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Bug#855396: Stretch writable thumb drive goes into infinite loop

Package: installation-reports
Version: Stretch RC 2
Severity: normal

Boot method: Writable USB thumb drive
Image version: http://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/weekly-builds/amd64/iso-cd/debian-testing-amd64-netinst.iso
Date: Sun Feb 12 23:12:53 PST 2017

Machine: QEMU

Base System Installation Checklist:
[O] = OK, [E] = Error (please elaborate below), [ ] = didn't try it

Initial boot:           [O]
Detect network card:    [O]
Configure network:      [O]
Detect CD:              [O]
Load installer modules: [E]
Detect hard drives:     [ ]
Partition hard drives:  [ ]
Install base system:    [ ]
Clock/timezone setup:   [ ]
User/password setup:    [ ]
Install tasks:          [ ]
Install boot loader:    [ ]
Overall install:        [ ]


The process described in
specifically section 4.3.3, to create a writable thumb drive for
installing Debian Stretch does not work as described.

I added these and only these files to the drive:

initrd.gz and vmlinuz were taken from http://http.us.debian.org/debian/dists/stretch/main/installer-amd64/current/images/hd-media/

syslinux.cfg contains this:
	default vmlinuz initrd=initrd.gz

I dismounted the thumb drive and typed "sudo syslinux /dev/sdX1".  Then
I booted with "sudo qemu-system-x86_64 -hdb /dev/sdX".  The resulting
drive booted up until the point the "Loading additional components"[2]
progressed to mentioning "netcfg".  The console turns black with a grey
bar along the bottom.  A few seconds later, the bar disappears.  A few
seconds after that, the screen briefly turns grey.  The cycle then

Calling to mind #853918, I did try syslinux version 4.06 and 4.07 and
the old grammar for syslinux.cfg to see if the change to 5.00 broke
something that only the Stretch installer is tickling.  This made no

[1] I also tried debian-stretch-DI-rc2-amd64-DVD-1.iso to no effect.

[2] The complete sequence until buggy behavior is "Configure the
keyboard", "Detecting hardware", "Searching drives for an installer ISO
image", and "Loading addional components".

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