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Re: How the debian-boot installer fucked up my system

Félix Arreola Rodríguez <fgatuno.123@gmail.com> writes:

> Oops, I forget CC the mailing list, Forwarding.
> El lun, 25-06-2012 a las 16:22 +0200, Matthias Richerzhagen escribió:
>> Hello,
>> As i have no optical drive in my Computer and i didn't wanted to invest
>> time to get a boot USB stick running i decided to use the debian
>> installer from goodby-microsoft.
>> The first problem i encountered was, that the firmware for my ethernet
>> card was not supplied with the installer, so i took a USB stick
>> and copied the firmware files. 
> The Debian Installer can't have firmware files (or at least, the
> non-free ones), this because it violates the DFSG [1]
>> That first of course didn't work,
>> because it was NTFS formatted. But that was pretty obvious, so i could
>> resolve that easily. (But this disability to read NTFS should be noted
>> somewhere inside the installer itself)
> The NTFS filesystem is privative, and is hardly usable and private
> again, this is why is not supported in the d-i.
> As my opinion, NTFS is a poor choice for a USB stick.

NTFS-3g fuse filesystem works just fine. There is no reason not to
include that in d-i. NTFS might be a poor choice for a USB stick but
hardly an uncommon one.

>> After the installer had loaded its components from the internet i
>> re-sized a partition on my hard drive (actually my Windows boot
>> partition) to have some space for Debian and installed Debian there.
>> The next step was to install GRUB. That was the first step that failed,
>> with an error message: "grub-install /dev/sda" failed. 
>> BUT /dev/sda is the USB device i loaded the firmware for my
>> ethernet card from! (like i could see from the partition manager)

Did you load the firmware from sda itself or a partition of sda?
In the later case grub should have worked and it would be interesting to
find out why it didn't.

> The actual squeeze installer ask if is ok installing grub on /dev/sda,
> if you choice no, you can specify other device. If this was no the case,
> maybe the d-i from goodbye-microsft is a little out of date.

Just some background information here. The order in which devices appear
is somewhat random, it varies between different systems and can even
change on every boot. Also asking the bios for the boot order,
i.e. which device it boots from, is highly unreliable.

So unless you have only one "harddisk" it becomes quite hard, if not
impossible in general, to find the right device to install grub
to. Well, D-I (or rather grub-common I think) doesn't try anything fancy
and instead asks you about it.

>> But installing LILO worked fine.
>> Finishing installation - rebooting - Kernel Panic.
>> stuck at initrd shell(?) couldt not find a kernel to load? something
>> like that. 
>> "Oh damn, but i still have my Windows System"
>> But windows is stuck at the boot screen and says, that the
>> partition is corrupted and that it cannot fix that.
>> So in short:
>> The debian installer wanted to install grub on my usb stick /dev/sda
>> instead of /dev/sdb (hard drive)
>> The partition re-size destroyed my windows boot partition (Well i cannot
>> really blame you for that, because of the big warning about POSSIBLE
>> data loss, but it worked for me on another system without the
>> installer several times pretty well, so i was not worried :/)
> Always there will be problems with NTFS partitions, in this case blame
> the fragmentation in NTFS. You should always defrag the partition before
> re-sizing it. *Other* option is let windows doing the resizing thing, he
> can't kill him self (Or he could?).
>> Now i got a debian install usbstick, which worked fine out of the box,
>> but i want to share my experiences with you and have the hope, that
>> nobody has to make these experiences again.

Did it work because now the usb stick ended up as /dev/sdb and
installing grub on the real harddisk worked? Or did it manage to make
your USB stick bootable?
> Maybe this supports my theory of the d-i out of date.

Would be nice to have version information of the installer to be

>> Greetings
>> Matthias
> It's sad to hear that your windows partition blow up, but sometimes it
> happens. Also, I think this is no the proper place to complain.
> [1] http://www.debian.org/social_contract
> Greetings,


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