why might debian install require constant pressing of ENTER?

Lennart Sorensen lsorense-1wCw9BSqJbv44Nm34jS7GywD8/FfD2ys at public.gmane.org
Thu Jul 2 16:48:54 UTC 2009

On Wed, Jul 01, 2009 at 04:21:40AM -0400, Robert P. J. Day wrote:
>   when installing debian 5.01 on one of my gateway mx7120 laptops,
> almost invariably, the install runs fine partway through all the SW
> install, then slows to a crawl for each package -- a situation i can
> rectify by simply holding down the ENTER key.
>   i'm not doing anything unusual, and i'm just starting another test
> install thusly:
>   - regular (non-graphical) install
>   - on the net
>   - LVM-based, full HD
>   - separate /home, /usr, /tmp, /tmp partitions
>   - filesystems created just fine
>   - base system currently unpacking and installing
>   - telling install that i have no more DVDs to insert, DVD 1
>     is all i think i need
>   at this point, it may have started -- apt is claiming to be
> "scanning the mirror" but there is no net or DVD activity and it's
> been sitting there for over a minute.  press ENTER and ... activity!
> we've moved on to "configuring apt/please wait" and ... no motion
> again.  press ENTER and ... we're off again.
>   what the crap is going on?  this is completely reproducible.  what
> is the debian install doing that requires user input to keep it moving
> forward?  should i have fed the install all 5 DVDs early on?  and this
> has happened on more than one of that model of laptop so i'm convinced
> it's not a single-system HW problem.  thoughts?

Sounds like a laptop with broken power management.

Booting without acpi or lapic or something might work around it.
Perhaps a bios upgrade would help (although the chances of one of those
from gateway are pretty slim).

Len Sorensen
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