Cannot boot Dell XPS 17 from Live DVD or USB

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Cannot boot Dell XPS 17 from Live DVD or USB

Postby Sparhawk on Thu Jan 19, 2012 12:21 am

Hi,

I'm trying to install Linux Mint 12 (DVD, 64-bit) on a new Dell XPS 17 (L702X), which came preloaded with Windows 7. I first tried installing from a USB drive, using unetbootin, then "Universal USB Installer". In both cases, I restarted, then selected USB in the BIOS. Whether I select "Start Linux Mint" or "Start Linux Mint (compatibility mode)" the boot stalls at:
Code: Select all
[    n.nnnnnn] sd 6:0:0:0: [sdc] Attached SCSI removable disk

where n is a number.
I attempted to burn the iso onto a DVD-R instead. This time (selecting either "Start Linux Mint" or "Start Linux Mint (compatibility mode)"), the boot stalls at:
Code: Select all
[    n.nnnnnn] sr 5:0:0:0: Attached scsi CD-ROM sr0
[    n.nnnnnn] sr 5:0:0:0: Attached scsi generic sg2 type 5

I've Googled (and DuckDuckgoed) for a few hours on this, but to no avail. I did come across something similar to the first error, where it was suggested the Nvidia GPU was to blame. Unfortunately, being a laptop, it's not easy (I guess) to simply unplug the GPU. Is it likely this is the problem, or is it something else?

Cheers, and thanks in advance.
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Re: Cannot boot Dell XPS 17 from Live DVD or USB

Postby Sparhawk on Thu Jan 19, 2012 2:13 am

After teching for a few more hours… I get the the same result when attempting to install Ubuntu from a USB stick (perhaps unsurprisingly). I also tried Fedora, and the boot failed again, this time with the final lines
Code: Select all
udevd[169]: '/sbin/modprobe -bv pci:v000010DEd0000124Dsv00001028sd00000571bc03sc00i00' [172] terminated by signal 9 (Killed)

[    n.nnnnnn] dracut: Starting plymouth daemon

again where n represents a digit.
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Re: Cannot boot Dell XPS 17 from Live DVD or USB

Postby twigginsga on Sat Jan 21, 2012 2:15 pm

I found this to work for me:
Credit goes to http://community.linuxmint.com/tutorial/view/420

When you have tried to boot any linux distribution, have you had the
issue that you cannot get past: "Kernel_Thread_Helper (and some
numbers...)?

BEFORE INSTALLATION (LIVE CD ONLY)

If so, then I have the fix for you. If you have not already installed
Linux, when you get to the boot screen that gives you an option for
Normal boot or Recovery Boot, choose the option to edit the boot
options, (this is sometimes done by hitting "e" or "tab"buttons, just
depends on your distro)

then on the line that says: GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUD_DEFAULT="quit splash"

change it to say: GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUD_DEFAULT="quit splash acpi=off"

this will get you through to be able to install, however this can hurt
your system if you boot with this option everytime because it turns
off the fan, and all of the thermal power controls.



Once installed, you need to open up a terminal, and type: "Sudo nano
/etc/default/grub" (without the quotes)

then when you get the boot options, go to the line:
GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUD_DEFAULT="quit splash"

and make it look like this: GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUD_DEFAULT="quit splash
acpi=enable pci=noacpi pci=assign-busse acpi=ht"

Then hit CONTROL + x, enter, enter



once you have exited the editing portion, you then need to update the
GRUB file,



type "sudo update-grub" and this should update everything. you should
be able to boot without any issues now. :)
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Re: Cannot boot Dell XPS 17 from Live DVD or USB

Postby Sparhawk on Sat Jan 21, 2012 10:55 pm

Thank you for that! It does indeed seem to work now! Do you know what the "acpi=enable pci=noacpi pci=assign-busse acpi=ht" options actually do?

I also wanted to record a few notes for future users, including where I differed from the linked page.

I booted from USB (Linux Mint 12, 64-bit, Live DVD), using "Universal USB Installer". On the Linux splash screen, press tab to edit boot options. Despite the instructions, I could not find a line that said
Code: Select all
GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUD_DEFAULT="quit splash"

I found this line
Code: Select all
/casper/vmlinuz noprompt cdrom-detect/try-usb=true persistent file=/cdrom/preseed/mint.seed boot=casper initrd=/casper/initrd.lz quiet splash --
and added text to make it
Code: Select all
/casper/vmlinuz noprompt cdrom-detect/try-usb=true persistent file=/cdrom/preseed/mint.seed boot=casper initrd=/casper/initrd.lz quiet splash -- acpi=off


I then installed Linux Mint (using gparted to make partitions, as the installer partitioner failed).

When restarting you again need to specify acpi=off. I edited boot options again (this time by pressing "e" as per the on-screen instruction. Then, I changed the line ending with
Code: Select all
...quiet splash vt.handoff=7
to
Code: Select all
...quiet splash vt.handoff=7 acpi=off


Open up terminal, type in
Code: Select all
sudo nano
/etc/default/grub
Again, I couldn't find the referenced text, but I think it was a typo. I changed
Code: Select all
GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash"
to
Code: Select all
GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash acpi=enable pci=noacpi pci=assign-busse acpi=ht"
, then quit nano (control-x, "y", enter), then edited the GRUB file from within terminal by typing
Code: Select all
sudo update-grub


Thanks again for the help, and thanks for registering to help me! I really do appreciate it! I was really tearing my hair out! Cheers!
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Re: Cannot boot Dell XPS 17 from Live DVD or USB

Postby Sparhawk on Fri Jan 27, 2012 7:39 pm

Just to give this thread some (more) closure, I've since managed to boot with no custom options.

Firstly, I managed to reduce my boot options to pci=noacpi, by troubleshooting as per http://www.lesswatts.org/projects/acpi/debug.php

Recently, I installed Bumblebee, which is a package that controls the Optimus Nvidia graphics card (since the native drivers do not function correctly). This package will not work with pci=noacpi (or acpi=off), so I attempted to disable it. This worked fine (both in booting and with Bumblebee). I'm guessing that either general system updates or this package is to blame for fixing my computer! Thanks again for your help!
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Re: Cannot boot Dell XPS 17 from Live DVD or USB

Postby Adversus on Sun Feb 12, 2012 4:08 pm

Just to help other people with this problem ending up reading this thread: I experienced very similar problems (new Dell XPS 17), along with being unable to boot from my USB stick (created from Ubuntu), falling back to a command prompt. Typing "live" continues the boot process, but you don't get an opportunity to fiddle with options then -> stuck. Solved this by using info from here: did the vesamenu.32 -> live thing but also added acpi=off in that same file (see post higher up that does that in the boot options, the line is the same). This then allowed me to install Mint from USB without any problems, yay!

Booting into Mint then does not work yet, you get a black screen, to temporarily get around this without editing boot options choose the "recovery mode" option in the grub boot loader, then choose to "continue as normal". In that session I installed bumblebee from the ppa using details found here. Booting as well as running now works like a charm, without modifying anything to the grub boot command (as noted in the post above).
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