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Re: A laptop installation challenge



Stan Hoeppner wrote:
AG put forth on 10/31/2009 12:49 PM:
  
(3) The laptop's BIOS is too old to allow booting from a USB (only
allows HD, CD or floppy).  It requires something to boot first before it
can mount additional files such a USB stick.
    

AG put forth on 10/31/2009 10:41 AM:
  
Then I copied a netinst *.iso image onto a USB stick and
booted.
    

These two statements are contradictory.  If one is true, the other must
be false.  If you were able to boot the Debian installer once, you
should be able to boot from that device again, no?

What device did you boot from when you ran the Debian installer the
first time?

--
Stan


  
Could be my lack of clarity in writing and precision in terminology :-)

I was installing Deb testing over a previously installed Slackware system due to a number of hardware restrictions.  First I downloaded a new version of vmlinuz and initrd.gz and moved those into a directory called /boot/newinstall.  I then changed lilo.conf to point to /boot/newinstall (I backed up the original lilo.conf first).  I had the USB stick with an *.iso loaded from Debian and rebooted the laptop, which booted into the new installation.  The installation programme kindly scanned all of the drives, located the *.iso and loaded it.  The installation process was without issue, I allowed the installation to tasksel and once the packages started being downloaded, I left to do other things.  When I returned the installation process was at the tasksel screen again, and I had to abort the installation. 

Now the machine won't boot, and I cannot get into lilo.conf to edit it.  A new kernel has been installed and lilo is still the default boot loader.  I don't have any floppy drive onto which I can load a new install programme to boot from the laptop's floppy drive; the CD is kaput - spins but no-one's home; and the third boot option in the BIOS is the hard drive, which is as good as inaccessible.  I have no way of checking just what's on there and I can't get at it remotely.



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