Installation fails on Thecus N7700

  • Hi all


    My goal is to upgrade my old NAS (Thecus N7700) with OMV. Sadly, the installer always fails ;(


    --- My Build / My Modifications ---

    Similar to how this guy did it, I also replaced the internal storage and helped my self by ripping an old VGA-cable apart and plugging it directly into the mainboard of my N7700

    --> http://www.joshlebo.com/thecus/index.html


    Additionally, since I would like to run a current version of OMV, I upgraded to a new CPU supporting 64-bit architecture (Intel T7600)


    --- My Hardware ---

    - Thecus N7700:

    --> https://www.thecus.com/product…PROD_ID=14&language_num=1

    - CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo T7600

    --> https://www.aliexpress.com/ite…042311.0.0.5f1d4c4dIBijdS

    --> https://ark.intel.com/content/…2-33-ghz-667-mhz-fsb.html

    - Storage: IDE 44-Pin DOM SSD 16GB

    --> https://www.aliexpress.com/ite…042311.0.0.5f1d4c4dIBijdS


    --- My problem ---

    The debian installer always crashes for some reason... To see the behaviour, I recorded a small video:

    --> https://streamable.com/u57vws


    Sometimes it happens more early in the install processs, some times even later. Its not really following any pattern, but it always fails like on the video. Also after at least 20 install-attempts, I was never able to complete the installer.


    --- Analysis and Troubleshooting so far ---

    The failure happens with "OMV5-installer", "OMV6-installer" and "native debian-net-installer"

    I also tried to play with BIOS-Settings like: "Frame Buffer Size", "DVMT-Modes" and "VGA-Modes"

    --> Similar to how this guy is doing it between 9:30 and 9:55 -> youtu.be/f2IvOeY00_Q?t=570

    I also tried with putty over serial-console like "console=ttyS0,115200n8"

    I also tried with some installer-parameters like: "vga=normal fb=false"


    Nothing helped so far ;(


    BUT! When starting a "debian-live-11.0.0-amd64-standard.iso" it runs perfectly fine. So the hardware should be compatible, just the installer seems to have problems. ?!?!?!?


    I would be very glad to heare your thoughts. What could be the problem here? Do you have any ideas, how I could solve that?


    --


    Thank you very much in advance!


    PS: Sure, I could just buy a new NAS, but are not these problems the reason why we are all here (pc enthusiasts)? 8o

  • macom

    Approved the thread.
  • Did you ever try the 80x25 text option? And you are trying to enable vga with your installer parameters. You really should try to use the framebuffer (fb) where you are disabling it with your options.

    omv 5.6.18 usul | 64 bit | 5.11 proxmox kernel | omvextrasorg 5.6.3 | kvm plugin 5.1.7
    omv-extras.org plugins source code and issue tracker - github


    Please read this before posting a question.
    Please don't PM for support... Too many PMs!

  • Hi ryecoaaron, Thanks for your answer!


    Yes, I also tried 80x25 and also 80x60. The same failure.


    Actually, the failure (broken rendering and system freeze, or how every you would name such an error) sometims even shows before the resolution can be choosen. To demonstrate that, I just now recorded a video where I waited 3 mins on the installer-welcome-screen until the failure showed up.. Here is the video. (Error at 03:06)

    --> https://streamable.com/ghf63z


    Regarding the FB-parameters..... Honestly, I am not perfectly aware of how framebuffers work and if that really is the issue. I just tried to enter these parameters, because google often pointed me to FB-related issues when searching for similar errors while installing the OS. The paramerters "vga=normal fb=false", I found here in the debian "Boot Parameters" documentation.

    --> https://www.debian.org/releases/stable/amd64/ch05s03.en.html

    What exact parameters would you specify ?


    BTW: Attached are some screenshots from the BIOS. Just so you can see what would be possible there.


    Thanks a lot for your support!

  • Update... A firend asked me to do a MemTest, just to see if that is ok. (Perfectly valid idea to me, because the error shows up at different points in time.) After 1.5 hours, 2 passes have completed and both have been successful. (No Errors -> See attachment) So I assume, the RAM is ok.


    -------------------


    One other idea, we had... How about installing OMV on some other random hardware with 64-bit and then just clone the disk over to this IDE Flash storage? Would that be an idea? Or would this anyway not be working because of drivers and oder dependencies?

  • How about installing OMV on some other random hardware with 64-bit and then just clone the disk over to this IDE Flash storage?

    I have done that quite a few times. It works well. Just make sure to install the updates and the latest backports kernel or proxmox kernel before you move. Once you move it, you will need to fix networking with omv-firstaid.


    I am not perfectly aware of how framebuffers work

    the framebuffer is what the system uses to display everything when it isn't using a graphical display. Disabling the framebuffer is kind of forcing the system to use a graphical display (much more difficult especially if the driver doesn't quite match your hardware). I would try enabling the framebuffer.

    omv 5.6.18 usul | 64 bit | 5.11 proxmox kernel | omvextrasorg 5.6.3 | kvm plugin 5.1.7
    omv-extras.org plugins source code and issue tracker - github


    Please read this before posting a question.
    Please don't PM for support... Too many PMs!

  • ----- Thank you doscott -----

    I have installed "IDE 44-Pin DOM SSD 16GB" as mentioned above. RAM, I have not yet touched. (2x1GB is installed from the beginning)


    Regarding the installation itself... In your linked article, as of what I could read, the procedure is also as follows:

    - 1) build usb install media

    - 2) Boot from usb media and follow the installer.

    - 3) Then you would install it to another USB drive -> But I do not even reach the point where the installer lets me choose any target drive.


    N5550 is from about 2012 (9 Years old), as of what I could find.

    N7700 is from about 2008 (13 Years old), as of what I could find.

    Maybe that makes a difference.... :/ I am not even having HDMI or "normal" VGA or 64-bit with the original CPU.


    ----- Thank you ryecoaaron ------

    Thanks for the explenation regarding framebuffers.


    I was already planing about doing the "install somewhere else and port it over" but then I read about Debian now containg https://calamares.io/ . With that I could potentially just install Debian from the live-ISO to the DOM. So I was first trying that...


    Sadly, for some reason, now I am no longer able to successfully start the live-edition. I recorded it twice when booting from live-ISO

    - https://streamable.com/2jetp8

    - https://streamable.com/bf7x80


    But on the other hand. The live-ISO was running well once, and also the MemTest was running fine for 1.5 hours today... So strange. :/


    Thanks again for all your time!

  • Quote

    - 3) Then you would install it to another USB drive -> But I do not even reach the point where the installer lets me choose any target drive.

    I have personally experienced frustration with random errors trying to install an OS from a USB drive to the point where I tried it from a different USB drive and had success. The failed drive had successfully had the image written to it and reported no errors on the check, but failed randomly when trying to use it.


    If you have not already done so, it might be worthwhile putting the install image on a different drive.

  • Thanks doscot. I will give that a try as well. I already had a one USB stick that broke, while flashing it so many time for this project. But the failure also happens with another USB stick.


    On the other hand, both of these USB sticks are pretty old. So I will try it with a newer one and report back.

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