Thursday, 8 November 2007

Debian etch on ThinkPad X31 via USB stick (for dummies like me)

I was trying to install Debian Etch from scratch on my ThinkPad X31 and since it doesn't have a cd-rom I had to use a usb stick.

I followed the steps on Debian Installation Guide.

Copying the files — the easy way didn't work for me... I was getting "Boot Error".

So I tried Copying the files — the flexible way and it didn't go any further.

Then I read this warning:
If your system refuses to boot from the memory stick, the stick may contain an invalid master boot record (MBR). To fix this, use the install-mbr command from the package mbr:

# install-mbr /dev/sda

Well ok that went a bit better... now I was getting this at boot:

Actually it wasn't that self-explaining... So I had to take a step more: read install-mbr docs.

It didn't say much but it was a hint. Well in the end it worked like this:
at boot when it shows "MBR FA:" I pressed A and then was showing a more clear "MBR 1234FA:". So I pressed 1 (the partition of the USB stick was the first)... and hurrah it worked.

If this doesn't work yet for you... here's a full list of useful hints