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I have a Sony vaio e11 series laptop with windows 8.

I went to install Ubuntu from a bootable USB after wiping windows 8. I went to restart the laptop and I get a message saying

error: unknown file system. Grub rescue

To make matters worse the USB doesn't boot when I turn the laptop on and I have no way to access the BIOS.

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Windows 8 hardware comes with UEFI + secure boot feature (one or both) if I'm not mistaken. This makes installing Ubuntu on such hardware cause issues. Read this:… – Marky Jan 1 '13 at 10:29
That's why I wiped windows so it can install. But because of how they have the laptop boot up I can't get into the BIOS or anything. – howard Jan 1 '13 at 12:54

These issues are due to UEFI that comes with Windows 8 devices. Removing Windows will not remove UEFI.

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if its a sony vaio then isnt there an ASSIST button? if there is, turn off your laptop and press the ASSIST button, then the bios will start up.

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Very late answer but in case anyone ever runs into this type of problem again you can type


into the Grub Bootloader Rescue text terminal and then enter the BIOS through that command.

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