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.
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.
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.
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
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