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Bug#870628: Please warn about slow starts on USB

On Thu, Aug 03, 2017 at 05:20:53PM +0100, Steve McIntyre wrote:
> On Thu, Aug 03, 2017 at 05:18:58PM +0200, Jean-Michel Vourgère wrote:
> >Package: installation-guide-amd64
> >Severity: normal
> >
> >Hello
> >
> >I recently installed form scratch a Stretch to an old computer using an USB
> >stick.
> >
> >The "boot menu" show and I hit enter for "Graphical Install". And then I
> >though it crashed. Twice. The keys don't make the menu move. Caps lock key
> >doesn't work.
> >It actually took 2'10" to show next menu "Select a language".
> >
> >I believe section "5.1.1 Booting from USB Memory Stick" should warn
> >about possible big delays.
> This is really not normal. What system are you running (walking?) on?


I cannot speak for the bug submitter, but I have experienced a
similar behaviour on one specific PC about two years ago (sorry,
I don't remember the model anymore).  On that PC, reading a file
from USB mass storage devices by using BIOS functions was
_extremely_ slow.  Loading a kernel and a "normal" initrd from a
USB storage device took more than 45 seconds.  Once the kernel
was loaded and the Linux USB drivers were used, accessing the
same USB storage device was possible with "normal" speed, so this
was not due to a hardware limitation.

The initrd for the graphical installer is quite a bit larger
(currently ~38MB) than a "normal" (currently ~21MB) initrd, so
the load speeds described by the bug submitter would be in the
same order of magnitude as those which I had experienced.

I have never had similar issues on other systems, so I tend to
assume that this is not a very common problem.

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