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Re: A laptop installation challenge

AG wrote:
> 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.

I think this is where you went wrong. I personally would have choose to
a debootstrap install from within slackware. There are number of ways to
come up with a partition.. ie using swap, resizing something etc. Also
going this route you could have continued with a dual boot setup until
you were sure Debian was up and running properly. If space only
permitted a standard bare bones system, you'd have access to the core
utilities to manipulate things. But we're past that now. :)

Perhaps the local library would have old enough machines to write
floppies? Is there a LUG nearby that could write floppies for you?

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