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I don't know if it just a complete lack of experience, but my old Toshiba Satellite C8855D S5340 refuses to install or boot from any boot disk. I currently have windows 8. I have used both the 32bit and 64bit versions and from both CD(or rather DVD-W) and a USB card. Regarding the USB, I used the installer that Ubuntu recommends. I get as far as the restart, but then it just reboots to windows. I go into the bios and set it to boot the disk drive first, and I get a (sometimes) a terminal that asks me what I want to do with Ubuntu (dual boot or replace), I select replace, and then I get a blank screen that remains empty indeterminably (I shut it off and try again after ten min or so). I don't know what my laptop is doing, and I'm getting rather irritated with it (although I do recognize my operator error).
What am I doing wrong?

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You say old, but specs say this was a Windows 8 system? If so then it is UEFI and only Ubuntu 64 bit will boot in UEFI mode. Post this from live installer sudo parted -l –  oldfred Jun 19 '14 at 4:13
What do you mean by "I get as far as the restartt, but then it just reboots to windows"? Do you mean you successfully booted the installer and did a full install to your hard drive? –  bain Jun 20 '14 at 8:36
You have to boot and install the 64 bit version of Ubuntu with uefi enabled. After installing Ubuntu, choose to boot ubuntu, rather then windows, in the uefi boot menu in your BIOS. Location varies by bios, usually under the security or boot tab. –  bodhi.zazen Jun 20 '14 at 18:12
so i get a terminal that says –  Inglorious Jun 20 '14 at 20:43
so i get a terminal that says try "ubutnu with out installling", "install ubuntu" and "check disk for defects" when i hit "install ubuntu" the screen goes blank and stays blank. I dont get any indication that it does anything after that. –  Inglorious Jun 20 '14 at 20:57

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