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I want to install Ubuntu natively on my gaming laptop. I feel comfortable and confident in troubleshooting most things, and have installed Ubuntu on an older laptop of mine before about a year ago. I want to switch due to my most recent niche for developing and Linux. I'm worried I'll have driver issues or some freak error resulting in a hard-brick; a $2,000 paperweight. I'd follow all the A-Z backups and basic precautionary steps of course.

What's the worst that could happen?

Manufacturer: Maingear Computers
Memory: 16.0 GB RAM
GPU: GeForce GTX 770M
CPU: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-4800MQ CPU @ 2.70GHz
Graphics: Intel(R) HD Graphics 4600
Network Adapters:
Killer Wireless-N 1202 (2.4GHz and 5GHz)
Killer e2200 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet Controller

system specs

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closed as unclear what you're asking by guntbert, dobey, muru, Glutanimate, Tim Aug 9 '14 at 8:15

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

For answers about how to avoid problems or if there are known incompatibilities we need more info about your system. "Whats the worst..." simply asks for opinions. – guntbert Aug 7 '14 at 19:38
Absolutely, my apologies. I posted my original question at work. So now that I'm home, here she is. – tyler9097 Aug 7 '14 at 20:01
Again, my apologies. Edited as advised. – tyler9097 Aug 7 '14 at 20:25
Anything can happen. If your house gets struck by lightning and it fries your laptop, while you're installing Ubuntu, it's a freak error that will leave you with a brick, but it's not Ubuntu's fault. :) – dobey Aug 7 '14 at 20:49
Fortunately my house was not struck by lighting. Everything looks good after install last night. The only problem i seem to be having is the web browser not connecting, even though i can update/download software. Thank you everyone again. – tyler9097 Aug 8 '14 at 17:36
up vote 3 down vote accepted

or some freak error resulting in a hard-brick

That is not going to happen due to -installation-. That's more like to happen when hardware fails or you start flashing the bios. If anything goes wrong during installation all you did was format the disk.

driver issues

That can happen. 2 possible concerns:

  • your videocard. Find out make and model and google it to see if there is a lot of trouble. General rule of thumb: Intel works. nVidia and AMD work BUT stay away from the newest models. Support for videocards lags a few months behind. If this fails it will fail with the 1st boot after installation and its will be a show-stopper for the newbie Ubuntu user... debugging a failed videocard during 1st boot is not going to be easy.

  • wireless card if there is one. Check for the chipset and google for it. Make sure you get it working during the LIVE dvd sesssion (prior to install). If it works it will work after install. A problem with wireless is not a big deal: connect wired and it will get you to the web and you can then fix the wireless.

All other hardware should work out of the box.

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Thank you very much for your help. However, i thought maybe i could get some more input from you with my system specs, or from others. I'm contemplating going ahead and just trying to demo version for now to be safe. Here's my baby. – tyler9097 Aug 7 '14 at 19:58

Well, I guess the scariest thing that could happen could be one of these 2:

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My Windows 8 insaller once messed up my EFI boot list a bit (it added some invalid entries, which were annoying), and the only way I could fix them was to boot into a linux live CD and use efibootmgr to manually remove them. – SztupY Aug 7 '14 at 20:54

Go ahead. The GeForce GTX 770 works very well with Ubuntu and the included Nvidia binary drivers, power saving and all. I've been using it on my i5 2500K since last November without problems.

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The worst that could happen is you wont like Ubuntu :)

In all seriousness, the worst that could happen is you may spend some time getting your graphics drivers installed (if that) or you need update them. Network card drivers as well but Ubuntu has really great driver support so all of your hardware should be detected out of the box. On the variety of machines I've installed Ubuntu on, all the hardware was detected just fine.

If you're really concerned take a look at this hardware compatibility list for more information.

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