Bug#516392: debian-installer: unbootable system after install
I have a Dell SC420 with a ICH6 on-board SATA controller (sda), and a
PDC20268 2-port PATA with two drives on it (hde, hdg)
I installed from the business card iso on a USB flash stick. I install
GRUB to the root partition (sda2) because then Windows can't get at it.
This was a fresh install, and I install to sda2 (hde, hdg are my data
disks). After the install, the machine was unbootable. "Unable to load
operating system". Booting back into the installer (soon wishing I had
the 'rescue' image on the full CD), I was able to determine with dd that
GRUB had NOT been installed on any drive or partition. dd if=/dev/sda2
bs=512 count=1 showed only zero'd out bytes (this was a newly
partition/filesystem). I did the install a couple more times without
any more success (I saw a grub-installer error, I think it was about a
device map file missing, but in my haste to get the machine up, I didn't
think to write it down exactly). Removing the PDC20268 card made the
install and subsequent boot work fine.
Please let me know what more information you need.