<Solved> Mint Install on Dell crashes or no result

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stu_lm_wannabe
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<Solved> Mint Install on Dell crashes or no result

Post by stu_lm_wannabe » Sat Jun 08, 2019 5:20 pm

I've been failing for several weeks to install Mint+Cinnamon 19.1 (and/or 18) as dual boot with Windows 10 on a new Dell 7380. Depending on how I set up the BIOS options, I can either get the installer to run to completion and with no error-- but produce no result!-- or it crashes at the "Installation Type" menu.

If I set the BIOS options to disable legacy mode when booting from a USB, then the installer gets to the 4th menu, "Installation Type", but instead of displaying a list of options including, e.g., "something else", it displays an empty box with headings for "Device, MountPoint, ..." That box has options for "+", "-", or "change", or if I don't use those there's an option for "Install Now". If I attempt any of these first options, the installer crashes with the error below [1][2]. The message indicates that a bug report will be enabled, but that doesn't happen. So far I've been afraid to continue with "Install Now".

If instead I set the BIOS options to enable legacy mode, then the installer runs through to completion as per what I see in many videos and help forums. I choose "something else" from the "Installation Type" menu, and it allows me to create partitions, then shows me the slideshow while it's installing things. At the end there's no indication that anything went wrong, but when I restart, the BIOS does not pause and offer an option for Mint. Dell's documentation suggests that one use "Add Boot Option" in the BIOS settings and select SHIMx64.EFI, but no such file seems to exist.

I've created the USB with both Universal installer and Rufus, have tried both 19.1 and 18, always with the same results. I've also tried MBR as well as GPT/UEFI when creating the bootable USB, also seemingly with same results either way.

Here are a few immediate questions:
1) Is it likely that the error reported below is not really what my problem is, but is just triggered by something else I did wrong?
1b) Is there a best place to report this error?
2) Is it likely that my use of MBR/legacy when booting, but UEFI mode on the USB, has confused the BIOS or the installer? Or could it be that from legacy mode the installer has actually done what it should, but I just can't find the .EFI?
3) Will bad things happen if continue from the non-standard menu where the crash occurs with "Install Now"? Although I'm not averse to just erasing Windows, this menu does not appear on any of the help topics I've seen, and I'm a little afraid of turning my computer into a doorstop with scrambled BIOS.

Any help appreciated,
Stu
[1] Error message resulting when using "(+)" from the "Installation Type" menu:
We're sorry; the installer crashed. After you close this window, we'll allow you to file a bug report using the integrated bug reporting tool. This will gather information about your system and your installation process. The details will be sent to our bug tracker and a developer will attend to the problem as soon as possible.
Traceback (most recent call last):
File "/usr/lib/ubiquity/plugins/ubi-partman.py", line 1293, in on_partition_list_new_activate
self.partman_dialog(devpart, partition)
File "/usr/lib/ubiquity/ubiquity/plugin.py", line 48, in wrapper
return target(self, *args, **kwargs)
File "/usr/lib/ubiquity/plugins/ubi-partman.py", line 956, in partman_dialog
if create and partition['parted']['type'] == 'pri/log':
TypeError: 'NoneType' object is not subscriptable

[2] Error message resulting when using "(+)" from the "Installation Type" menu:
Traceback (most recent call last):
File "/usr/lib/ubiquity/plugins/ubi-partman.py", line 1297, in on_partition_list_edit_activate
self.partman_dialog(devpart, partition, create=False)
File "/usr/lib/ubiquity/ubiquity/plugin.py", line 48, in wrapper
return target(self, *args, **kwargs)
File "/usr/lib/ubiquity/plugins/ubi-partman.py", line 978, in partman_dialog
if ('can_resize' not in partition or not partition['can_resize'] or
TypeError: argument of type 'NoneType' is not iterable
Last edited by stu_lm_wannabe on Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

athi
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Re: Mint Install on Dell crashes or no result

Post by athi » Sat Jun 08, 2019 11:08 pm

Dell Latitude 7380 is Ubuntu 16.04 certified and Linux Mint should install without issues. Had similar issue with an HP 840G3 Elitebook and found it was due to convoluted way to disable secure boot in the bios. The step I took to finally load Mint mate 19.1 was:

1) Use Rufus to create USB, select GPT from Partition scheme menu (Target system should show UEFI (non CSM)
2) Disable secure boot, clear secure boot keys and disable MS UEFI key
3) Enable all USB from USB option menu
4) Enter boot menu and confirms that USB drive is now a bootable option
5) After booting with live USB, used Gparted to create 300MB FAT32 partition, after partition is created change flag to boot/ESP (for EFI and boot data) and manually created /, swap and /home. Maybe able to skip this step.

Link to how to dual boot Windows and Ubuntu:
https://www.dell.com/support/article/us ... pc?lang=en
Mint Mate 19.1. Main rig is HP 800G2 I5 6500 16GB ram, 120GB boot drive, 2x3TB, 1x4TB data drives. Oldest rig is Mate 18.3 on Dell D620 with 32bits core duo.

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Re: Mint Install on Dell crashes or no result

Post by stu_lm_wannabe » Sun Jun 09, 2019 8:37 am

Thanks Athi-- I tried your advice as far as I was able, but don't understand a couple things:

a) Can you elaborate on "MS UEFI key"? I entered 'custom mode' in the BIOS which allowed me to "delete all keys". I've searched a bit on line, but haven't yet been able to find reference to the "MS UEFI key", so I didn't execute that step.

b) For step (5), I tried running gparted before running the installer, but the only partition it sees is the USB i'm booting from, i.e., /dev/sda1, which it won't let me alter while live. Should I be trying to find the partitions on the hard disk somehow? A further question there is where to create the partitions you mentioned-- they sound like what I created from the installer menu when I could get it to run in legacy mode.

Meanwhile, we learned that what I did do to clear the boot keys was insufficient by itself to get a result. When I ran the installer for grins it gave the same dead menu and crashed again. (Thanks also for the link, I'd been using that & related pages already!)

Stu

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Re: Mint Install on Dell crashes or no result

Post by stu_lm_wannabe » Sun Jun 09, 2019 9:00 am

P.S. Here is more information-- when I do try "Install Now" on the installer menu, it merely tells me:
"No root file system is defined. Please correct this from the partitioning menu."
That's the same menu that crashes as per my first posting.
When I use gparted, df, or lsblk, all they see is the USB device. Could this mean that the installer is also failing to mount the computers drives?
Maybe that could explain the type errors that its dialogue boxes found.

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Re: Mint Install on Dell crashes or no result

Post by Larry78723 » Sun Jun 09, 2019 9:18 am

Please follow the instruction at https://easylinuxtipsproject.blogspot.c ... ws-10.html to prepare your computer for installation of Mint alongside Windows.

Then follow the instructions at https://easylinuxtipsproject.blogspot.c ... -mint.html to do the install. Both were written by a very active and competent member of the forums.
Image

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Re: Mint Install on Dell crashes or no result

Post by stu_lm_wannabe » Mon Jun 10, 2019 6:35 am

Thanks-- I had studied those pages, and I think I already did the things they say. Been trying this of and on for about 4 weeks now. Most interesting to me was their steps for what to do if nothing happened after the install (Dell support also covers this), but my menus didn't match theirs and I couldn't locate any different .efi files to switch to.

My BIOS menus are different from the acer. An option they suggested was to enable CSM or legacy. That's found in a couple places in my BIOS. I had not done that because it warned that "Changing this setting with RAID may prevent your operating system from booting or require a reinstall". I followed up on that after re-reading the link you sent.

That led me to a posting by OmegaD on June 4, 2018, "Solved: mint installer does not recognize hard drive." That looks like exactly what I have, and I am currently working through their steps-- those included the instructions for setting safeboot and switching to AHCI.

I also found useful comments on Tom's hardware forum indicating that one can use gdisk to clear fragments old GPT (presumably from my earlier attempts?) that are confusing the installer.

Still working, still a linux wannabe....

athi
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Re: Mint Install on Dell crashes or no result

Post by athi » Mon Jun 10, 2019 11:19 am

stu_lm_wannabe wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 6:35 am
Thanks-- I had studied those pages, and I think I already did the things they say. Been trying this of and on for about 4 weeks now. Most interesting to me was their steps for what to do if nothing happened after the install (Dell support also covers this), but my menus didn't match theirs and I couldn't locate any different .efi files to switch to.

My BIOS menus are different from the acer. An option they suggested was to enable CSM or legacy. That's found in a couple places in my BIOS. I had not done that because it warned that "Changing this setting with RAID may prevent your operating system from booting or require a reinstall". I followed up on that after re-reading the link you sent.

That led me to a posting by OmegaD on June 4, 2018, "Solved: mint installer does not recognize hard drive." That looks like exactly what I have, and I am currently working through their steps-- those included the instructions for setting safeboot and switching to AHCI.

I also found useful comments on Tom's hardware forum indicating that one can use gdisk to clear fragments old GPT (presumably from my earlier attempts?) that are confusing the installer.

Still working, still a linux wannabe....
RAID is a non-issue for you, this laptop only have 1 M.2 PCIe ssd and as far as I know, no OEM uses RAID on thin and light laptop. Your Win10 install should be with secure boot (MS key), UEFI and AHCI enabled. You can try turning off secure boot and see if Win10 still boot, if so you can leave secure boot off and proceed with the dual boot setup.

I just setup a clean install of Win10 and Mint Mate 19.1 dual boot on an Elitebook 840 G3 with 256Gb M.2 PCIe which is similar to what you have. Took a while to get Win10 USB or Rufus Linux live USB installers to get recognized by the bios but after that it was pretty straight forward. Turning off secure boot is the key here and live USB must be created with UEFI option. Here is a Gparted screen shot of the partitions setup for this laptop,
840g2 gparted.png
Win10 will create sda1, sda2, sda3, sda4 during installation. You will need to create enough free space for the Linux install. With Mint 19.1 using swap file, you only need 1 ext4 partition (sda5 in this case) for the Mint installation.

Can you see the Rufus Linux live USB in the boot option of the laptop?
Mint Mate 19.1. Main rig is HP 800G2 I5 6500 16GB ram, 120GB boot drive, 2x3TB, 1x4TB data drives. Oldest rig is Mate 18.3 on Dell D620 with 32bits core duo.

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Re: Mint Install on Dell crashes or no result

Post by stu_lm_wannabe » Mon Jun 10, 2019 11:42 am

Thanks for the continued watching on this-- I'll get to your comments later today, but did just want to say that when I look in the BIOS, the thing is set up with AHCI disabled and RAID enabled. This sounds different from what you would have expected? The BIOS gives pretty strident warnings about the dangers of enabling AHCI, and I only ventured to do that after enabling safeboot.

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Re: Mint Install on Dell crashes or no result

Post by stu_lm_wannabe » Mon Jun 10, 2019 11:53 am

P.S. I've had secure boot permanently off for awhile now. When I run gparted from the live boot using the USB created with UEFI, it sees nothing, no drives show up at all. I think that's why the installer crashes-- the errors look to me like no one expected those commands to come up with empty strings. A couple weeks ago I created a USB with CSM style, and when I booted it up in legacy mode the installer saw the hard drives on the computer and enabled me to proceed-- however, after it completed the installation, there was no evidence it had produced anything. I couldn't find that it had produced any .efi when I looked where Dell suggested it might hide. That's why I suspected that there's a language/format barrier between the CSM and UEFI. I 100% believe your statement that I need UEFI, just have to get it to see the drives, I think?
I will return to your other question later tonight-- thanks!

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Re: Mint Install on Dell crashes or no result

Post by athi » Mon Jun 10, 2019 1:34 pm

stu_lm_wannabe wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 11:42 am
Thanks for the continued watching on this-- I'll get to your comments later today, but did just want to say that when I look in the BIOS, the thing is set up with AHCI disabled and RAID enabled. This sounds different from what you would have expected? The BIOS gives pretty strident warnings about the dangers of enabling AHCI, and I only ventured to do that after enabling safeboot.
Good observations with AHCI disabled and RAID enabled, finally some clues. Latitude 7380 M.2 socket can use either SATA III or NVMe cards, need to confirm ssd type Can you find out the make/model of the ssd in the laptop from the bios or Win10 hardware manager? According to this post viewtopic.php?t=254328 changing from RAID mode could break the current Win10 install. There are several post about Linux problem with NVMe in RAID mode viewtopic.php?t=254328 https://unix.stackexchange.com/question ... nvme-drive
Mint Mate 19.1. Main rig is HP 800G2 I5 6500 16GB ram, 120GB boot drive, 2x3TB, 1x4TB data drives. Oldest rig is Mate 18.3 on Dell D620 with 32bits core duo.

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Re: Mint Install on Dell crashes or no result

Post by stu_lm_wannabe » Mon Jun 10, 2019 3:41 pm

Hm, indeed. Thanks for that-- I haven't read those posts in detail yet, but it looks like I'm probably going to be glad that I'm not attached to Windows...
For your questions, the device manager tells me the drive is:
KBG30ZMS256G NVMe TOSHIBA 256GB
and BIOS says
M.2 PCIe SSD-0 = 256 GB 295PC8PPPB9N
Looks like I should read carefully through the threads you sent. If you have other advice meanwhile, I'm glad to follow it:)

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Re: Mint Install on Dell crashes or no result

Post by athi » Mon Jun 10, 2019 4:09 pm

Found these post on your exact issue and a much shorter read: viewtopic.php?f=46&t=295812 https://www.dell.com/community/Inspiron ... -p/7189699 For dual boot, you will need to install Win10 in AHCI mode and then Mint. Options to restoration of laptop for later resale are 1) image current setup, wipe and setup as you want or 2) pull current ssd for safe keeping, purchase replacement and setup as you want on the new ssd.

For what it is worth, I am glad that I learned about this since it is an issue that is going to be more relevant as these NVMe M.2 ssd become more common. Guess I am lucky that my Elitebook 840 G3 is a bit older and have a SATA III M.2 ssd, otherwise I will be the one going crazy and asking this question.
Mint Mate 19.1. Main rig is HP 800G2 I5 6500 16GB ram, 120GB boot drive, 2x3TB, 1x4TB data drives. Oldest rig is Mate 18.3 on Dell D620 with 32bits core duo.

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Re: Mint Install on Dell crashes or no result

Post by stu_lm_wannabe » Mon Jun 10, 2019 4:15 pm

Thanks-- I think our posts just crossed-- after typing this I saw your reply, probably says same thing. The link I found was here:
https://superuser.com/questions/1280141 ... 71#1359471
Also OmegaD described on this forum how to fool Windows at the bottom of this thread:
viewtopic.php?f=90&t=270586&p=1477668&h ... D#p1477668
The trick appears to be to use bcdedit to set to safeboot, make the change from RAID to AHCI, then use "bcdedit /deletevalue {current} safeboot" to change back.

Unfortunately, nothing is easy-- the "bcdedit /deletevalue" command failed for me when running in safe mode:(

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Re: Mint Install on Dell crashes or no result

Post by athi » Mon Jun 10, 2019 4:44 pm

Thank you, you found a way to change Win10 boot mode. Do not have anything to try this on but will make a note of this for future references.
Mint Mate 19.1. Main rig is HP 800G2 I5 6500 16GB ram, 120GB boot drive, 2x3TB, 1x4TB data drives. Oldest rig is Mate 18.3 on Dell D620 with 32bits core duo.

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<Solved> Re: Mint Install on Dell crashes or no result

Post by stu_lm_wannabe » Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:07 am

This issue is solved. Thank you athi for your knowledge & help! Also thanks to OmegaD who did this on another thread (see above).

Summary: some Dell computers use a RAID configuration to control NVMe SSDs, but the installer requires AHCI for these. If you live boot from USB using UEFI like you should, then the installer will not see the hard drives as long as the RAID is set. A red herring is that you CAN get the installer to see the hard drives by live booting in legacy mode, but if you do that, the installer runs to completion but produces no intelligible result.

Fix: One needs to set the SATA control to ACHI, but be careful because that can break Windows, because it only likes RAID. While some recommend just scrubbing windows, there is a workaround to fool it. This is done by (a) using bcdedit from within windows to enable safeboot, (b) entering BIOS and resetting from RAID to AHCI, then (c) rebooting Windows in safe mode and using bcdedit to undo the safeboot. Details of that are found in the links mentioned above.

I found that I had to use rufus again to burn my USB after having changed to AHCI, but that might just be superstition. After the above steps, the install ran just as all examples say it should. So far so good. Thanks again to the forum, I hope this turns out useful for someone else:)

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