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HP Compaq dc5750 small form factor Athlon 64 X2 3800+ 2.0GHz 2GB 160GB

On starting the system it displayed this message:

If you are running Unix, you need to configure your system using the computer setup utility (F10)

Attempts to install 12.04 64 bit from a USB flash stick cause this message:

usi-partman crashed

usi-partman failed with error code 10...

I assume there is a connection between the two. Which settings need to be changed?

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The installer error you encountered indicate a failure to access you hard disk(s) for partitioning. This may be due to wrong or not working settings in the BIOS storage access.

In the HP BIOS configuration tool - running with F10 on boot - you may find this in the Storage -> Storage Options -> SATA Emulation menu. Remember the settings there and try with IDE.

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The value is Legacy Mode IDE. What is "try with IDE"? –  C.W.Holeman II Jun 21 '12 at 14:18
    
@C.W.HolemanII: we can't possibly know here what settings are allowed in the BIOS of your machine here but we do suspect that the failure to partition may be related to a malfunctioning or wrong setting in the BIOS hard disk SATA emulation. We might be wrong, but it's definitely worth to have a look at these settings. –  Takkat Jun 21 '12 at 16:18
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