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I am able to run Ubuntu from a USB thumb drive, but EVERY time I try to install Ubuntu, all is well until I get the error grub-install/dev/sda failed.

It gives me the option to continue without a boot loader; cancel the installation or install grub somewhere else.

My machine is a Dell XPS, with two 500G HD in a RAID 0 array. The BIOS is an A04, (I think) I've been through the BIOS looking for problems that might stop the boot loader installation.

I would very much like to use Ubuntu, but this inability to install the boot loader is very frustrating.

I would very much appreciate any suggestions.

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I had same experience trying USB install on a number of machines. I burnt the ISO to CD and installed perfectly. You need to fix grub using something like supergrub2 disk from or install from CD

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You can use the help given over here.

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If it's fakeRAID(Motherboard pretending to be RAID), then Ubuntu compatibility is VERY low. If it's true hardware RAID, the only problem may be a disk failure. You could try clearing RAID metadata before installing. You could try sudo dmraid -rE before installing.

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