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Re: How to install Debian in such a situation

On 4/15/13, Yuwen Dai <yuwend@gmail.com> wrote:
> Yes, I have another PC installed Debian and a HDD to USB adapter.
>> If you aren't sure of what you're doing, this will be a steep learning
>> curve, but is very doable. Just require a little persistence and may
>> be a few tries before you get there...
>> If the machine is too old, you will need an older Debian (for network
>> and possibly other drivers) if those drivers are not available in most
>> recent kernels.
>> What CPU does this PC have? How much memory?
> CPU is Pentium 4 with 256M memory.

This is adequate. You will want to ensure a lightweight desktop - XFCE eg.

>> Once you've debootstrapped the HDD using a working PC, then you can
>> plug it back in to the old PC.
> I've used debootstrap before, merely installed a small debian in a
> directory.  I want to boot from the new HDD, so I have to install
> grub.  When and how to install grub?

1) partition HDD; I use:
200MiB /boot partition
use remainder of disk for /

2) install base debian os on / and /boot as appropriate
I assume your hdd / is on /target/ and /boot is on /target/boot/
debootstrap your debian onto /target/
configure the /target/etc/fstab
install grub onto /target/ (or appropriate /dev/.. name)
try to boot off your new HDD, onto new working computer
if it doesn't work, fix up configs in /target/etc and others as needed
(definitely read debootstrap docs)

3) after successful new HDD boot on new PC, then:
plug new HDD into old PC
be happy


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