SSD not recognized during clean, single boot Mint 19.1 installation - SOLVED!

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Akelbee
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SSD not recognized during clean, single boot Mint 19.1 installation - SOLVED!

Post by Akelbee » Mon Jun 10, 2019 12:26 pm

I've a problem with Mint Install not seing my SSD when trying to install Mint 19.1 64bit Cinnamon on a Dell XPS 13 9365.

The PC was delivered with Windows pre-installed. Since it may be necessary in the future to revert the PC to its original Windows-configuration, I've taken out the original 256 GB SSD and replaced it with a completely new (and larger) Samsung SSD 970 PRO 512GB.

After dis-enabling Secure Boot, changing boot sequence in BIOS Setup and enabling Legacy Option ROMs I got a USB DVD reader with the bootable DVD provided with Linux Format 247 (March 2019) to start, so Mint 19.1 is now running on the PC from the DVD. I then selected Install Linux Mint from the Mint menu, and the installation program started and asked for some set-up selections.

However, when the install routine checks that the necessary 10 GB storage space for the Mint installation is available on the SSD/HDD, this routine apparently cannot see the new SSD at all since it reports "0,0 GB available". The Mint disk tools, Disks (on the Accessories menu); gParted and Disk Usage Analyzer (on Administration menu), doesn't see the SSD either and only report on the basis of what's on the DVD.

In the BIOS Setup - System Configuration - Drives , the M.2 PCIe SSD Port is enabled and the new 512 GB SSD is identified/reported properly under Type and Device.
(In the BIOS Setup - General - System Information I see Processor and RAM Memory identified/reported and also the following devices, MAC, Audio Controller, Wi-Fi device and Bluetooth device, but nothing about the disk -- which I don't know whether should be mention here also if identified properly). (BIOS version 1.0.21)

Since Dell XPS 13 is sold also in a version with Ubuntu preinstalled, and as reports in the HW Compatibility Base of this forum is positive for Mint 19.1 installation on the 9370 version of the XPS, I basically believe installing Mint 19.1 on this PC should not create any big problems, but now I'm at a loss for what to try next to finalize the installation. I've presumed that partitioning of the SSD is part of the install routine, and since gParted anyhow don't see the SSD, I see no way for getting the SSD "in to play".

(I recognize a similar problem of not seing SSD is referred to in this thread, viewtopic.php?f=46&t=295696, but in that case it's about creating a dual boot install, while I'm trying to make a clean Linux only installation.)
Last edited by Akelbee on Mon Jun 10, 2019 3:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

jglen490
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Re: SSD not recognized during clean, single boot Mint 19.1 installation

Post by jglen490 » Mon Jun 10, 2019 1:06 pm

Why are you using Legacy mode in the UEFI?

The normal pattern is to set UEFI, disable Secure boot, set the boot sequence, reboot with the Live install USB drive connected, and proceed to the install. Did you see instructions to the contrary somewhere for this specific machine?
I feel more like I do than I did when I got here.
Toshiba A135-S2386, Intel T2080, ATI Radeon® Xpress 200M Chipset, 2GB RAM, 500GB

Akelbee
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Re: SSD not recognized during clean, single boot Mint 19.1 installation

Post by Akelbee » Mon Jun 10, 2019 2:53 pm

jglen490 wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 1:06 pm
Why are you using Legacy mode in the UEFI?

The normal pattern is to set UEFI, disable Secure boot, set the boot sequence, reboot with the Live install USB drive connected, and proceed to the install. Did you see instructions to the contrary somewhere for this specific machine?
Yes, I have read somewhere that enabling Legacy Option ROMs might be some kind of "last resort" to solve certain problems.
In my case enabling Legacy mode is the difference -- when the USB DVD-player is connected -- between a black screen, not even (visibly) getting into BIOS Setup, and the PC booting from the DVD and installing Mint.

Akelbee
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Re: SSD not recognized during clean, single boot Mint 19.1 installation

Post by Akelbee » Mon Jun 10, 2019 2:58 pm

The problems with invisible SSD disappeared when I changed the SATA settings in BIOS Setup from RAID to AHCI disk mode.

Akelbee
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Re: SSD not recognized during clean, single boot Mint 19.1 installation

Post by Akelbee » Mon Jun 10, 2019 3:56 pm

Akelbee wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 2:53 pm
jglen490 wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 1:06 pm
Why are you using Legacy mode in the UEFI?

The normal pattern is to set UEFI, disable Secure boot, set the boot sequence, reboot with the Live install USB drive connected, and proceed to the install. Did you see instructions to the contrary somewhere for this specific machine?
Yes, I have read somewhere that enabling Legacy Option ROMs might be some kind of "last resort" to solve certain problems.
In my case enabling Legacy mode is the difference -- when the USB DVD-player is connected -- between a black screen, not even (visibly) getting into BIOS Setup, and the PC booting from the DVD and installing Mint.
- And then when I finally had Installed Linux Mint 19.1 and should run the PC from the installed program on the SSD, rather than from the bootable DVD, it failed, not finding a bootable program. BIOS Setup - System configuration - Drives was gone blank for Type and Device. So then I switched off the Legacy mode again, and everything seems to work fine.

By the way. I have otherwise noted that in the Boot Sequence page during installation, the system finds by itself the various bootable sections available/needed (e.g. on the bootable DVD), without me having to add it manually to the list of boot devices (-- at least as long as it cannot otherwise find a bootable device from its existing list),

jglen490
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Re: SSD not recognized during clean, single boot Mint 19.1 installation - SOLVED!

Post by jglen490 » Mon Jun 10, 2019 5:39 pm

I'm glad you got your issue solved. That's the most important thing :D

There's so much conflicting info in the old interwebs, and sometimes it's hard to separate the true info from the BS. In most cases, of all the possible solutions to a problem, the simplest is usually the best. As an example, AHCI is better than RAID - RAID adds a level of complexity that's usually not needed. Not that RAID is never appropriate, but it's only appropriate if it's needed; and if it interferes with an OS installation or interferes with data recoverability, it's not appropriate.

Knowing the purpose of Secure Boot is important. Windows usually wants it, but even Microsoft's own standards say it's not always needed. In Linux, it might be used, but usually not - so just turn it off.

The rest of UEFI setup - in Linux-world - is simple (beyond AHCI and Secure Boot settings), leave UEFI alone but make sure the boot media is visible in the boot list and is at the top. A USB boot device is always better, speedier, and more effective than CD/DVD. PCs and laptops alike are being sold without CD/DVD drives, and for good reason. USB drives are low cost and fast.

The last concept is that some motherboard makers implement UEFI with more complexity than required. Some hide things in menues and make simple setting adjustments complex. Others do the right thing and put it all out there in simple language with easy to follow menu systems.
I feel more like I do than I did when I got here.
Toshiba A135-S2386, Intel T2080, ATI Radeon® Xpress 200M Chipset, 2GB RAM, 500GB

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