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Thread: My Laptop Lenovo IdeaPad journey in wrestling against BIOS/UEFI issues.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa

    Thumbs up My Laptop Lenovo IdeaPad journey in wrestling against BIOS/UEFI issues.

    This setup & install journal will be linked to my LAPTOP COMPATIBILITY post found here:

    1) Version: Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa)

    2) Laptop Maker:

    3) Laptop Model:
    IdeaPad s400u

    It works!


    Background story

    I started learning how to use Linux around 2005 using Ubuntu and Debian. Things went smooth for a couple of years then I tried Linux Mint and Lubuntu. Then around 2015 when I discovered that there was this new thing called UEFI. I could no longer manage to install any Linux distros as easily as before on machines that I previously had done several Linux installs on.

    Not having the time and energy to deal with UEFI that stopped me from even booting into the LiveCD/USB. I then just dropped everything about Linux and only played on my Windows machine. 5 years later all my Linux machines became deprecated and unusable which forced me into facing the UEFI boot issues once again.

    Long story short it took me around 2 days straight to wrestle against the BIOS/UEFI issues trying to make the LiveCD/USB boot. Finally I understood how to work with UEFI and how to configure the BIOS settings to make things just start. That's why I wanted to write this journal for anybody else facing the same struggles.

    To simplify things this is how I like to imagine it, even though it might not be the correct way to describe things.

    * BIOS = BIOS 1.0
    * UEFI = BIOS 2.0


    Pre-install procedures

    Here are some tutorials and links that are good to follow before trying to boot the Ubuntu LiveCD/USB on your laptop.

    * Ubuntu download folders

    * Verify checksums and signatures for ISO file
    To make sure download was not corrupted or have been hacked.

    * Create a LiveCD/USB stick
    There are many ways to do this procedure but this was the way I preferred and chose to use.


    Reboot into BIOS/UEFI setup screen

    Every computer's BIOS screen will basically look different but perhaps me listing my *secret Coca Cola ingredients* will help you adapt your settings as close to the truth as possible.

    Step 0.)
    During reboot screen hold Fn key and press F2 key several times to enter into BIOS setup screen.
    The keys for booting into "BIOS setup" screen will differ between models and manufacturers!

    BIOS - Configuration tab

    • Wireless LAN = Enabled
    • SATA Controller Mode = RAID
    • PXE Boot to LAN = Disabled
    • Power Beep = Disabled
    • Intel Virtual Technology = Disabled
    • BIOS Back Flash = Disabled
    • Intel(R) AT Support = Disabled
    • System Hotkey Mode = Disabled

    If your BIOS settings doesn't have RAID as an option then choose AHCI or something similar close to it. Read the explanation in this Microsoft article for better understanding.

    What does AHCI Mode, IDE Mode, RAID Mode, & SATA Mean in the BIOS settings

    BIOS - Security tab

    • Secure Boot = Disabled

    BIOS - Boot tab

    • Boot Mode = UEFI
    • USB Boot = Enabled

    BIOS - Exit tab

    • OS Optimized Defaults = [Win8 64bit]

    BIOS - Exit Saving Changes

    • This should enable your Ubuntu LiveCD/USB stick to boot without UEFI issues.


    Step 1.)
    During reboot screen hold Fn key and press F12 key several times to enter the "Boot Option Menu".
    The keys for booting into "Boot Option Menu" screen will differ between models and manufacturers!

    Step 2.)
    Select "EFI USB Device ...".

    Step 3.) Installation type (screen)
    At the installation type screen select "Something else" option.


    Gparted (screen)

    Warning this procedure will erase everything on all of your hard drives!!!

    My Lenovo IdeaPad model consist of 2 disks. You shouldn't delete the hidden partitions that Windows 8 uses for factory resets. Keeping Win 8 factory reset partitions is your only way to upgrade BIOS in the future, if you need to do it. But in this case you won't need to upgrade BIOS. I burned my Windows revert bridges by deleting mine years ago. Lenovo doesn't provide BIOS upgrade ISO files for this specific model!

    * 20 GB SSD disk = /dev/sda
    * 500 GB HD disk = /dev/sdb

    Step 4.)
    Select /dev/sda and click "New partition Table".

    Step 5.)
    Select /dev/sdb and click "New partition Table".

    Step 6.)
    Create a 550 MB "EFI system partition" for /dev/sda.

    Step 7.)
    Create a 4124 MB "swap area" for /dev/sda because my Laptop has 4 GB RAM memory.

    Step 8.)
    The rest of the SSD disk (/dev/sda) I reserved for the "Mount point":/ .

    Step 9.)
    The HD disk (/dev/sdb) I reserved for the "Mount point":/home .

    Step 10.) Device for boot loader installation:
    Select the partition where your mount point is / . In this case /dev/sda3.

    gg, you have won the BIOS/UEFI game!
    Last edited by mortalkorona; May 12th, 2020 at 03:10 PM. Reason: Checking why SOLVED prefix didn't show up.

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