No graphics - Failed installation

Help with issues regarding installation of Debian

No graphics - Failed installation

Postby WeeFella » 2019-08-24 13:09

Brand new 75 yr old Debian user.
Decided to try Debian. Tried live version, liked it, so dual booted it on to my old PC (Old i5 2700 CPU) and it worked perfectly. Very impressed.
So impressed that I decided to install it as a stand alone OS on my old HP G4 Laptop (Intel CPU Celeron N3050)

This is where things went pear shaped.
When machine was started from USB I got the usual choices to start live version etc.
Chose live version got a blank screen and then nothing. Left machine for a long time to see if it was just slow but half an hour later no change. Tried various times for various lengths of time.
Decided to try the other choices ending up with a direct install.
This appeared to work and I went through a complete install with, basically, all the same choices I made when installing on my desktop PC.
It seemed to install fully, finalizing installation and telling me to be sure to take out USB before restart. I did this.
On restart I get the following

grub>

Nothing I do from there gets me past that point. I can TAB to get the list of recognised commands and I can get in to bios, do memory checks and a few other things.
However, as stated, nothing gets me a graphical interface or any other way to get to something I can recognise.

I accept that this is probably operator error but I need someone to slap me around the head and tell me what I am doing wrong. :roll:

Thanks in advance for and help, insults or laughter I receive. It is still better than no result at all.
PS I am off to bed now so won't see any replies for a few hours. :(
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Re: No graphics - Failed installation

Postby Bloom » 2019-08-24 13:51

Laptops usually need closed-source unfree firmware for their hardware, usually for videochips and wireless networking chips.
So if you try and install the default Debian Live image, it doesn't have that firmware onboard so the installation won't proceed after a point or you get a black screen or something like that upon reboot.
Please install the non-free image including firmware:
Debian Stable Live with non-free firmware: http://cdimage.debian.org/mirror/cdimag ... rent-live/
Debian Testing Live with non-free firmware: http://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/unoff ... ve-builds/
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Re: No graphics - Failed installation

Postby WeeFella » 2019-08-24 19:23

Thank you for the information given so far.
I can confirm that my original attempt was with the Debian Stable Live with non-free firmware version. As stated, did not work.
In order to say that I have tried all I can I now intend to do a graphical install of the minimum version just to see what happens.
Then I will attempt the Debian Testing Live with non-free firmware, again to see what happens.
I will update thread after my attempts, failure or otherwise.
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Re: No graphics - Failed installation

Postby phenest » 2019-08-24 19:39

If it's not even booting, firmware is irrelevant at that stage.

What happens if you append some kernel parameters? Such as, nomodeset? And remove the quiet parameter too so you can see how far it gets and what is going wrong.
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Re: No graphics - Failed installation

Postby WeeFella » 2019-08-24 20:59

Thanks for further ideas phenest. Unfortunately I do not know how to take these actions you suggest.
I have again tried to install using the stable minimum but again get all the way but ending up with grub>
I then tried loading live version from the Debian Testing Live with non-free firmware but again just got a blank page.
My next step was to try the graphical installer from that version.
This time it goes a small part of the way then reports no kernel found possibly due to mismatch.
At this point I am out my depth and need further enlightenment.

Just as an aside the laptop in question can load the live versions of-Linux Mint, Peppermint and MX Linux.
Don't want to give up but I only have another 25-30yrs left and would like success before then. :D
UPdate:
Not one to give in easily I decided to try a dual boot scenario so installed Linux mint as the other OS.
That worked and I was able to choose between LM and Debian from the grub screen. Great so far but not really what I want to do.
I then decided to check if it was Buster that did not like my machine so downloaded the latest version of Debian 9 to try.
With this version I was able to load the live version instead of a blank dark page.
I then installed Debian 9 with all the normal decisions and ended up you know where......... grub>
Exactly the same as Debian 10.
I am lost!!!! :oops:
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Re: No graphics - Failed installation

Postby Bloom » 2019-08-25 06:49

Code: Select all
grub>

usually points to a problem with the booting process.

Is this a UEFI system with secure boot enabled? If so , disable secure boot. Debian isn't compatible with secure boot because it requires expensive keys which have to be bought from... Microsoft!
A couple of commercial Linux distributions have payed this Microsoft tax and so are able to boot from a UEFI system with secure boot enabled, but not Debian. They have refused to pay.

A UEFI system with secure boot disabled can be set to boot in two ways:
1. UEFI
2. Legacy (also called CSM)
The latter is the old BIOS way of booting and is compatible with everything.
The UEFI way requires an UEFI setup partition of around 500MB in FAT to be the very first partition on that boot drive. If that partition is lacking or doesn't have the proper flags set, you get an unbootable system with a grub prompt.
The Debian installer does this automatically, but if you have chosen manual partitioning during the install procedure you need to include that uefi partition or the system won't boot.
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Re: No graphics - Failed installation

Postby Dai_trying » 2019-08-25 09:31

Bloom wrote:
Code: Select all
grub>

usually points to a problem with the booting process.

Is this a UEFI system with secure boot enabled? If so , disable secure boot. Debian isn't compatible with secure boot because it requires expensive keys which have to be bought from... Microsoft!
A couple of commercial Linux distributions have payed this Microsoft tax and so are able to boot from a UEFI system with secure boot enabled, but not Debian. They have refused to pay.

A UEFI system with secure boot disabled can be set to boot in two ways:
1. UEFI
2. Legacy (also called CSM)
The latter is the old BIOS way of booting and is compatible with everything.
The UEFI way requires an UEFI setup partition of around 500MB in FAT to be the very first partition on that boot drive. If that partition is lacking or doesn't have the proper flags set, you get an unbootable system with a grub prompt.
The Debian installer does this automatically, but if you have chosen manual partitioning during the install procedure you need to include that uefi partition or the system won't boot.


Contradiction...

https://www.debian.org/News/2019/20190706 wrote:The UEFI ("Unified Extensible Firmware Interface") support first introduced in Debian 7 (code name "wheezy") continues to be greatly improved in Debian 10 "buster". Secure Boot support is included in this release for amd64, i386 and arm64 architectures and should work out of the box on most Secure Boot-enabled machines. This means users should no longer need to disable Secure Boot support in the firmware configuration.
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Re: No graphics - Failed installation

Postby WeeFella » 2019-08-25 11:18

Thanks for further replies.
Can confirm that secure boot is disabled.
Have tried installing with legacy enabled and disabled. Both have same result. grub>
Checked the partitions and there is a 516MB partition for efi.
Have tried installing with single partition (I am a noob) but also with separate partition for home. (not too much of a noob)
Nothing has worked so far.
Still trying to work out why Debian 9 can boot the live version but Debian 10 cannot. Also why it shows the graphical installation all the way until the restart when I end up with grub>
Giving myself two more day of trying. If no result, another OS it is.
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Re: No graphics - Failed installation

Postby trinidad » 2019-08-25 12:49

Any number of things can cause your system to go to a grub prompt after installation. Several have to do with BIOS settings, installation mode, disk type setup and previous maintenance, EFI settings and buggy firmware, and failed installation steps, buggy video cards, etc. Read through the link below for a simplistic understanding of the grub prompt and how to boot your system from it. Debian 9 non-free should boot and run on just about anything.

https://www.linux.com/tutorials/how-res ... b-2-linux/

TC
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Re: No graphics - Failed installation

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2019-08-25 17:34

Bloom wrote:Is this a UEFI system with secure boot enabled? If so , disable secure boot. Debian isn't compatible with secure boot because it requires expensive keys which have to be bought from... Microsoft!
A couple of commercial Linux distributions have payed this Microsoft tax and so are able to boot from a UEFI system with secure boot enabled, but not Debian. They have refused to pay.

Firstly, the GRUB prompt would not be reached if Secure Boot was the problem. Secondly, Debian buster supports Secure Boot.

Bloom wrote:The UEFI way requires an UEFI setup partition of around 500MB in FAT to be the very first partition on that boot drive. If that partition is lacking or doesn't have the proper flags set, you get an unbootable system with a grub prompt.

The (UEFI) GRUB prompt would not be reached if there was no EFI system partition. The GRUB prompt indicates that the bootloader has been installed to the disk but the configuration file cannot be found.

@OP: use the set command to list the current configuration and follow trinidad's linked guide.
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Re: No graphics - Failed installation

Postby phenest » 2019-08-25 17:45

WeeFella wrote:Don't want to give up but I only have another 25-30yrs left and would like success before then. :D
UPdate:
Not one to give in easily

WeeFella wrote:Giving myself two more day of trying.

It's got to be something to do with the way you're installing it.
1. Leave Secure Boot off
2. Set BIOS to boot via legacy, then install WITHOUT efi partition and install MBR at the last stage
If step 2 fails:
3. Set BIOS to boot via UEFI, then have an ESP (EFI System Partition) as the first partition approx 100MB and format to ESP and NOT FAT. Then continue with installation.
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Re: No graphics - Failed installation

Postby phenest » 2019-08-25 20:03

Another thing to check is the partitioning type. When booting via UEFI, it should be GPT.
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Re: No graphics - Failed installation

Postby WeeFella » 2019-08-25 21:11

Thank you peoples.
Read all of above and lots to digest.
I will try all suggestions until one works then I won't touch it in case I bugger it up.
Might take a day or two but I will report back one way or another.
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Re: No graphics - Failed installation

Postby WeeFella » 2019-08-29 03:39

Well boys and girls I am back as promised/threatened...............reporting abject failure.
MODS this is CONCLUDED rather than SOLVED but please close as SOLVED if that is what is required.

Those not wishing to witness my lamentations. breast beatings and public embarrassment stop reading here.

Firstly my thanks and abject apologies to those that tried to help me.
I read every word of advice given, link supplied and tried every possible scenario. It did not matter.
Live USB versions of Debian 10 gave me a blank screen when choosing that from the startup menu. In fact in most cases I was unable to restart the OS that was in there when removing the USB.(It came back eventually)
When I did choose the install link from that menu it appeared to install as one would expect via the graphical installer. However when restarting from there I got either a blank screen or grub>.
You will have to take my word for it that I tried every possible variation within my BIOS to see what worked but I assure you I did everything.
As per advice given by trinidad I read the tutorial and tried Rescatux and Super Grub 2. In some instances these appeared to do pages of checking and ensuring that everything was installed properly.
It didn't matter. On reboot I got blank page or grub>.
Just to reiterate, on the two identical HP laptops I tried this on, I can install live or full versions of MXLinux,Linux Mint and Lubuntu. Not what I want to do!!
In short I have given up. Over and Out. :oops:
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Re: No graphics - Failed installation

Postby phenest » 2019-08-29 08:20

WeeFella wrote:Well boys and girls I am back as promised/threatened...............reporting abject failure.
...
In short I have given up. Over and Out. :oops:

That 25-30 years passed quickly.

Go back to the live version and remove the 'quiet' kernel option. It may help to see if any errors reports are shown or how far it gets, and why.
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