HOWTO: install Debian Linux on a Medion Akoya Netbook E1210

Submitted by olaf on 2008-07-21

This page shows how I installed Linux on a Medion Akoya E1210 Netbook using a USB memory stick. Since the E1210 is a clone of the MSI Wind U100, this howto might work with it too.

The way outlined at Debian GNU/Linux Installation Guide didn’t work for me.

Disclaimer: use this HOWTO at your own risk :-)


The Netbook comes with recovery media and if you have a USB-CD/DVD drive or just don’t care, you may skip backup and proceed with installing Linux. But if you have a USB-CD/DVD drive, you probably don’t need this HOWTO.

For backup, I used System Rescue CD, because it includes ntfsprogs and I’m familiar with it.

Install Debian Linux with a USB memory stick

Download an image from Debian – Network install from a minimal CD. I use this businesscard image debian-40r3-i386-businesscard.iso, but any netinst image should work as well.

  • Format the memory stick with ext2.

    mke2fs /dev/sdX1

    Change /dev/sdX1 to whatever your memory stick device is. On my system /dev/sda is my hard disk and /dev/sdb is my memory stick.

  • Mount the memory stick.

    mkdir /mnt/usbstick
    mount /dev/sdX1 /mnt/usbstick
  • Mount the ISO image and unpack to the memory stick.

    mkdir /mnt/isoimage
    mount -o loop,ro /path/to/debian-40r3-i386-businesscard.iso /mnt/isoimage
    cp -a /mnt/isoimage/* /mnt/usbstick
    cp -a /mnt/isoimage/.disk /mnt/usbstick
  • Make the memory stick bootable with extlinux (a syslinux alternative).

    extlinux -i /mnt/usbstick/
    sed -e 's![a-z][a-z0-9]*\.txt!/isolinux/&!' /mnt/usbstick/isolinux/isolinux.cfg >/mnt/usbstick/extlinux.conf
  • Unmount the memory stick.

    umount /mnt/usbstick
  • Boot and install using the memory stick.

    • Goto BIOS (Press DEL/ENTF to activate setup) and activate booting from memory stick.

      Boot->Boot Option #1->USB HardDisk->F10->yes 
    • At the boot prompt press <return>.

    • Now the debian installer starts and you can choose a language and the keyboard layout. When the installer searches for the CD-ROM drive, it fails and asks for manual driver loading and device configuration. Answer <No>, <No> and <Continue>.

    • At the main menu, press Alt-F2 and return for a root prompt. At the root prompt enter

      mount -o ro /dev/sdc1 /cdrom

      (/dev/sda is the hard disk and /dev/sdb is the memory slot) and return to the main menu with Alt-F1. Press return to continue the installation.

    • Now, just follow the instructions. When booting into the new system, remember to remove the memory stick and revert the BIOS to booting from hard disk.

    • However, the system is not complete, because X11 doesn’t start yet. For X11 to work, you need a newer kernel (e.g. linux-image-2.6.25-2-686). Look here for Etch or Sid

  • Cleanup.

    umount /mnt/isoimage
    rmdir /mnt/isoimage
    rmdir /mnt/usbstick

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