FYI. I installed edgy from scratch on a brand-new laptop, with no issues. However, following a bad mishap on my part, I need to reinstall it. This time, I went for the alternative i386 CD. I choose to reuse the existing partitions (1 NTFS, 1 ext3 for /, 1 swap) , and not format the one containing / (didn't want to lose the contents of /home). So I dropped to a shell and rm -rf'd everything except /home.
The install then "fails" with grub unable to install itself, so I installed lilo.
The system is now up & running, but:
a) grub-install hd0 or grub-install hd0,n fails with:
Could not find device for /boot: Not found or not a block device.
b) cat /etc/fstab : # UNCONFIGURED FSTAB FOR BASE SYSTEM is the only line...
I found some "advice" to fix the grub issue by copying /proc/mounts to /etc/fstab, but that didn't work, as it contains a reference to /dev/root and rootfs, but no "real" device.
This is just another example that fstab may be created in target at an inappropriate moment, as a somewhat knowledgeable user can still break things during install.