<SOLVED> Installer freezing after boot menu selection

Help with issues regarding installation of Debian

<SOLVED> Installer freezing after boot menu selection

Postby Huecuva » 2020-03-08 21:11

Hello everyone.

I have a device called a Fit-PC3 and I previously had Stretch installed on a 16GB SD card that this thing was booting off of. I have since forgotten the root password and decided that 16GB is more space than I need anyway so I might as well swap the 16GB SD card for an 8GB SD card and install Buster. I intend to install it without a DE, as it is only going to be a music streaming server with MPD and Icecast. However, after some fighting with this thing to get it to boot off the USB stick (I had to disable legacy boot or it would insist that there was no OS, but that's another story) I select either "graphical installer" or just "install" and the menu itself disappears but the screen still displays "Debian GNU/Linux 10.3.0 Debian GNU/Linux UEFI Installer Menu" and the options like "Enter: Select. E: Edit Selection and C: GRUB Command Line" but that's as far as it goes. It refuses to boot any further than that and I can't install the OS. The only way to get out of this is to manually shut the device down. I don't know if this is a thing with Buster that this device doesn't like but I obviously managed to get Stretch installed on this thing without a problem.

EDIIT: A little more info on the problem:

The strangest part is, I was able to boot the installer with a different SD card in it but it was unable to see the SD card (not finding the card was kind of to be expected for unrelated reasons.) Now it doesn't matter which SD card I put into it, it will not boot Debian 10.2 or 10.3 installer. I have successfully booted it into Puppy, however. This is really very strange.

If I put the original 16GB SD card back in, it will boot into Emergency Mode (because I removed a drive that the fstab file is looking for) and asks to press Ctrl-D or input root password, which I don't remember. If I cared enough, I could boot Puppy and change that. There's nothing important on the SD card but it proves the OS will boot, so I don't know why it will boot Stretch but for some reason won't boot Buster.

I also just tried booting Buster on another of the same unit with a slight difference in there there is no miniPCIe card in which to put an SD card reader, so this one had no SD card reader. However, I have removed the SD card reader from the unit I'm working on and it still will not boot Buster. Is there something in the BIOS that would prevent the installer from booting properly after the grub menu?

Anyone got any insight into this? TIA.

Also, as suggested in this thread I have tried nomodeset. That didn't work. I've also tried resetting my BIOS to defaults. That just set both Legacy and UEFI to enabled and Legacy Boot first so it would insist that there was no OS.
Last edited by Huecuva on 2020-03-14 02:42, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Installer freezing after boot menu selection

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2020-03-09 15:01

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Re: Installer freezing after boot menu selection

Postby Huecuva » 2020-03-10 00:35

I have not tried nomodeset. I will give that a try.

*EDIT: nomodeset did not make a difference. It still freezes as soon as I finish making the change and then press F10 to boot. Menu disappears but the keyboard shortcuts and title remain.
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Re: Installer freezing after boot menu selection

Postby Huecuva » 2020-03-13 00:30

Okay, so it occurred to me that I had disabled legacy boot in BIOS but my USB was burned in Rufus for BIOS/mbr. Derp. I reburned my USB for EUFI and...it still doesn't work.
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Re: Installer freezing after boot menu selection

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2020-03-13 17:15

Huecuva wrote:nomodeset did not make a difference

What is your graphics hardware? You may need to add nouveau.modeset=0 as well for NVIDIA cards or i915.modeset=0 for Intel cards (add both along with nomodeset for Optimus devices).
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Re: Installer freezing after boot menu selection

Postby Huecuva » 2020-03-14 02:42

Head_on_a_Stick wrote:What is your graphics hardware? You may need to add nouveau.modeset=0 as well for NVIDIA cards or i915.modeset=0 for Intel cards (add both along with nomodeset for Optimus devices).
This fit-PC thing has a dual core AMD APU in it.

None of that matters anymore though. I got it working. Honestly, I'm not really sure how. I burned the debian installer on the very SD card I on which I intended to install it and it booted off either that or the USB stick I didn't notice was still in it until it was already booted. I managed to format the SD card and install it.

Now I'm trying to get my wifi working and format a storage drive.
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