Perhaps influenced by Jonathan, downloaded and burned a Solaris 10 x86 installation DVD. Hit reboot (what should have marked the end of the just-prior Debian installation) and got…

Cannot find boot.bin </p>

Not an encouraging start…

This box has fairly recent/generic hardware – ECS K7S5A Pro motherboard, 2.4Ghz Athlon, 1GB RAM, 200GB in 2 disks, an DVD-reader (primary) and a CD-writer (secondary) – nothing exotic. The box has played host to Redhat, Gentoo, Fedora, and Debian installations without trouble.

Seems this symptom is not unknown, but not really explained. Popped the DVD into another machine and found two instances of “boot.bin”, so I’m thinking the problem is not with the disk.

Oh well - guess I will not be playing with Solaris any time soon.