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Re: Installation instructions.

On Fri, 4 Dec 2020 at 20:00, David <bouncingcats@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Fri, 4 Dec 2020 at 03:39, <peter@easthope.ca> wrote:

> > > David, the current procedure is simple enough.  Have you or anyone you
> > > trust run the procedure with the specific three (iso, vmlinuz,
> > > initrd.gz) files you cited?

> > Yes ...

> Looking now, I can confirm that I did a Debian installation here on 20
> Oct 2020 using these files. There is no doubt because they are still
> on the hard drive.

Actually it was 14 Oct, just for the record :)

I have just now done another fresh install, this time using the same 3 files
on a blank hard drive, it worked to completion without your complaint

Due to actually going through the entire procedure on a blank drive
so as to catch any unanticipated hiccups due to the process being
different to my usual one, I can add some more thoughts about that:

1) grub needs a partition table on the target device so it can do
embedding, so the target device can't be an entire block device (eg
sdx) it must be a partition[*] (eg sdxN where N is some natural number)

2) And you probably need at least N=2 on an older machine.
If there is sufficient RAM, the installer offers to load itself
into RAM which frees up the partition where the iso is, so that it can
be overwritten by the new install. If the RAM is insufficient this is
not possible, so the partition where the iso is must be specified
"do not use" because it is mounted and in use by the installer, so
the new install must be done into another partition. I would
deal with this by converting our installer boot partition to a /boot
partition manually after the install is complete and rebooted
into the new partition.

3) The grub.cfg I used was

menuentry 'Debian Installer' {
  insmod part_msdos
  insmod ext4
  set root='(hd0,msdos1)'
  linux /vmlinuz priority=medium
  initrd /initrd.gz

I suggest the use of priority=medium which allows you to
choose which [*]partitions are searched for the iso, which might help.
Once the problem is resolved you can remove that or
change it to what you prefer: low or high (which eg specifies
that only a few high priority questions are asked during install).

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