I cannot install Mint although I installed with no problem before. Live USB cannot see my laptop's SSD.

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Katana97
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I cannot install Mint although I installed with no problem before. Live USB cannot see my laptop's SSD.

Post by Katana97 » Wed Nov 06, 2019 1:39 pm

I've searched the whole internet for a solution to this I think!
I've been using Mint for a few years now, and know the basics although I'm far from expert. I'm at the 'search forums for an answer that seems to make sense and take a chance' stage of knowledge - generally cautiously copying/pasting into the terminal with crossed fingers - so go easy on me.

Here's the full story:

My old laptop died. Bought a HP Elitebook 755 G5 from ebay.

Windows 10 was installed (obvs) but I wanted to be able to dual boot to Windows or Mint, so I used Windows partition manager to shrink the partition, then made a Live USB with Linux Mint on to install Mint.
(Mint 19.2 wouldn't install; just a black screen after the GRUB menu. I tried the 'nomodeset' thing and made sure Secure Boot was off, but no luck so made another USB stick up with Mint 18 on it and that booted fine to a live session. I installed Mint 18 no problem, then updated it until I had 19.2 and used it for about a week - lovely!)

THEN: I remembered I had a fingerprint reader. I activated it in Windows, thought I'd see if I could use it in Mint (thinking how nice it would be not to have to type my password in every time I updated or installed something, etc etc).
I found a few answers online saying it might work, despite there seeming to be no official Linux driver for the reader. However the method didn't seem to work, and I ended up with a system that was expecting a fingerprint every time a SU password was asked for, but with no ability to read one. My password wasn't recognised AT ALL, in a terminal, in Update Manager, Synaptic, I couldn't use Timeshift either as that had the same problem.

I gave up fixing the mistake, but wasn't too bothered as I had hardly used the laptop and only had a few applications and personal files on it.
"I'll just wipe it and start again!" I thought to myself.

So: (Are you still reading?)

Created a Windows USB using the Windows USB Creator software from the Microsoft website. Made another Linux Mint 18 Live USB (exactly the same as before).
Installed Windows 10, using the installer to wipe the SSD. No problem. Fully updated Windows.
Shrank the Windows partition as before. Left over 300GB free space on the SSD as before.
Changed the BIOS settings to boot from USB as before. Secure Boot off as before. 19.2 still wouldn't work so Mint 18 Live USB back in.

HERE'S THE MAIN PROBLEM:

NOW, the Mint Live USB cannot 'see' my laptop's SSD. It makes no attempt to detect it. The only disk or partition it knows about is itself. The Mint installer program tries to install Mint to the USB stick itself and complains that there's not enough space.
Gparted cannot see the laptop, it's SSD or any partitions either, just the one on the USB stick.
(If it might be a clue, the live session maybe seems to be a bit 'cut down' too; it crashes sometimes and there's no way to connect to WiFi etc.)

I've read about UEFI and Legacy and am sure I have everything right. The USB stick and the laptop are both using EFI mode.
Ive tried many different USB sticks, and several different tools for creating the Mint USB (Rufus, unetbootin etc etc)
I've tried all the available versions of Linux Mint.
I've tried ensuring Windows has done a full shutdown before booting to the USB.
I've tried Compatability mode.
I've updated the laptop's BIOS and tried all this both before and after the update.

I can only guess something about the previous install (of Windows or Mint) has changed something and is lingering in the BIOS or something.
It's driving me potty as I know Linux Mint DOES install and run on this laptop as it was working beautifully a week or so ago before I buggered it up!

PLEASE HELP ME! How do I get Mint to see/create the partitions on the laptop's SSD and install to them?

Thanks everyone!

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ernie dingbat
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Re: I cannot install Mint although I installed with no problem before. Live USB cannot see my laptop's SSD.

Post by ernie dingbat » Wed Nov 06, 2019 3:27 pm

Katana97 wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 1:39 pm
My old laptop died. Bought a HP Elitebook 755 G5 from ebay.

Windows 10 was installed (obvs) but I wanted to be able to dual boot to Windows or Mint
Hi, Katana97

You won't be able to do that unless you break win10 first, reinstall it, then install LM. The EliteBook has a tiny m.2 drive and a standard hard disk. The two drives are put into RAID mode so that the small m.2 drive, which is very much faster than a HDD, acts as a cache for the HDD. You won't be able to install any linux until you go into the BIOS and break the RAID by setting it to AHCI, thus destroying all data on the drive.

Usually the m.2 is a very small 32GB, which is probably just enough to install linux onto and have a bit of room to spare, but you won't be able to install windows to it as it's too small. You can, of course, upgrade the m.2 to 128/256/512/1024 GB, if you wish, and use the HDD as a data drive. It's fairly straightforward to do that.

Ernie.

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Re: I cannot install Mint although I installed with no problem before. Live USB cannot see my laptop's SSD.

Post by Katana97 » Wed Nov 06, 2019 3:41 pm

Hi Ernie, thanks so much for the reply - it makes sense!

To clarify, I failed to mention something in the saga above... the laptop came with a 250GB SSD, which I replaced with a 500GB Sandisk one before I intalled Mint the first time. So I now have a 500GB SSD... AND a 32GB-ish m.2 drive? Is that right?
Just checking this doesn't that affect your answer regarding the m.2 drive...

I don't mind breaking Windows - I haven't done much with it since installing it, and can always put it back as it was - I will be using mostly Linux if I manage to fix it.

Any idea where in the BIOS (on this particular laptop) I can find the option to change from RAID to AHCI for the drives? I'm about to go have a look but I don't remember seeing that option whilst doing my detective work.

Cheers again.

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ernie dingbat
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Re: I cannot install Mint although I installed with no problem before. Live USB cannot see my laptop's SSD.

Post by ernie dingbat » Wed Nov 06, 2019 3:50 pm

Katana97 wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 3:41 pm
Just checking this doesn't that affect your answer regarding the m.2 drive...
If you didn't already change it from RAID to AHCI, it will still be set up as RAID, so no change.
Katana97 wrote:Any idea where in the BIOS (on this particular laptop) I can find the option to change from RAID to AHCI for the drives? I'm about to go have a look but I don't remember seeing that option whilst doing my detective work.
I think it's Advanced tab > Device Configurations > SATA device mode.

Ernie.

Katana97
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Re: I cannot install Mint although I installed with no problem before. Live USB cannot see my laptop's SSD.

Post by Katana97 » Wed Nov 06, 2019 4:08 pm

Hmmm... I can't find any option to change that - no mention of it in the BIOS settings unless I'm missing something.
I can't find anything on the internet to help either.

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Re: I cannot install Mint although I installed with no problem before. Live USB cannot see my laptop's SSD.

Post by pbear » Wed Nov 06, 2019 10:32 pm

You can confirm ernie's diagnosis by booting a live session of Mint then running inxi -Fxz in Terminal. Copy the output (please expand to full screen first) and post here using code tags (the </> button above the text entry window).
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Re: I cannot install Mint although I installed with no problem before. Live USB cannot see my laptop's SSD.

Post by Katana97 » Thu Nov 07, 2019 4:04 am

Thanks pbear,

I'll get The Boy ready for school and do that straight after.

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Re: I cannot install Mint although I installed with no problem before. Live USB cannot see my laptop's SSD.

Post by pbear » Thu Nov 07, 2019 1:12 pm

I'm off to work, so thought I'd share two links on how to convert RAID to AHCI, collected from prior threads on the issue: Never done myself, so can't vouch for personally. Have seen work for several others, though, so feel comfortable recommending.
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Katana97
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Re: I cannot install Mint although I installed with no problem before. Live USB cannot see my laptop's SSD.

Post by Katana97 » Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:40 am

Sorry, I got busy and then have been working since my last reply.

Thanks for the links and advice. If you're still reading, here's the output to the command you suggested I run from the Linux live session:

Code: Select all

mint@mint ~ $ inxi -Fxz
System:    Host: mint Kernel: 4.4.0-21-generic x86_64 (64 bit gcc: 5.3.1)
           Desktop: Cinnamon 3.0.6 (Gtk 3.18.9-1ubuntu3)
           Distro: Linux Mint 18 Sarah
Machine:   System: HP (portable) product: HP EliteBook 755 G5
           Mobo: HP model: 83D5 v: KBC Version 08.50.00
           Bios: HP v: Q81 Ver. 01.08.00 date: 07/16/2019
CPU:       Octa core AMD Ryzen 7 PRO 2700U w/ Radeon Vega Mobile Gfx (-MCP-) cache: 4096 KB
           flags: (lm nx sse sse2 sse3 sse4_1 sse4_2 sse4a ssse3 svm) bmips: 35135
           clock speeds: max: 2200 MHz 1: 1700 MHz 2: 2200 MHz 3: 1700 MHz
           4: 1600 MHz 5: 2200 MHz 6: 1700 MHz 7: 1600 MHz 8: 1600 MHz
Graphics:  Card: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD/ATI] Device 15dd bus-ID: 04:00.0
           Display Server: X.Org 1.18.3 drivers: fbdev,ati (unloaded: vesa,radeon)
           Resolution: 1920x1080@77.00hz
           GLX Renderer: Gallium 0.4 on llvmpipe (LLVM 3.8, 128 bits)
           GLX Version: 3.0 Mesa 11.2.0 Direct Rendering: Yes
Audio:     Card-1 Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] Device 15e3
           driver: snd_hda_intel bus-ID: 04:00.6
           Card-2 Advanced Micro Devices [AMD/ATI] Device 15de
           driver: snd_hda_intel bus-ID: 04:00.1
           Sound: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture v: k4.4.0-21-generic
Network:   Card-1: Realtek RTL8111/8168/8411 PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet Controller
           driver: r8169 v: 2.3LK-NAPI port: 3300 bus-ID: 01:00.0
           IF: enp1s0f0 state: down mac: <filter>
           Card-2: Intel Device 24fd bus-ID: 02:00.0
           IF: N/A state: N/A speed: N/A duplex: N/A mac: N/A
Drives:    HDD Total Size: 4.0GB (42.2% used)
           ID-1: USB /dev/sda model: UDisk size: 4.0GB temp: 0C
Partition: ID-1: / size: 3.5G used: 1.6G (46%) fs: overlay dev: N/A
RAID:      No RAID devices: /proc/mdstat, md_mod kernel module present
Sensors:   System Temperatures: cpu: 52.0C mobo: 30.0C
           Fan Speeds (in rpm): cpu: N/A
Info:      Processes: 212 Uptime: 7 min Memory: 549.5/6972.3MB
           Init: systemd runlevel: 5 Gcc sys: 5.3.1
           Client: Shell (bash 4.3.421) inxi: 2.2.35 
mint@mint ~ $ 

I still can't find any way at all of changing from RAID to AHCI in the HP Elitebook 755 G5's BIOS settings, so maybe that's not it?

Still trying...

Katana97
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Re: I cannot install Mint although I installed with no problem before. Live USB cannot see my laptop's SSD.

Post by Katana97 » Fri Nov 08, 2019 12:11 pm

Reading the output above, I think it shows only the 4gb usb stick is seen, and there's a line that says 'No RAID devices found', so I guess we're back to square one?

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Re: I cannot install Mint although I installed with no problem before. Live USB cannot see my laptop's SSD.

Post by pbear » Fri Nov 08, 2019 12:32 pm

Alright, then! Let's try this from the other side. Are you able to boot Windows? If so, press Win+R to open Run. Type msinfo32 into the "Open" field; click OK. A System Information report will appear. I don't know whether RAID is listed there, but let's see. Another place to look would be Disk Management, which you can open by right-clicking Start.
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Katana97
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Re: I cannot install Mint although I installed with no problem before. Live USB cannot see my laptop's SSD.

Post by Katana97 » Fri Nov 08, 2019 12:54 pm

...and here's a screengrab of the Disk Management tool:

https://mega.nz/#!BDxEna7b!YYcNn9ffscH6 ... pnVlL1YRSM

Katana97
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Re: I cannot install Mint although I installed with no problem before. Live USB cannot see my laptop's SSD.

Post by Katana97 » Fri Nov 08, 2019 12:56 pm

It wouldn't be anything to do with the fact that all the partitions the Windows installer made are Primary ones, would it?
(Just a guess; I read somewhere you can only have so many primary partitions on one hard drive?)

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Re: I cannot install Mint although I installed with no problem before. Live USB cannot see my laptop's SSD.

Post by Larry78723 » Fri Nov 08, 2019 12:57 pm

Is Fast Startup disabled in Win10?
Last edited by Larry78723 on Fri Nov 08, 2019 1:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Katana97
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Re: I cannot install Mint although I installed with no problem before. Live USB cannot see my laptop's SSD.

Post by Katana97 » Fri Nov 08, 2019 1:01 pm

I'm sure it is, but I'm just going to reboot to check what state it's in right now - I've rebooted and changed things to test a lot. Back soon.

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Re: I cannot install Mint although I installed with no problem before. Live USB cannot see my laptop's SSD.

Post by Katana97 » Fri Nov 08, 2019 1:23 pm

Larry78723 wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 12:57 pm
Is Fast Startup disabled in Win10?
Fast boot was disabled in the BIOS settings, and Secure Boot was disabled too.
When I looked just now, it wasn't actually off in the Windows Control Panel Power Options settings. I turned it off and saved.
However, this made no difference. Same symptoms.

Katana97
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Re: I cannot install Mint although I installed with no problem before. Live USB cannot see my laptop's SSD.

Post by Katana97 » Fri Nov 08, 2019 1:27 pm

I tried getting a screenshot of gparted to show how it only detects the USB stick, but the Mint live session kept crashing before I could get one!

Here's a link to a video I filmed of the messages that display when booting up Mint from the stick. I feel there may be some clues there:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=18fCTW ... N74lq6rEQY

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Re: I cannot install Mint although I installed with no problem before. Live USB cannot see my laptop's SSD.

Post by Larry78723 » Fri Nov 08, 2019 1:37 pm

Start windows again and exit. Sometimes it really isn't disabled until you do that.
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Katana97
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Re: I cannot install Mint although I installed with no problem before. Live USB cannot see my laptop's SSD.

Post by Katana97 » Fri Nov 08, 2019 1:44 pm

Larry78723 wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 1:37 pm
Start windows again and exit. Sometimes it really isn't disabled until you do that.
Yep, just done that. No difference.

Every time I look at gparted in Mint the system hangs. Just posting anything that might give clues.

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