Bug#494293: A bit more info...
I used the very same amd64-netinst.iso dated 6 August 2008 to install on
a newly built desktop computer, just a straight-forward install with
Desktop and Standard tasks. Towards the end the installer installed
"grub"... the old Grub (as I could verify after the successful reboot).
Emboldened by this result, I popped the install CD back into the MacBook
Pro and proceeded to do a similar installation, using root/swap
partitions from a previous installation of Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy (uses the
old Grub). I even left off the Laptop task, but again towards the end
the installer installed "grub2"(the dummy package) and "grub-pc"... the
Apparently, the Debian Installer picks up on the fact that this is a
dual-boot installation next to Mac OS X, so there is a GUID partition
table. The installer is (apparently) configured to install the new Grub
in that case, since it can deal with GPT (from the description in
Unfortunately, this does not work: without resynching the GPT and the
MBR partition table there is "no bootable device", and with resynching
(I'm using the Partition tool in the rEFIt boot manager) it gives the
error reported earlier.
I believe this bug would solved by the Debian Installer giving a choice
between installing old or new Grub.