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I am trying to install Debian on a server I own. The hard drives were completely wiped before I got it, my progress so far has been:

1) Turned it on and plugged in monitor/ keyboard

2) Memory tests were run, got a checksum error, was asked to use default configuration which I did

3) Inserted Debian DVD 1, .iso downloaded from here http://cdimage.debian.org/debian-cd/7.1.0/amd64/iso-dvd/

4) Went into BIOS and put boot from DVD at top and restart

5) Can see DVD drive reading but then it stops, I then see waiting for 3ware to initialise and a new screen then loads with NVidia boot agent. This then gets stuch on a loop saying media test failure, test cable

Other points: After the 3ware message I can briefly see the CPU says it has a weak battery and the system time is incorrect. It seems the motherboard battery is low, I'm not sure if this is affecting the booting.

My guess is the DVD is not being read correctly. Is there anything I have obviously done wrong?

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Test another bootable DVD, if that works verify the checksum of your ISO and that your burning it correctly to the disk. If it doesn't boot, make sure your DVD drive is plugged in and that it actually still works –  Scandalist Aug 9 '13 at 0:23
    
The checksum error is worrying (this is at the bios, right?). The cable failure is worrying. The 3ware bit indicates an external storage controller (do you need it?). Replacing the battery is a great idea. If you have reliable networking, I'd use the minimal disk for the install - it may take longer, but its often more reliable. –  Journeyman Geek Aug 9 '13 at 0:26
    
Whoops, didn't see that part. The checksum error is indeed worrying. Look at the system time in your BIOS and check that it is set correctly. If its not, set it correctly and shutdown completely. If you boot back up and the time didn't take, you probably need to replace the battery - that little 2032 small coin battery –  Scandalist Aug 9 '13 at 0:37
    
The computer hasnt been switched on for a couple of months which I think has caused the battery problem. I have left it on today and hopefully it will recharge. Ill test it out when I get back tonight, if I am still getting weak battery I will get a new one. Scandalist, what would you suggest as a good bootable CD .iso to test my DVD drive? –  rwolst Aug 9 '13 at 9:56

1 Answer 1

Memory tests were run, got a checksum error, was asked to use default configuration which I did

Sounds like a CMOS checksum error (check the error text carefully) - your CMOS battery is dead or your CMOS jumper is still in the reset position

This then gets stuch on a loop saying media test failure, test cable

This sounds like the Intel PXE boot ROM basically telling you it can't boot off the network because you don't have an Ethernet cable connected. This is normal behavior if PXE is enabled. If you've disabled PXE in the BIOS, and this is still happening, see above.

Other points: After the 3ware message I can briefly see the CPU says it has a weak battery and the system time is incorrect. It seems the motherboard battery is low, I'm not sure if this is affecting the booting.

Your motherboard may be on to something here ...

Replace the CMOS battery and/or check the password reset or clear-CMOS jumper. If both of those are good then your motherboard is defective and should be replaced.

A workaround might be to use any "boot menu" options your BIOS gives (F12 on Dell computers).

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