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I tried to install Ubuntu 11.10 on my DELL Studio XPS running with Windows 7 Professional. Following the recommended installation steps found on the internet, I first downloaded the ISO file, burned it on CD and restarted the system from this burned CD forced by pressing F12.

Nothing happened (black screen with blinking cursor) and after a while normal Windows 7 startup appeared. Finally I tried the 32bit as well as 64bit version with the same disappointing result.

What am I missing?

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You may have burned the .iso file to the CD without actually burning the disk image to the disk. When you open the CD in a folder in Windows, it should look like the CD contains multiple folders. If it looks like the disk contains a single .iso file, you'll need to try again.

Ubuntu's community documentation has good instructions for burning an iso to a disk. Assuming you're burning the CD in Windows:

  1. Install the open source Infra Recorder software
  2. With a blank disk in the drive, open Infra Recorder and click the Burn Image button
  3. Choose the Ubuntu .iso file that you downloaded and burn that image to the disk.
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Maybe you just have to set your CD/DVD drive as your first boot priority in your BIOS.

Getting to the BIOS config screen varies from motherboard to motherboard, but its ussually done by pressing either DEL or the F2, once there you should go into the boot section, and alter your boot priority to use the CD/DVD ROM drive as the primary boot device.

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The only other thing these guys haven't covered is making sure the md5sum is correct and not mismatched.

Take a look here for the proper check sums

I would also recommend burning at the slowest speed possible.

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