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Support => General Help & Advice => Topic started by: Ava on March 03, 2011, 05:52:09 pm

Title: No version of Linux will install on my computer.
Post by: Ava on March 03, 2011, 05:52:09 pm
Hi,

I'm quite new to Linux, so sorry if the problem here is obvious. I've been using Windows for a while but I really hate it now, and I want Linux on my computer; I've tried installing Ubuntu, Debian and Linux Mint, many, many times. A few others too, I think. I keep coming to the same sort of problem - errors to do with the harddrive. On Ubuntu and Linux Mint it claims I don't have 2.6 (around that, at least) GB of harddrive space free. On Debian it says it can't find the disc drive at some point... I have searched a lot for solutions but found nothing. I don't know how to do things in the bios either...  :-\
 When I was reinstalling Windows I tried deleting the drives, and there's barely anything on the computer at the moment.
 Oh, I did finally manage to install Ubuntu, actually - it said it had to restart, but then it went straight back to that live thing, where you get the option to install, again... so I turned it off, took the disc out and turned it back on... I had a split partition with it on there, so I went on Ubuntu, and it said finishing in 5 seconds. I can't remember the error message it came up with now, but it basically just doesn't get any further despite the fact I followed its instructions exactly.
 I currently have two partitions, so maybe it wants one with nothing on it? I don't see how I'm supposed to do that if it doesn't get past the part where it lets me delete drives...

Can anyone help?  :-[
Title: Re: No version of Linux will install on my computer.
Post by: Mark Greaves (PCNetSpec) on March 03, 2011, 06:15:26 pm
OK, I take it yoou want to create a dual-boot setup with Windows AND Ubuntu...

If so...

1) In Windows, run a disk Defragment.

2) Boot to the Ubuntu LiveCD, and select "Try Ubuntu" when asked (not "Install Ubuntu")... when you are at a working desktop...

3) Go to System>Administration>Gparted Partition Editor.

4) Resize your Windows Partition(s) leaving room for the Ubuntu partition after it (ie to the right of your Windows partition leave some unpartitioned empty space)

5) Click the "Install Ubuntu" icon on the desktop.

6) When it gets to the part where it asks about where to put Ubuntu... tell it to use the empty space.

Be Aware as with any partition operation there is always a small chance of partition table corruption, so make sure you have the ability to re-install Windows if necessary (ie. a CD) and you've backed up any important stuff first.

[EDIT]
If you end up with that error message again, post the exact message here.
Title: Re: No version of Linux will install on my computer.
Post by: Ava on March 03, 2011, 09:23:44 pm
Oh, no, I don't want windows at all any more, sorry. But I could just follow those steps and simply delete the Windows partitions, couldn't I?

I'll try tomorrow and tell you how it goes.

Thanks :)
Title: Re: No version of Linux will install on my computer.
Post by: Mark Greaves (PCNetSpec) on March 03, 2011, 09:35:08 pm
Yep, that would work... just delete ALL partitions using Gparted... then tell the Ubuntu installer to use the whole drive.

These may also help:
http://linuxforums.org.uk/ubuntu/ubuntu-crash/msg38062/#msg38062 (http://linuxforums.org.uk/ubuntu/ubuntu-crash/msg38062/#msg38062)
and further down the same page:
http://linuxforums.org.uk/ubuntu/ubuntu-crash/msg38182/#msg38182 (http://linuxforums.org.uk/ubuntu/ubuntu-crash/msg38182/#msg38182)

If you still have problems, try testing the LiveCD for errors?

You can do this by booting to the LiveCD, then holding the Shift key as soon as the BIOS POST screen disappears and waiting for the GRUB menu screen to display, then selecting "Check CDROM for defects" (or similar)...and just to be sure it isn't the CDROM drive itself having problems reading the disk... do this in the CD drive you are trying to install from.

If you still have problems, let us know what the error message is.
Title: Re: No version of Linux will install on my computer.
Post by: Ava on March 08, 2011, 05:47:53 pm
Sorry it's taken so long to reply, didn't get a chance before. I've just tried Linux Mint (lost the disc with Ubuntu on it, but I thought it's similar enough anyway) - I've got to this Gparted thing, but it says 'no devices detected'. What does this mean? :/
Title: Re: No version of Linux will install on my computer.
Post by: Mark Greaves (PCNetSpec) on March 08, 2011, 06:23:12 pm
Sounds like a hard drive controller/mode issue...

Try seeing if you have a "SATA native mode" option in the BIOS, and try changing its setting.

Or change the "storage configuration" in the BIOS from RAID to IDE or AHCI.

Is this a brand new system? .. ie. does it use SATA III (marvel 9128 controller), if so try connecting the drive to another port.

And lastly... try adding the pci=nomsi kernel boot parameter.
Instructions here:
http://www.ubuntu1501.com/2007/01/installing-ubuntu-on-your-dell-1501.html (http://www.ubuntu1501.com/2007/01/installing-ubuntu-on-your-dell-1501.html)
Title: Re: No version of Linux will install on my computer.
Post by: Ava on March 08, 2011, 06:35:28 pm
"Try seeing if you have a "SATA native mode" option in the BIOS, and try changing its setting.

Or change the "storage configuration" in the BIOS from RAID to IDE or AHCI.
"

How do I do that? Sorry, I've never done anything with the bios other than press enter when it tells me to :/

"Is this a brand new system? .. ie. does it use SATA III (marvel 9128 controller), if so try connecting the drive to another port."
Er... well, I've probably had it for about a year, it wasn't too expensive at the time and probably doesn't have the latest technology or anything. And do you mean actually go into the computer and shift things about....?  :-\
Title: Re: No version of Linux will install on my computer.
Post by: Mark Greaves (PCNetSpec) on March 08, 2011, 06:48:50 pm
The BIOS is *usually* accessed by hitting one of the following keys as soon as you turn your PC on (when you see the first screen).

Delete

F2

F12

(different makes/models use different keys)

You'll *normally" see a message displayed as soon as you turn your PC on telling you which key to press.

If you've had the PC for a year it's unlikely to be SATA III, but not impossible (came out about a year ago but tended to be on high end systems only)

What's the make and model number of your PC?
Title: Re: No version of Linux will install on my computer.
Post by: Ava on March 08, 2011, 10:06:11 pm
Ok, changing the SATA native mode didn't help, so I changed it back.
 
I can't find the Storage Configuration - would that be under another name, and any idea where I should look for that in the bios?

The computer doesn't have make/model number as it was 'home assembled', as my boyfriend puts it. It won't have been made out of expensive things though.

In the tutorial, the fourth image down... I never got that menu with any of the CDs I tried other than Debian. With Ubuntu and Linux Mint it just goes straight to the live version. Did I download the wrong thing? I'm downloading Ubuntu again since I can't find my disc - is it the desktop edition I want?

Thanks for all your help, by the way. :)
Title: Re: No version of Linux will install on my computer.
Post by: Mark Greaves (PCNetSpec) on March 08, 2011, 11:47:33 pm
Yes the Desktop edition of 10.10 Maverick.

If you mean the GRUB boot screen, did you hold the Shift key, as soon as your PC's BIOS POST screen disappears.

BIOS POST Screen = the first screen you see when your PC is switched on.

Just for information
BIOS = Basic Input/Output System
POST = Power On Self Test

ie. you turn on your PC, you should get either a manufacturers logo screen, or a screen with system info (usually black screen with white writing)... as soon as this disappears (immediately before your screen changes to the Ubuntu sceen), press and hold the "Shift" key, until the GRUB menu screen is displayed.
(if you get to the purple(ish) Ubuntu screen with the 4 or 5 dots, you missed it, and will have to try again... timing is everything with this operation I'm afraid)

Do you know the make/model of your motherboard ?

No you probably didn't download the wrong version... the Ubuntu/Mint LiveCD's don't display the GRUB menu screen unless you hold shift during booting.

Direct Ubuntu download links for 10.10 Desktop LiveCD

32bit:
http://releases.ubuntu.com/maverick/ubuntu-10.10-desktop-i386.iso (http://releases.ubuntu.com/maverick/ubuntu-10.10-desktop-i386.iso)

64bit:
http://releases.ubuntu.com/maverick/ubuntu-10.10-desktop-amd64.iso (http://releases.ubuntu.com/maverick/ubuntu-10.10-desktop-amd64.iso)

Direct Ubuntu download links for 10.10 Desktop (Alternate Install CD)

32bit:
http://releases.ubuntu.com/maverick/ubuntu-10.10-alternate-i386.iso (http://releases.ubuntu.com/maverick/ubuntu-10.10-alternate-i386.iso)

64bit:
http://releases.ubuntu.com/maverick/ubuntu-10.10-alternate-amd64.iso (http://releases.ubuntu.com/maverick/ubuntu-10.10-alternate-amd64.iso)

If unsure whether you have a 64bit CPU, just get the 32bit edition... 32bit will run on 32 AND 64bit CPU's
The 64bit editions will ONLY run on 64bit CPU's

It might be worth seeing if you'll have better luck with the Alternate Install CD.
Title: Re: No version of Linux will install on my computer.
Post by: Mark Greaves (PCNetSpec) on March 09, 2011, 02:21:57 am
Boot from your 10.10 LiveCD, and as soon as you see:

(http://linuxforums.org.uk/MGalleryItem.php?id=1122)

displayed at the bottom of your screen... keep hitting the Space Bar until...

A screen similar to this will appear and ask you to select a language... select English and hit Enter:
(if you get to the purple Ubuntu screen with the 5 or 6 dots, you missed it and will have to try again)
(http://linuxforums.org.uk/MGalleryItem.php?id=1132)

Press the F6 key, and a menu will open like the one in the picture above

Select the nodmraid option, and hit Enter (so an X appears next to it).

Hit the Esc key to exit the F6 menu.

Press Enter to "Try Ubuntu without installing"

Now see if Gparted detects your disks.

You may have to try other options from the F6 menu, such as acpi=off, or noapic, but try them one at a time at first.



Something else worth doing, would be to select the "Check disk for defects" option from the first screenshot, to check the CDROM is being read properly.



One last thing... I've seem similar problems before when using an IDE hard drive *and* an IDE CD drive... where the CD drive was set to master, and the hard drive set to slave... or the CD drive on IDE1 and the hard drive on IDE2.
effectively giving the CD drive a higher priority than the hard drive.
Title: Re: No version of Linux will install on my computer.
Post by: Ava on March 09, 2011, 08:17:39 pm
Ok, I tried changing the thing to nodmraid and the others, that didn't make a difference. Checked the disc, apparently it's fine.

I don't know where to find this IDE stuff, but it does have
Primary IDE Master:  Not detected
Primary IDE Slave:  ATAPI CDROM

Is this impossible...? :/
Title: Re: No version of Linux will install on my computer.
Post by: Mark Greaves (PCNetSpec) on March 09, 2011, 09:20:28 pm
I don't know where to find this IDE stuff, but it does have
Primary IDE Master:  Not detected
Primary IDE Slave:  ATAPI CDROM

Where are you seeing this message... in the BIOS?

If so, does it mention *anything* about a SATA (rather than IDE) hard drive?
Title: Re: No version of Linux will install on my computer.
Post by: Mark Greaves (PCNetSpec) on March 10, 2011, 01:31:08 am
Apparently (I hope) I was right a few answers ago, with the pci=nomsi kernel boot parameter ;)
See here:
http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/linux-hardware-18/linux-will-not-recognize-any-sata-devices-853907/ (http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/linux-hardware-18/linux-will-not-recognize-any-sata-devices-853907/)
Same XFX MI-A78S-8209 Motherboard as yours (discovered in chat), and same problem... marked SOLVED)

This seems to be a problem with the way your BIOS version initialises the VIA VT8251 south bridge SATA controller... XFX did release a BIOS Update that fixed the issue, but appear to have withdrawn it for some reason (at least I can't find it on their website)... and now (hopefully) on to a fix that doesn't require the BIOS update.

Boot from your 10.10 LiveCD, and as soon as you see:

(http://linuxforums.org.uk/MGalleryItem.php?id=1122)

displayed at the bottom of your screen... keep hitting the Space Bar until...

A screen similar to this will appear and ask you to select a language... select English and hit Enter:
(if you get to the purple Ubuntu screen with the 5 or 6 dots, you missed it and will have to try again)
(http://linuxforums.org.uk/MGalleryItem.php?id=1132)

Press the F6 key, and a menu will open as in the above picture.

Hit the Esc key to exit the F6 menu (you MUST enter F6 then exit the menu, or the White text won't appear)

You will now see some WHITE text just above the F1 through F6 options, that looks like this:

(http://linuxforums.org.uk/MGalleryItem.php?id=1082)

Now type:
pci=nomsi
(For clarity... that's PCI=NOMSI in lower case... MUST be lower case... FYI, msi = Message Signal Interrupts)

so the end of that line reads:
quiet splash -- pci=nomsi

Press Enter to "Try Ubuntu without installing"

Now see if Gparted detects your disks... if so, just install Ubuntu.



This next bit may seem a bit of a pain, but you'll only have to do it once.

After you finish installing Ubuntu from the CD, (when you first boot from the hard drive) you will need to enter the pci=nomsi option again, but the way you edit the boot options is now slightly different...

As soon as your BIOS POST screen disappears, and you see:

(http://linuxforums.org.uk/MGalleryItem.php?id=1122)

Press SHIFT key, you will be presented with the GRUB menu

Select the 'default' Ubuntu kernel (usually the top one), and rather than pressing enter, press E to edit.

You will be presented with a screen like this:

(http://linuxforums.org.uk/MGalleryItem.php?id=1152)

Press DOWN ARROW until you get to the line that starts with:

Quote
linux /boot


and press the END key to position the cursor at the end of the that line... it *usually* ends with “quiet splash”.

Now you can enter additional kernel boot options... the nomodeset option has been added in the above screenshot... but you need to add pci=nomsi in its place, so make the end of that line read:

Quote
quiet splash pci=nomsi

(doesn't matter if it moves down a line, as long as there is a space between splash and pci=nomsi)

Now hit Ctrl+X to boot.

Now to make the fix permanent.

To make the fix permanent...Once booted into Ubuntu from the hard drive, open a terminal (Applications>Accessories>Teminal)

In the terminal enter:
Code: [Select]
sudo gedit /etc/default/grub
hit enter, and enter yor password when asked. (FYI, you won't "see" anything being entered when you type your password but it IS being entered)

When gedit opens, find the line that reads:
GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash"
and change it to:
GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash pci=nomsi"
Save and exit gedit. (make SURE you click Save before exiting)

now back in a terminal, enter:
Code: [Select]
sudo update-grub
Hit Enter, and your password if/when asked.

You're done... Ubuntu should now boot without the need to enter the pci=nomsi option every boot.

Title: Re: No version of Linux will install on my computer.
Post by: Ava on March 10, 2011, 05:54:53 pm
Mark, you are fantastic!  ;D Thank you so much! It's working  ;D
Title: Re: No version of Linux will install on my computer.
Post by: Mark Greaves (PCNetSpec) on March 10, 2011, 06:42:36 pm
Glad to be of service :) .. Now you can tell your brother/dad (or whoever it was) to stop being so negative... you ARE capable of fixing issues. ;)

For them ---->
C:-) :P :P :P :P :P C:-)
Title: Re: No version of Linux will install on my computer.
Post by: Ava on March 10, 2011, 08:47:38 pm
My boyfriend :p Haha - I only followed instructions though.
Title: Re: No version of Linux will install on my computer.
Post by: Mark Greaves (PCNetSpec) on March 10, 2011, 08:55:52 pm
Meh... we're all on a learning curve... at least you stuck at it till done, and it didn't fall apart in your hands so he still deserves it ;)
Title: Re: No version of Linux will install on my computer.
Post by: Ava on March 10, 2011, 09:36:37 pm
Hehe, true.
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