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After years of hearing about how much better Linux is than Windows, I finally decided to make the leap starting with Ubuntu Desktop (I've tried to install both the x86 and x64 versions of 12.04 and 12.10). The irony is that even before I can get started, it's already vomiting. After getting the "GNU GRUB version 2.00-7ubuntu11" menu at startup, I choose "Try Ubuntu without installing" and got the following message:

error: failure reading sector 0x5b500 from 'hd1'.
Press any key to continue...

After pressing a key, I get the following message:

[1.806271] Kernel panic - not syncing: VFS: Unable to mount root fs on unknown-block(0,0).

Six additional lines of error code appear and then it freezes on this screen. I also noticed that the caps lock key is flashing.

I get the same series of errors if I choose "Install Ubuntu" from the GRUB menu.

Judging by what I've read so far, I'm guessing this is a problem related to newer drivers or hardware but I don't see a solution.

I'm trying to perform the install on a new Lenovo Y580 laptop. Here are the relevant specs:

Current OS: Windows 7 Home Premium (Service Pack 1) 64-bit
Hardware: Intel Core i7-3610QM 2.3GHz
Nvidia GeForce GTX 660M
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Is this a USB memory stick? Did you install from within Windows? It looks like a hardware error with your second harddisk, which might be a memory stick. But it will be easier to answer if you provide more details. – Jo-Erlend Schinstad Nov 20 '12 at 1:18
I burned Ubuntu to a DVD. I'm trying to install from the DVD. No memory stick is connected and I only have one harddisk. – DJohns Nov 20 '12 at 1:40
OK. I'm done with this. Into the recycling bin it goes. Not a good first/last impression, Linux. – DJohns Nov 20 '12 at 2:42
So you are experiencing a read error on a device and the operating system failed to boot because it cannot read a block from the root file system. The flashing keyboard lights are a kernel panic - which is a fatal error. Any you are ditching the use of the operating system because of data corruption on a DVD you burnt under Windows? – Colin Ian King Nov 20 '12 at 8:27
Colin Ian King, there is nothing wrong with the DVD. Even though my question title was edited from "12.04 - Can't Even Try Ubuntu Due to Error; First Time (and Possibly Last Time) User", the full error is in the body of my question. This is a fairly common problem/error with no easy fix, which I'm assuming you have realized by now. – DJohns Nov 21 '12 at 21:46

I too saw the error reading from sector 0x5b500, with the 64b version of 12.10. It seems the support for UEFI (a BIOS replacement) is not yet complete.

I know of two solutions.

  1. If you want just Ubuntu, then enter your computer's firmware and switch from UEFI to legacy. Then use the normal installation process.

  2. If you want dual boot and the current OS uses EFI (which is probably your case), then you can switch to legacy only temporarily to install Ubuntu. You must setup the partitions manually. At the end you'll have to switch back to EFI:

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