TL;DR:

- if booting hangs, remove "quiet" and "rhgb" from the kernel command.
  This will show you the boot log in realtime.

- if a module is causing the hang, you can suppress it with 
  "modprobe.blacklist=modulename"


We needed a computer for casual use at a remote location.  So we pulled 
one out of retirement.

Boring first task / adventure: back up all the precious files.  It was 
dual boot Ubuntu 12.04 / Windows Vista.  Vista had suffered some kind of 
bit rot: svchost (or some name like that) was eating 100% CPU so that it 
was impossible to do backup from it.  Not a virus.  I wasted a lot of time 
trying to cure the problem but so many Vista tools have disappeared that I 
didn't get anywhere.  We'll do backing up of the Windows filesystem from 
Linux at some later date.

I replaced the 120G HDD with a 128G SSD that I bought yesterday for $40 
from The Source.  Boy those are getting cheap.  I did *not* copy the old 
disk to the new one.

I then tried to install Fedora 24 "Workstation" using a USB stick.  It 
hung part way through the balloon in the startup screen.  How I diagnosed 
and dealt with this is the real subject of this War Story.

- I rebooted the stick, selecting "check installation medium".  Checking 
  succeeded but the installation hung the same way

- rebooting from the stick, I hit "tab" on the menu item for installing.  
  This lets you edit the kernel parameters.  I removed "quiet" and "RHGB".
  This puts a boot log on the screen instead of the splash screen.

- thet boot stopped making progress when "acer_wmi" was started.  This is 
  a module intended to do things with Acer's ACPI stuff for wireless (I 
  think).  I guess my notebook is too old to match this module's 
  expectations.  The machine has hung but I've learned what's important.

- I reboot again, hitting tab again, removing "quiet" and "rhgb" again.  
  And I add "modprobe.blacklist=acer_wmi".  This magic incantation solves 
  the problem and I can complete the installation.  Apparently this also 
  sets up /etc/modprobe.d correctly so that the installed system
  will work too.  I discovered the incantation in the Fedora 24 
  Installation Guide section 8.2.3.

  The required parameter was "rdblacklist" in Fedora 16 days so perhaps it 
  is different in your distro of choice too.
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