuration of their modem.
This is my case, I'm a bit reluctant to break my working connection :-\
But I will try to install another distribution such as Mandriva to test
how well it performs with this modem very present in France. This might
give us some hints.

Anyway as I said in 2004, I think that a little text part should be
added somewhere stating that the Alcatel Ethernet Speedtouch does not
work out of the box with Etch. I suggested that it should be in the
errata and it seems it was a wrong choice. So maybe the release notes
would be a better place.

>> 2. Reboot
>> This is the blocker for this install. When the machine reboots, the system says
>> that there isn't any SCSI bootable device. I provide below the grub-installer
>> trace just in case, but it seems everything is fine from here. Moreover
>> /dev/sdb1 is rightly marked as bootable in the partition table. I haven't any
>> idea on what's wrong. I have kept the SCSI disk on which this install was done
>> for any post-mortem examination. So if you need any logs, please just ask.
> What would help is as much as possible thigns from the boot messages.

As I said : "the system says that there isn't any SCSI bootable device".
The reboot doesn't go further, nothing is loaded, no little trace of a
first stage of GRUB or anything.

So I guess that the MBR wasn't written, as simple as that.

"grep -i mbr /var/log/installer/*" returns nothing in case of writing
to the mbr should be mentioned in the installer logs.

How could I check the content of the MBR of the disk ? What command
should I run ? Is it possible ?

I must say that I did the installation 5 times to be sure that I was
concentrated enough and not trying to do something more advanced with
the partitions like testing the LVM and encryption features :-) So this
present report is truly about the simplest default install of Debian
Etch that is :-)

And I should also say that the machine on which I'm trying this Etch
installer is a machine which has been successfully installed with
different Debian stable releases over the years (and not simply
APT updated). This is why I really think that there is a problem since
the installers that come with Potato (floppies) and Sarge have managed
to install Debian on it.

Thanks Christian and thanks to all,

Marc-Aurèle DARCHE
AFUL <http://www.aful.org/>
Association Francophone des Utilisateurs de Linux/Logiciels Libres
French speaking Linux and Libre Software Users' Association

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