Maybe I wasn't clear in the first go. I had the same GRUB failure with Linux Mint (regular edition), which is (classified as) stable.
You can always mount a partition with the Live cd. Ubuntu or Mint or one designated for the purpose of restoration. The Mepis cd would have worked if it is live. Then, you could check your logs and see if the problem is logged. That is, if you actually got LMDE installed. I note also that if it was simply a GRUB problem, and you still had Mepis in there, you could have restored the Mepis GRUB and then manually configured it to include LMDE.
Right. MEPIS is a live CD and I used it to restore GRUB. That is I used the tool MEPIS provides to write the MEPIS Grub (.97) to the mbr (and let it detect the other installed OSes).
It is likely that there was a failure to recognize your graphics card since GRUB now is different. Also, a failure to install is not necessarily a bug. And posting here does not constitute a bug report. Distro to distro there are differing kernel images involved, plus all the other differing junk. You likely could have passed a kernel option that may have prevented the bust - I don't know. You installed a "testing" release.
- It (grub, LMDE) did install, I am pretty sure (and a failure to install IS a bug ...), however GRUB did not work properly in that I only got a screwed up image in minty colors ... and no option to do anything at this stage.
- According to the release notes, there is no official bugtracker set up for LMDE and the recommendation was to post it in the forum ...
- I could not pass a kernel parameter, as ... I had nothing to pass it onto, no GRUB, no shell, no nothing
- I had the same GRUB failure with Linux Mint (classic Edition), I had hoped it would be different with LMDE
- By the way I am typing this from LMDE ...
If you don't want to learn how to config GRUB 1.98, simply chose distros like Mepis that use the .97 version. You can check out the package lists of distros at Distrowatch. Debian Squeeze uses GRUB 1.98 for the first time. Thus, LMDE does also.
I beg you pardon. I never ever had a bootloader-mess like this, with no prompt or command line available as fall back option. I do very well work myself through the available information sources if I really need to. In this case I knew that the MEPIS live-cd would just be alright to re-write its own bootloader again back on the MBR. I am not in the mood of swallowing that "if you don't want to learn - go away" sort of argument.
Pardus still uses [...]
GRUB.97 and LiLo are included in LMDE, I think, and can be installed later, if you prefer. Course, you would have to know how - right?
LMDE is based upon Debian testing, which means it is changing (except now Squeeze is frozen which means less change for the moment). Going after the "latest" release with an older box is always a challenge, especially a laptop. The release notes for LMDE cover the "testing" and volatile nature of such a release
Thanks for the general advice. I do know what Debian testing is. Maybe I should just get a recent snapshot and try it directly. However, time is a major constraint for me and thus, I prefer Distros that provide a decent out-of-the-box experience (incl. only very few codec hunting). This is why I do like Linux Mint or MEPIS.