Real novice with linux. Please help

Hi all. I know nothing about BIOS, but i cannot get any of my PCs to boot to anything other than windows 10. I get bogged down with eufi,shell and all sorts, even got stuck in shell but managed to escape back to windows! I appreciate every bios is different, but I’m really stuck. I have the usb stick ready, but can’t boot from it. I would really like for someone to puppy walk me through it - ideally on a live chat somehow. I know it’s unusual, but i really don’t know what I’m missing. I know it is down to boot priority order, but can’t seem to get anything other than windows.

Thank you
Mark UK

Hi Mark - and welcome to the forums!

We’re going to need a bit more info from you in order to get you (hopefully) sorted. :wink: Which flavour of Linux are you trying to boot from and how did you create the usb stick? Also, ‘… any of my pc’s…’ how many? And do they all have Windows installed on them?


Thank you, Rich. I realise this is a bios issue, but I need to access that before I can strt linux.

I have:
Dell Inspiron 15" laptop. 5/o with W10
Linx 10" tablet pc 3y/o with W10
PIPO X9 10" dual os 5y/o win W10 and Android 4.4

i want to use linux on the pipo AND Linx, but of the three, I thought the Dell would be easist to practice on.

I have purchased from Amazon yesterday, a 16GB USB drive, with ALL flavours on Linux on it.

On the Dell, I can access bios, but once there I am lost. I have tried to change the boot priority to usb first. I’m unsure if I have the correct selection, don’t know what (is it EUFI or something?) is. I save and exit, reboot and immeadiately the light on the usb flashes, but then boots to windows.
I did manage eventually at one point, see the menu of linux os - mint, cinammon etc, selected mint, but this triggered the dell to perform a diagnostic test (memory, colour display etc) and then the screen went totally blank for a long time, forcing me to do a hard switch off. At this point, I had given up with Dell, and started to try the oher two.

I have the same problems there - it seems to be the boot order - is it anything to do with secure boot? It keeps booting to Windows everytime. I think it is something simple but I just don’t know about bios.

In a perfect situation, I would like to copy the usb drive to a 256gb micro sd card, and boot up from the card slot buit in to the pipo. But I think that’s a bit ambitious. It would give me an awful lot more storage space than 16gb though. Not an issue though, if I can still access other usb memory sticks in limux.

Thank you, again. I’m more than happy to supply you my mobile number if you wish to give me a thumbs up by text or whatever, for an immeadiate response. I’m not back at work till Monday, so anytime is ok.


Mark - it is never a good idea to publish contact details on an open forum where anyone can pick them up and leave you open to scammers/abusers/trolls etc. I’ve removed the number to protect you. :wink:

One-to-one help is not the practice here as we are all volunteers, not paid professionals, though the depth of knowledge of some of our contributors sometimes belies that! All advice is freely given via the boards or occasionally, via Personal Messaging (PM’s). There may be a delay in replying from time-to-time but this is normal as we all have other things in our lives so please be patient when waiting for an answer? Hope this makes things a bit clearer?

That said, try this - and be aware that these are general instructions as Dell has a lot of models and it’s hard to know exactly which Bios is which!

Start the laptop and immediately repeatedly tap the F2 key to access the Bios menu (or F12 if that doesn’t work). Look for an option for ‘Legacy’ Bios or ‘Disable EUFI’ if available. Enable the option.

Navigate to the boot tab and then to the USB entry in the list. You may have to click on it to highlight it and then use the arrow keys to move it to the top (or it may automatically use the highlighted entry). Save and exit - often by pressing F10. Turn off the lappy, insert your USB stick, then reboot. If all is in order, it will boot from that. (If not, it may be that the USB installation has not been properly placed on the stick ie: copied to rather than burned.) You then have the option to try out Linux before installing it but be aware - it will always run much more slowly from a USB than it will when on a HDD.

We still need to know the flavour of Linux you are using and the way it got on to the stick?

Hope this helps


Thank you. I understand. As for how it was created, I don’t know. I bought it from Amazon - on the instructions were - I would have thought they know what they are doing. There are about 15 flavous all on the one usb, but I can’t get that far to decide.

Did you follow the instructions on the Linux Artists’ site?
If you did and it didn’t work, you might have got a bad product — they give a contact on that page to report problems.

My question is why are they selling it? it’s open source!

Looking at the pricing I’d say it’s around what you might pay for a run-of-the-mill usb stick that they are selling with Linux flavours added for ‘free’, then perhaps charge for ongoing support? Personally, I’d return it to Amazon and start again afresh with a blank stick and d/load and burn my own but that depends on the OP’s willingness and capabilities.

@ Mark - if you want to try this route with support from us, let us know. Many on here will testify that’s how we began with Linux and it’s a great way to learn about it at very little cost, really just the price of a decent quality usb stick. :wink:

Yeah Rich think yer right just charging for usb and as you said easy enough to create bootable usb and install even for a novice.

Welcome back Mark but Jeez don’t leave your email details on there.

Well spotted, darry :wink: I’d removed the phone number and missed the email address!

Thanks guys. I’ve d/l myself and it’s working fine. Very happy with the o/s. Thank you also for the security advice, stupid me!

Just one thing, now I’m almost up and running,

When I first booted up, I’m connected to a 40" tv and the resolution was extremely high - 4,000+ I guess. I figured out hot to reduce it to a more reasonable size and installed VLC. Also synched my Firefox. But I’ve restarted and it has reverted to high res again, and no sign of VLC.

I’m missing something very simple, I’m sure - but as I said, I’m a complete novice to Linux. I took too much for granted with Windows.

Thank you all, again.