Bug#542193: debian-installer: May install Grub to wrong hard disk
Debian installer may install Grub to wrong hard disk. Here's the case I
I have two HDs and they are identified as /dev/sda (SATA) and /dev/hda
(ATA, my backup disk). I installed Debian Lenny to /dev/sda with
text-mode installer and no expert mode. Eventually the installer got to
the Grub stage. It said that there seems to be no other operating
systems on the disk so it is probably safe to install Grub in the MBR. I
agreed and answered "Yes".
The installation resulted in system which was not bootable, not even
Grub was loaded. Ok, second try, and I decided to look more carefully
about Grub. I did exactly the same but this time I noticed that after
answering "Yes" to the Grub MBR question there was a text like
"Installing Grub to /dev/hda" (can't remember the text accurately). The
text disappeared quickly but luckily I had picked it and understood to
answer "No" next time and manually choose /dev/sda as the place where
Grub should go. After that I could boot to the Grub stage.
But that's not all. Now trying to boot the first kernel from the Grub
menu resulted in an another error. I can't actually remember the message
but I know the cause of the error. Debian installer had put boot option
"root (hd1,0)" but my /dev/sda is really "(hd0,0)" when BIOS is booting
from that device. I edited the "root" boot option in Grub and got my
system finally running. The first thing I did was to put "groot=(hd0,0)"
in menu.lst and run update-grub.
So, while I'm happy to have my Lenny running nicely I doubt that a
newbie could get a working Debian installation on SATA disk if he has
ATA disk in the system.
-- System Information:
Debian Release: 5.0.2
APT prefers stable
APT policy: (900, 'stable')
Architecture: i386 (i686)
Kernel: Linux 2.6.26-2-686 (SMP w/1 CPU core)
Locale: LANG=fi_FI.UTF-8, LC_CTYPE=fi_FI.UTF-8 (charmap=UTF-8)
Shell: /bin/sh linked to /bin/dash