[SOLVED] Linux Mint installer cannot find nvme drive on Dell XPS 15 laptop

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dzmach
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[SOLVED] Linux Mint installer cannot find nvme drive on Dell XPS 15 laptop

Post by dzmach »

Hello,

As I'm becoming increasing frustrated with certain Windows 10 behaviours, I'm seeking to try out Linux Mint (yes, newbie alert lol). However I can't seem to get the installer to recognise anything except the USB drive.

I have scoured the internet (including this forum) the best I can and tried the recommendations I've found, but still no joy. Here is a list of what I've tried so far:

In Windows 10:
- Used Windows drive manager to shrink the current partition. I now have 340Gb of free/unallocated space (out of 1Tb total).
- Made sure Fast Boot/Start is turned off.
- Turned Bitlocker encryption off.

In my BIOS settings:
- Checked that SATA Operation mode is set to AHCI.
- Disabled Secure Boot.
- Enabled legacy boot options.

I can start the ISO from the USB thumb drive OK. One thing to note: I do have a bunch of error messages pop up, but then quickly disappear and Linux Mint Live boots fine. These errors are something along the lines of "ACPI Bios".

Side question: is there a way that I can view the log of these errors and capture them (assuming I need to even worry about them in order to complete the install)?

The steps I can complete in Linux Mint Install:
- Select language.
- Select keyboard layout.
- Connect to wireless network.

I then get an error message along the lines of "You need at least 10.7Gb, only 4.0Gb available". (4Gb being the size of the thumb drive.)

My laptop is a Dell XPS 15 9570.

Please help, I desperately need respite from Windows!! :)
Last edited by dzmach on Tue Jun 16, 2020 7:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.
carum carvi
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Re: Can't get Linux Mint installer to find HDD partition

Post by carum carvi »

ANY Dell XPS will work FLAWLESSLY with LinuxMint. Your hardware is NOT the problem, because you have got the most desirable Linux COMPATIBLE hardware imaginable.
dzmach wrote:
Sat Jun 13, 2020 10:53 pm
I can start the ISO from the USB thumb drive OK. One thing to note: I do have a bunch of error messages pop up, but then quickly disappear and Linux Mint Live boots fine. These errors are something along the lines of "ACPI Bios".

The steps I can complete in Linux Mint Install:
- Select language.
- Select keyboard layout.
- Connect to wireless network.

I then get an error message along the lines of "You need at least 10.7Gb, only 4.0Gb available". (4Gb being the size of the thumb drive.)
My laptop is a Dell XPS 15 9570.
Are you (accidentally) trying to install the new LinuxMint OS onto your usb stick?

Have you recently REinstalled Windows? Or updated the BIOS?

This information might be of importance as well:
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/window ... /acpi-bios
dzmach
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Re: Can't get Linux Mint installer to find HDD partition

Post by dzmach »

carum carvi wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 1:56 am
ANY Dell XPS will work FLAWLESSLY with LinuxMint. Your hardware is NOT the problem, because you have got the most desirable Linux COMPATIBLE hardware imaginable.

Are you (accidentally) trying to install the new LinuxMint OS onto your usb stick?

Have you recently REinstalled Windows? Or updated the BIOS?

This information might be of importance as well:
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/window ... /acpi-bios
Thanks for responding ... I'm looking forward to getting this up and running!

As far as I can see, I've followed all of the steps according to the installation guide:

- I downloaded and verified the ISO.

- I used Etcher to create a bootable USB drive from this ISO.

- I then booted from this USB drive and attempted to run the Install Linux Mint program.

Have I missed anything here that would result in it attempting to install onto the USB instead?

To your other questions:

- I performed a fresh installation of Windows when I first got the laptop, as the shop I bought it from installed a bunch of bloatware on there. I wasn't comfortable trusting what they'd installed, so I did a re-install.

- Yes, the BIOS was recently updated ... maybe in the last week or so. This was "forced" by Windows (i.e. not something I opted to do, was asked to "restart to install updates").
myface68
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Re: Can't get Linux Mint installer to find HDD partition

Post by myface68 »

No need to set bios in legacy. The usb stick should boot in uefi. Use the gparted and format the 340g in fat32. see if that help
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Re: Can't get Linux Mint installer to find HDD partition

Post by arvy »

dzmach wrote:
Sat Jun 13, 2020 10:53 pm
Please help, I desperately need respite from Windows!! :)
Just ignore those "ACPI Bios" messages for now. Almost certainly harmless as it boots successfully.

The first thing you and anyone trying to help needs to be absolutely certain about is whether the system and its existing Windows installation is configured for booting in "legacy" BIOS-MBR mode or in UEFI-GPT mode. Almost certainly the latter, but you can verify that in Windows as explained here.

The second thing to be certain about is launching the Mint installation media so that Mint will be installed in that same boot mode. You should see two (2) system start-up options for booting the USB stick -- one labelled "UEFI" and the other not so labelled or possibly identified as "Legacy". Be sure to choose the one that corresponds to the verified boot mode of your existing Windows installation.

Having done that and having booted to the Mint "live" installation media, you are ready to begin the installation process. For additional assistance with drive and partition selection options, you can use the Disks utility (under Accessories) to get and provide a picture of the available drives and the existing partition details for the one where you want to install Mint. (Screenshot also under Accessories.) Alternatively, run lsblk and blkid commands and post the output here using the </> button to enclose it between [ code ][ /code ] tags
System: Asus ROG Maximus XI Code mobo, Intel i9-9900K CPU, Nvidia GTX1080 GPU, 32 GB DDR4-3600 RAM, Sumsung Pro 2x512GB NVMe & 3x1TB SSD, Multiboot
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Re: Can't get Linux Mint installer to find HDD partition

Post by dzmach »

arvy wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 8:39 am
The first thing you and anyone trying to help needs to be absolutely certain about is whether the system and its existing Windows installation is configured for booting in "legacy" BIOS-MBR mode or in UEFI-GPT mode. Almost certainly the latter, but you can verify that in Windows as explained here.

The second thing to be certain about is launching the Mint installation media so that Mint will be installed in that same boot mode. You should see two (2) system start-up options for booting the USB stick -- one labelled "UEFI" and the other not so labelled or possibly identified as "Legacy". Be sure to choose the one that corresponds to the verified boot mode of your existing Windows installation.

Having done that and having booted to the Mint "live" installation media, you are ready to begin the installation process. For additional assistance with drive and partition selection options, you can use the Disks utility (under Accessories) to get and provide a picture of the available drives and the existing partition details for the one where you want to install Mint. (Screenshot also under Accessories.) Alternatively, run lsblk and blkid commands and post the output here using the </> button to enclose it between [ code ][ /code ] tags
Thanks for the help.

I have checked the Windows System Information, and the boot mode is indeed UEFI.

I also tried booting with the legacy mode on, pressing F12 to view the boot options. There was nothing under the UEFI options labelled "USB" but there was one labelled "UEFI general" so I tried that - it loaded Mint Live.

However when I tried running the installer, I got the same result.

Here's the screen grab from Disks:
Screenshot from 2020-06-14 15-02-28.png
And here's the return from the lsblk and blkid commands:

Code: Select all

mint@mint:~$ lsblk
NAME   MAJ:MIN RM  SIZE RO TYPE MOUNTPOINT
loop0    7:0    0  1.8G  1 loop /rofs
sda      8:0    1  3.8G  0 disk /cdrom
├─sda1   8:1    1  1.9G  0 part
└─sda2   8:2    1  2.4M  0 part
mint@mint:~$ blkid
mint@mint:~$
Last edited by Moem on Sun Jun 14, 2020 11:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Fixed a quote
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arvy
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Re: Can't get Linux Mint installer to find HDD partition

Post by arvy »

Okay. We've definitely established that Windows is installed for UEFI-GPT booting and, therefore, Mint should be installed likewise. To do that, the Mint "live" USB stick must itself be booted in UEFI mode. The answers to both that issue and to the "mysterious" absence from the Mint "live" session's Disk's picture of everything except only the USB stick will need to be found in your system's UEFI configuration. You are going to need to consult your system user manual about details, but one thing to double check immediately is whether any SATA RAID settings are configured. I know you said that you checked already, but no other explanation comes to mind at the moment. Is Intel Optane involved by any chance?
System: Asus ROG Maximus XI Code mobo, Intel i9-9900K CPU, Nvidia GTX1080 GPU, 32 GB DDR4-3600 RAM, Sumsung Pro 2x512GB NVMe & 3x1TB SSD, Multiboot
myface68
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Re: Can't get Linux Mint installer to find HDD partition

Post by myface68 »

I wander if the i7 8th generation have something to do with or the hdd have hidden sector that allow for win10 only.
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Re: Can't get Linux Mint installer to find HDD partition

Post by AndyMH »

myface68 wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 3:15 pm
I wander if the i7 8th generation have something to do with or the hdd have hidden sector that allow for win10 only.
It's not the i7, I run an i5-8400 no problems, Arvy's suggestions are the most likely - RAID & optane. Try sudo parted -l (lowercase L) in a terminal, this shows all drives and partitions in your system, does the 1TB drive show up?
Homebrew i5-8400+GTX1080 Cinnamon 19.0, 3 x Thinkpad T430 Cinnamon 19.0, i7-3632 , i5-3320, i5-3210, Thinkpad T60 19.0 Mate
dzmach
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Re: Can't get Linux Mint installer to find HDD partition

Post by dzmach »

AndyMH wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 7:30 pm
myface68 wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 3:15 pm
I wander if the i7 8th generation have something to do with or the hdd have hidden sector that allow for win10 only.
It's not the i7, I run an i5-8400 no problems, Arvy's suggestions are the most likely - RAID & optane. Try sudo parted -l (lowercase L) in a terminal, this shows all drives and partitions in your system, does the 1TB drive show up?
This is the result I get:

Code: Select all

mint@mint:~$ sudo parted -l
Warning: The driver descriptor says the physical block size is 2048 bytes, but
Linux says it is 512 bytes.
Ignore/Cancel? I                                                          
Model: General USB Flash Disk (scsi)
Disk /dev/sda: 16.0GB
Sector size (logical/physical): 2048B/512B
Partition Table: mac
Disk Flags: 

Number  Start  End     Size    File system  Name   Flags
 1      2048B  6143B   4096B                Apple
 2      348kB  2871kB  2523kB               EFI
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Re: Can't get Linux Mint installer to find HDD partition

Post by dzmach »

arvy wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 11:56 am
Okay. We've definitely established that Windows is installed for UEFI-GPT booting and, therefore, Mint should be installed likewise. To do that, the Mint "live" USB stick must itself be booted in UEFI mode. The answers to both that issue and to the "mysterious" absence from the Mint "live" session's Disk's picture of everything except only the USB stick will need to be found in your system's UEFI configuration. You are going to need to consult your system user manual about details, but one thing to double check immediately is whether any SATA RAID settings are configured. I know you said that you checked already, but no other explanation comes to mind at the moment. Is Intel Optane involved by any chance?
I have looked through all of the BIOS/UEFI settings and can find nothing else related to RAID (aside from the "SATA Operation" setting, which is set to "AHCI").

What is Intel Optane, and how would I check whether my laptop has it?
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Re: Can't get Linux Mint installer to find HDD partition

Post by arvy »

Optane is Intel's latest proprietary answer to improving data transfer rates, mainly for the traditional "spinner" disk technology that hardly anyone uses anymore for anything other that just secondary storage. Questionable advantage in a laptop, or elsewhere for that matter apart from using up some idle Intel production. It's meant to work as a cache memory bridge between RAM and storage, allowing for faster data transfer with some similarities to RAID, but not quite that either. All the gory details here.

As for determining its presence, it would usually be an advertised system feature and also included in your UEFI SATA options where you've already checked twice. If that's not it, I have to admit that I'm out of ideas for the moment at least. I'll keep scratching my head, but hopefully someone else will come up with a brainwave before I get slivers. :?
System: Asus ROG Maximus XI Code mobo, Intel i9-9900K CPU, Nvidia GTX1080 GPU, 32 GB DDR4-3600 RAM, Sumsung Pro 2x512GB NVMe & 3x1TB SSD, Multiboot
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Re: Can't get Linux Mint installer to find HDD partition

Post by AndyMH »

have to admit that I'm out of ideas for the moment at least.
Likewise, all parted is showing is your usb stick.

One last hope to try and get some info on your 1TB drive - boot windows, open up the cmd window and type diskpart (don't know whether you need to run this with admin privileges) and at the prompt, four commands:

Code: Select all

list disk
list volume
list partition 
list vdisk
Don't know what it's going to tell you as I don't use it, just fishing for anything that tells us more about that drive.

More info here:
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/window ... s/diskpart
Homebrew i5-8400+GTX1080 Cinnamon 19.0, 3 x Thinkpad T430 Cinnamon 19.0, i7-3632 , i5-3320, i5-3210, Thinkpad T60 19.0 Mate
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Re: Can't get Linux Mint installer to find HDD partition

Post by dzmach »

AndyMH wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 7:08 am
have to admit that I'm out of ideas for the moment at least.
Likewise, all parted is showing is your usb stick.

One last hope to try and get some info on your 1TB drive - boot windows, open up the cmd window and type diskpart (don't know whether you need to run this with admin privileges) and at the prompt, four commands:

Code: Select all

list disk
list volume
list partition 
list vdisk
Don't know what it's going to tell you as I don't use it, just fishing for anything that tells us more about that drive.

More info here:
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/window ... s/diskpart
OK, here are the outputs for diskpart:

Code: Select all

DISKPART> list disk

  Disk ###  Status         Size     Free     Dyn  Gpt
  --------  -------------  -------  -------  ---  ---
  Disk 0    Online          953 GB   332 GB        *

DISKPART> list volume

  Volume ###  Ltr  Label        Fs     Type        Size     Status     Info
  ----------  ---  -----------  -----  ----------  -------  ---------  --------
  Volume 0     C                NTFS   Partition    621 GB  Healthy    Boot
  Volume 1                      FAT32  Partition    100 MB  Healthy    System

DISKPART> select disk=0

Disk 0 is now the selected disk.

DISKPART> list partition

  Partition ###  Type              Size     Offset
  -------------  ----------------  -------  -------
  Partition 1    Recovery           529 MB  1024 KB
  Partition 2    System             100 MB   530 MB
  Partition 3    Reserved            16 MB   630 MB
  Partition 4    Primary            621 GB   646 MB

DISKPART> list vdisk

There are no virtual disks to show.
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Re: Can't get Linux Mint installer to find HDD partition

Post by myface68 »

Burn another usb stick with Rufus. No need to use GPT. I only use Rufus when burning in win, but since I have Mint as primary and win in VB, I do not use it any more.
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Re: Can't get Linux Mint installer to find HDD partition

Post by dzmach »

myface68 wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 7:38 am
Burn another usb stick with Rufus. No need to use GPT. I only use Rufus when burning in win, but since I have Mint as primary and win in VB, I do not use it any more.
As it happens, I just tried that. I also tried explicitly adding the grubx64.efi as a UEFI boot option (read this suggestion in an article just now).

Still not able to see the HDD. :(
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Re: Can't get Linux Mint installer to find HDD partition

Post by dzmach »

AndyMH wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 7:08 am
have to admit that I'm out of ideas for the moment at least.
Likewise, all parted is showing is your usb stick.

One last hope to try and get some info on your 1TB drive - boot windows, open up the cmd window and type diskpart (don't know whether you need to run this with admin privileges) and at the prompt, four commands:

Code: Select all

list disk
list volume
list partition 
list vdisk
Don't know what it's going to tell you as I don't use it, just fishing for anything that tells us more about that drive.

More info here:
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/window ... s/diskpart
Other information about the hard drive (from windows device and disk managers):
HDD_properties.png
HDD_partitions.png
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Re: Can't get Linux Mint installer to find HDD partition

Post by AndyMH »

Nothing out of the ordinary there. A standard win10 install in UEFI mode on a GPT partitioned drive.

Is your 1TB drive an M.2 SATA or PCIe drive (not that I'd know what to do with the answer)?

No mention of optane in BIOS, found the service manual here https://manuals.coolblue.nl/fb/dell-xps ... nx9700.pdf.

Arch mentioned nothing other than SATA mode to AHCI and turn off secure boot. It did say Change Fastboot to "Thorough [sic]" in "POST Behaviour", but I can't see why that would stop linux detecting the drive. More info here https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Dell_XPS_15_9570

It must be something in BIOS, but no idea what?

Clutching at straws:
  • change the original topic title to include Dell XPS 15 9570 - might get other owners to comment.
  • try a different distro, e.g. ubuntu 20, to see if it has the same problem.
  • contact Dell support - think their linux support is pretty good (they ship xps13's with ubuntu 18.04).
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Re: Can't get Linux Mint installer to find HDD partition

Post by thx-1138 »

...see here, but instead of nomodeset though, use nvme_core.default_ps_max_latency_us=0 instead.
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Re: Can't get Linux Mint installer to find HDD partition

Post by myface68 »

It is the hdd. I just look for specs and found out that this ssd drive is not compatible with Mac and Linux and that is why the Mint can not see it. Even win7 users had problem with installation. My advice - get 128G ssd and install Linux. I have Crucial 248G.
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