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Bug#770231: Amd64-efi installer becomes unresponsive on x86 bios

On Wed, Nov 19, 2014 at 05:49:50PM -0500, Samuel Comeau wrote:
>Package: installation-reports
>Boot method: USB bootable drive
>Image version: Debian GNU/Linux 7.7.0 "Wheezy" - Official amd64
>NETINST Binary-1 20141018-13:04
>Date: 17:00, 19 november 2014
>Machine: Old DELL Silitech machine
>Processor: 2 Xeon @ 2.80GHz
>Memory: 2GB
>Partitions: df -Tl
>Filesystem                                             Type
>1K-blocks     Used Available Use% Mounted on
>rootfs                                                 rootfs
>76820520 20197584  52720628  28% /
>udev                                                   devtmpfs
>10240        0     10240   0% /dev
>tmpfs                                                  tmpfs
>207372      648    206724   1% /run
>/dev/disk/by-uuid/f6fba29d-d1eb-45e3-a560-33795e6aace0 ext4
>76820520 20197584  52720628  28% /
>tmpfs                                                  tmpfs
>5120        0      5120   0% /run/lock
>tmpfs                                                  tmpfs
>793200       80    793120   1% /run/shm
>I was looking to recover an old computer and install a fresh Debian
>install on the machine. I was able to make my usb drive bootable from
>the fairly old but pretty functional bios.
>The computer booted fine from the usb drive, and I got to the main
>installation screen. However, regardless of any operation I chose to
>execute, the system read on the drive for a bit, and then simply
>hangs. I tried rescue mode, graphical rescue mode and a simple
>install, several times and using different usb ports. In all cases,
>the whole system became unresponsive, forcing me to reboot manually.
>Since I was able to boot properly from the usb drive, which was also
>used on an amd64 compatible machine, I think the issue isn't one of
>hardware. I think the installer fails silently as the processor tries
>to read 64 bit code when commands are sent.

Hi Samuel,

Yes, that sounds very likely - it's a well-known fact that amd64
kernels are not going to run on older i386 hardware. I may be missing
something here - is there anything else you'd like to report?

Steve McIntyre, Cambridge, UK.                                steve@einval.com
"You can't barbecue lettuce!" -- Ellie Crane

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