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Linux 64 bit installation problem [Solved]

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steve57:
I'm having the same problem with 4 very different distros. I always follow the same procedure, download ISO, verify checksum, and create bootable USB. Give it a spin in live mode to check if any immediate issues arise, then assuming all is well install it. I always choose "erase disk", and don't interfere with anything else, just leave it to run it's course. Then remove the USB stick and boot it back up. Or try to, in fact I get "No bootable device" across the screen, and I've had this with all 4 distros. But, when I install 32 bit versions of exactly the same distros, they boot up fine and everything works perfectly.

So what's going wrong with 64 bit? I have never had any issues running any Linux distro (32 or 64) in live mode from USB sticks, so I doubt there's a problem there. Is something going haywire at the installation stage? Or could it be something to do with hardware/firmware?

The machine in question is a little Acer B113 netbook, 1.5Ghz processor and 2Gb RAM. All I use this for is experimenting and trying out different things. I have spent an awful lot of time searching the net for similar cases, and although I couldn't find any simple solution, I couldn't help notice that the issue of "No bootable device" appeared to crop up with Acer laptops/netbooks far more than any other brand. Coincidence?

Bearing in mind the low spec of this netbook I may well be better off sticking with 32 bit, but I would like to get to the bottom of it for 3 reasons:

1)  If a similar situation rears it's ugly head in the future on another machine I will have some idea where to start looking
2)  Some distros have already dropped 32 bit support, and I believe a lot more will be doing in the next year or 2 (a sore point with me, but I won't ramble about it just now)
3)  Last, but not least, I really don't like these issues to get the better of me

Any thoughts or suggestions anyone has will be much appreciated, and as I said previously, I only use it for playing around with, so happy to try out more or less anything. Better point out that although I've been using Linux for a year or 2 I still regard myself as a novice.

Thank you

Keith:
Hi Steve -  and welcome to the Forum.

Just clutching at straws - is this a 32 bit machine?  If so then that could well be the problem and, as you say, Acers do seem to be particularly susceptible. 

For everyday work, 32 bits is fine and I would recommend installing one of the several 32 bit versions of Linux available: https://www.fosslinux.com/43256/linux-distributions-support-32-bit-architecture.htm

If you need to run very modern software that is available only in 64 bit then a "new" PC might be in order. 

Keith

steve57:
Sorry Keith, but no, it's definitely a 64 bit machine, I checked at a very early stage. Besides, if it was only a 32 bit machine surely the 64 bit distros wouldn't have run in live mode from USB stick?

One small detail I didn't mention in my original post is that when this machine first came into my possession I found it had already got a 32 bit version of Linux Mint installed. Initially I thought this was a bit strange, but now I'm thinking the previous owner probably had the same problems.

Thanks

Keith:
The web info I found wasn't very specific about 32/64 bit for your Asus so, as I said: just clutching at straws. 
I seem to remember from the distant past that when 64 bit was the new thing some 64 bit computers would run 32 bit operating systems but not the other way round, although one can do it in a virtual environment, apparently:  https://unix.stackexchange.com/questions/118343/run-64-bit-app-on-32-bit-ubuntu-system.

If the previous owner had the same problem, then it looks like you are in trouble unless you go to a lot of effort with Virtual Machines.  It's very odd, though. 
Perhaps other Members can offer some advice. 

Keith

steve57:
I've not optimistic about sorting this problem. Had a look at the Acer Community forum, typed "No bootable device" into the search box, hit enter and promptly got 4,500 hits! Of the handful that I looked at in detail there wasn't much in the way of solutions either, generally they were just advising to do some pretty obvious checks. If the issue is so common but with no sensible solution it makes me wonder if Acer themselves know what the problem is. Or perhaps they do, but aren't letting on?

My research also confirms what Keith has said, i.e. that some of these machines although equipped with 64 bit processors weren't really designed to run 64 bit systems, especially at the budget end of the price scale. Let's face it, a budget Acer is hardly what you'd call cream of the crop is it?

One further experiment I intend to try is to install something convenient (probably Mint) onto a spare portable HDD I've got lying around, just to see if that'll boot up. But that's going to be one of those "when I get round to it" jobs. Maybe in couple of weeks when I've got week off work.

Thanks

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