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Old 08-31-2011, 01:54 AM
 
Default Can you help me figure out why I can't get Grub to install from netinstall cd's?

For the last several days I have been attempting to install Wheezy from
one of the daily builds. I have tried four different builds (different
days)- and they all fail in the same two spots- they won't recognize my
removable medium (usb thumbdrive) so that I can install firmware, and,
more importantly, they fail to install Grub.

I have no problem doing an install from a Debian Squeeze install disc I
have (6.0.1a).

I am telling the install package to completely start fresh each time- new
partition table and reformatting the drive. Wouldn't that necessarily rule
out any existing problems with the hard drive (partition table, mbr,
filesystem)?

I use the Graphical Expert Install option. I use the manual partition
option when I get to it. I delete all the existing partition then recreate
it. I have a 120GB SSD drive- I only partition one 40Gb primary partition
for the entire ext4 filesystem (mounted at / with bootable flag on) plus
one 6Gb swap file. The rest of the drive is left "free space". I would
think this to be a very simple setup and the same setup works fine if I
use the Squeeze install disc.

The install won't recognize my usb thumbdrive- this is exasperating but
minor compared to the Grub problem. Of course that means I have no
Internet connection, so no mirror use for install.

When I select the "Install the GRUB boot loader on a hard disk" menu
option I get this error:

"Grub installation failed. The 'grub-pc' package failed to install into
/target/. Without the GRUB boot loader, the installed system will not
boot".

I then go to a virtual terminal (Ctrl-Alt-F2) and look at /var/log/syslog.
Here are a few of the seemingly relevant lines from the last screen (not
all lines included here, but they are in proper sequential order):

"grub-installer: dpkg: warning: ignoring request to remove grub-legacy
which isn't installed."
"in-target: E: Package 'grub-pc' has no installation candidate."
"grub-installer: info: Calling 'apt-install grub-pc' failed"
"chroot: can't execute 'grub-probe': No such file or directory"
"File descriptor 4 (/dev/tty1) leaked on lvdisplay in vocation."
"Volume group "sda" not found."
"Skipping volume group sda."
"WARNING ***: Configuring 'grub-installer' failed."
"WARNING ***: Menu item 'grub-installer' failed"
"DEBUG: resolver (libgcc1): package doesn't exist (ignored)"
"DEBUG: resolver (libslang2-udeb): package doesn't exist (ignored)"
"INFO: Falling back to the package description for espeakup-udeb."

I can mount the usb drive (if I hadn't already) in order to save the debug
files. I can also mount the hard drive (sda1).

I can continue without the boot loader and I get the message "You will
need to boot manually with the /vmlinuz kernel on partition /dev/sda1 and
root=/dev/sda1 passed as a kernel argument." As an additional pain, I have
not found a way to do that (after hours of searching the web for help).
When I reboot I sometimes get the "grub rescue>" prompt- I haven't found
how to use that (help is not available and none of the web searches I run
find discussions relevant to Debian with this version of Grub, as opposed
to discussions of old Grub or Ubuntu LiveCD installs).

Actually, this last time I just got a blinking cursor in the top left
corner when I booted.

Evidently others are using these netinstall cd's with no problem (amd64).
I am new to Linux- this is really difficult for me to figure out. Can you
help?

Here are the four netinstall cd's I have tried:

http://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/daily-builds/daily.old/20110829-1/amd64/iso-cd/debian-testing-amd64-netinst.iso
http://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/daily-builds/daily.new/20110826-7/amd64/iso-cd/debian-testing-amd64-netinst.iso
http://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/daily-builds/daily/arch-latest/amd64/iso-cd/debian-testing-amd64-netinst.iso
http://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/weekly-builds/amd64/iso-cd/debian-testing-amd64-CD-1.iso
(Aug 22)

I can post the gzipped install debug files if anyone is willing to look at
them.

I have several "rescue" discs, but nothing I have tried works to install
Grub properly (maybe because they have different versions of Grub?). I
have also tried Ubuntu boot-repair.

Thanks,
Keith Ostertag (keitho AT strucktower DOT com)
Lenovo Thinkpad T520, Intel graphics only, 4Gb ram, 120Gb SSD.


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Old 08-31-2011, 03:16 AM
David Christensen
 
Default Can you help me figure out why I can't get Grub to install from netinstall cd's?

On 08/30/2011 06:54 PM, keitho@strucktower.com wrote:

I use the Graphical Expert Install option. I use the manual partition
option when I get to it. I delete all the existing partition then recreate
it. I have a 120GB SSD drive- I only partition one 40Gb primary partition
for the entire ext4 filesystem (mounted at / with bootable flag on) plus
one 6Gb swap file. The rest of the drive is left "free space".


I don't know enough to be able to decode the syslog messages; perhaps
another reader does.



When I started using Linux (1997?), a small boot partition was usually
required as the first partition on the first hard drive. I still do
that, out of habit (currently /dev/sda1, ~120 MB aligned to cylinder
boundaries, with ext2 file system in keeping with tradition).



Have you tried the using simplest installer and letting it do everything
for you?



I find myself installing/ re-installing a given release several times (I
have several computers, and I like to fiddle). I'd suggest downloading
and burning DVD 1, to save time and bandwidth. I use the Jigdo method,
which is smart enough to download/ assembly only the missing pieces for
multiple, related releases:


http://www.debian.org/CD/jigdo-cd/


I typically run the current Stable release, but I would expect the
weekly Testing builds to be more stable than daily Testing builds:


http://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/weekly-builds/amd64/jigdo-dvd/


I only have one amd64 capable machine, so I run i386. Have you tried i386?

http://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/weekly-builds/i386/jigdo-dvd/


HTH,

David


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Old 08-31-2011, 03:42 AM
 
Default Can you help me figure out why I can't get Grub to install from netinstall cd's?

> For the last several days I have been attempting to install Wheezy from
> one of the daily builds.

If you are not already doing it, you can save much time and download
bandwidth by running "approx" on another machine in the LAN.

You might try specifying a minimal install, instead of specifying a
standard desktop or laptop installation. If the minimal installation is
successful, you can run tasksel to complete the installation.

Years ago, I was in a similar situation, with the installation failing
right at the end. But after about a week everything started working
again. That's why they call the release "testing".

RLH


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Old 08-31-2011, 02:13 PM
Camaleón
 
Default Can you help me figure out why I can't get Grub to install from netinstall cd's?

On Tue, 30 Aug 2011 18:54:18 -0700, keitho wrote:

> For the last several days I have been attempting to install Wheezy from
> one of the daily builds. I have tried four different builds (different
> days)- and they all fail in the same two spots- they won't recognize my
> removable medium (usb thumbdrive) so that I can install firmware, and,
> more importantly, they fail to install Grub.

(...)

Installer for the testing branch are prone to this kind of errors.

For GRUB2, you can leave it uninstalled and boot the installed system
from a LiveCD/LiveUSB or SGD. Once you're in, install GRUB2 as usual.

Greetings,

--
Camaleón


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