Hey there Natemaia,
So to answer your first question, not the same install. My initial install attempt was as follows:
- Custom partition
- no encryption
- i3-gaps and gnome
- Also a range of different additional applications
After launching the install I would receive the error leo00 received "…exited abnormally: 1 /usr/bin/mkinitcpio line 261:…linux-lts.preset: No such file or directory.
I then received the same error after doing as you instructed above installing the linux-vanilla.
However, I resolved the issue by not installing additional packages except for emacs, firefox, and rxvt-unicode.
The additional apps that I did install where the following:
I eliminated Firefox, emacs, and rxvt-unicode as possible sources of the issue, but was not able to continue troubleshooting. The only way I ended up getting Linux up and running was to not install any other packages. I just installed them after I was up an running.