Generic X86 setup pre-install questions

Now that a Generic X86 full OS install seems to have been made a relatively easy affair (Kudos on that by the way, it’s been long overdue), I would like to move from Core running in Docker on my main NAS server to a separate machine and I have a few questions. I was given an i3 Lenovo Thinkcentre from work that was being retired. I have a few pre-install questions.
1- General target HDD prep: If wiping the drive pre-install, what is the optimal format to put on it?

2- Drive has a recovery partition. I assume it needs to be wiped/merged with main partition? Any pitfalls to watch out for when doing so?

3- Aeotech USB Zwave Dongles: does adding it before 1st boot make onboarding/setting it up any easier? (I assume I should reset the dongle so I can set up from scratch).

4- 2ND hard drive. I have a spare 1TB internal looking a job. Is there some utility to adding a 2nd storage drive (ie, having a dedicated media drive or storage for one of the security cam addons? I might also like to try the LMS add-on in Hass to compare to my Unraid docker install of it). If so is there an optimal format for that drive, should it go in before 1st boot?

  1. ext4
  2. yes, no pitfalls that I know off

Nope. LeNOvo NO LIKEY. Error 1962 - No OS found… The battle continues…

I had to update my bios on my lenovo computer.

And I think for that setup you’d be better with debian+supervised.

Which is where I’m at now. The install HomeAssistant on Debian walkthrough elswhere in the community guides isn’t too clear on what Debian install I should be aiming for ie. Am I going for a headless system (The instructions seem to skip right over whether I need to have Gnome at all…I assume not???).

Headless is correct, as minimal as you can.

So I uncheck both Debian desktop environment and Gnome. The only thing left checked is standard system utils…do I need to anything else back (like webserver & SSH server)?

I would choose ssh server, web server is not needed.

Gotcha…I’ll add that one back.

Up and running (fingers crossed that it survives a reboot) but so far so good. Supervised Goodness after much weekend-wasting fuckery with the HassOS image. Debian Supervised seems to still be the way to go. (It had been a loooong while since I had to do an install of it)
Thanks for the pointers.

Pleased you got it going.

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