Lardmonster: I agree with your assessment on the apostrophes. I was convinced that leaving these parameters 'dynamic' instead of 'fixed' would be better, but it just wasn't booting when I had left them dynamic. Making the fixed worked for me.
ramuk: I checked that pdf you referenced:
- If the internal HDD (/dev/sda) is already formatted in xfs format, formatting will not be performed. However, if you set force_format=yes in /etc/melco/info, you can format irrespective of whether the HDD is currently formatted in xfs format or not.
- If the internal HDD (/dev/sda) already has partitions, those partitions will be deleted.
I did encounter the case once where I pressed the red button when I knew the drive was formatted but I got some sort of error sounding beep and the serial interface spit out "the drive is already formatted!" This is consistent with the statements above.
But with the partitions deleted (via fdisk), it looked like the button press would create the 4 partitions and then hang for some reason. Maybe creating the exact same partitions that I just deleted made the drive appear as suddenly back the way it was before I deleted the partitions. That is possible I guess. Then maybe it saw some files on the drive it didn't like and just stopped. Maybe I should have formatted the drive, then deleted the partitions. I bet that might have also worked.