When I boot my laptop (Dell vostro-3450) 9 times out of 10 I get the message from BIOS "Operation system not found" and I have to power cycle again. Eventually Ubuntu will load.

I've checked in BIOS and there are no relevant options to configure, its very basic.

I have installed and run boot-repair but the problem remains. here is the output from the boot repair:


The drive (an SSD) is just one big primary partition, and I notice at the end of the report there is this message:

"The boot files of [The OS now in use - Ubuntu 18.04.3 LTS] are far from the start of the disk. Your BIOS may not detect them. You may want to retry after creating a /boot partition (EXT4, >200MB, start of the disk). This can be performed via tools such as gParted. Then select this partition via the [Separate /boot partition:] option of [Boot Repair]. (https://help.ubuntu.com/community/BootPartition)"

Which seems like it might be the problem, but I don't think its possible to create a new partition at the beginning of the drive without destroying the existing partition.

Is there any way I can fix this without basically reinstalling ubuntu?


Output of sudo lshw -c disk

       description: SCSI Disk
       product: Multi-Card
       vendor: Generic-
       physical id: 0.0.0
       bus info: scsi@6:0.0.0
       logical name: /dev/sdb
       version: 1.00
       capabilities: removable
       configuration: logicalsectorsize=512 sectorsize=512
          physical id: 0
          logical name: /dev/sdb
       description: ATA Disk
       product: Samsung SSD 850
       physical id: 0.0.0
       bus info: scsi@0:0.0.0
       logical name: /dev/sda
       version: 1B6Q
       serial: S21HNXBG528568R
       size: 465GiB (500GB)
       capabilities: partitioned partitioned:dos
       configuration: ansiversion=5 logicalsectorsize=512 sectorsize=512 signature=d69f4185
       description: DVD-RAM writer
       product: DVD+-RW TS-L633J
       vendor: TSSTcorp
       physical id: 0.0.0
       bus info: scsi@1:0.0.0
       logical name: /dev/cdrom
       logical name: /dev/cdrw
       logical name: /dev/dvd
       logical name: /dev/dvdrw
       logical name: /dev/sr0
       version: D500
       capabilities: removable audio cd-r cd-rw dvd dvd-r dvd-ram
       configuration: ansiversion=5 status=nodisc


I managed to update the BIOS to the latest version, A13 from A05, and this seems to have resolved the boot up issue. I had to create a 32bit windows 7 USB stick to get the bios update utility to work.

  • Pleas show sudo lshw -c disk
    – nobody
    Commented Nov 6, 2019 at 10:54
  • i've added the lshw output above
    – DeepFried
    Commented Nov 6, 2019 at 13:09
  • 1
    What model Dell? Most Dell need UEFI update, & SSD firmware update & then change to AHCI for drives. Also issue may be that you have UEFI hardware but BIOS/MBR type install. BIOS goes back to original PC in 1980's. UEFI has been standard since Windows required it with Windows 8 in 2012. System may be trying to boot in UEFI mode, fails & then lets you boot in BIOS mode. Check UEFI settings to make sure only BIOS/Legacy/CSM is allowed. Probably better to reinstall in UEFI boot mode to gpt drive which then also needs an ESP - efi system partition.
    – oldfred
    Commented Nov 6, 2019 at 15:32
  • Oldfred, its a vostro-3450 from around 2012, it originally shipped with windows 7 and i'm almost certain it is classic BIOS rather than UEFI. The SSD is set to AHCI in the BIOS but aside from that I don't see any more advanced settings, I can just disable various devices, set the time, set the boot order, or set a password, thats it. I'll look and see if there is some way to force grub to boot in BIOS mode, which is I guess what you're saying.
    – DeepFried
    Commented Nov 6, 2019 at 17:50
  • 1
    Its then not grub in BIOS mode, but whether BIOS is booting correctly. Check BIOS settings. If any updates to BIOS are available from Dell install those.May be best to see details, use ppa version with your live installer (2nd option) or any working install, not older Boot-Repair ISO: Please copy & paste link to the Boot-info summary report ( do not post report), the auto fix sometimes can create more issues. help.ubuntu.com/community/Boot-Repair
    – oldfred
    Commented Nov 10, 2019 at 21:26

1 Answer 1

lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root  9 Nov  6 08:42 ata-Samsung_SSD_850_EVO_500GB_S21HNXBG528568R -> ../../sda
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 10 Nov  6 08:42 ata-Samsung_SSD_850_EVO_500GB_S21HNXBG528568R-part1 -> ../../sda1
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root  9 Nov  6 08:37 ata-TSSTcorp_DVD+_-RW_TS-L633J_R8126GNB668741 -> ../../sr0
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root  9 Nov  6 08:42 usb-Generic-_Multi-Card_20090516388200000-0:0 -> ../../sdb
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root  9 Nov  6 08:42->wwn-0x5002538d400f800d ../../sda
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 10 Nov  6 08:42 wwn-0x5002538d400f800d-part1 -> ../../sda1

I'm wondering what this is, 2 differend links point to /dev/sda and /dev/sda1

sudo unlink /dev/disk/by-id/wwn-0x5002538d400f800d-part1 


sudo unlink /dev/disk/by-id/wwn-0x5002538d400f800d

update your the initrid from current running kernel

sudo update-initramfs -u -k $(uname -r)

and update grub

sudo update-grub
  • I tried this but those links were just recreated the next time I looked. At this point I feel like the problem is that the BIOS (and it is BIOS not UEFI) is struggling to find the boot files because the boot partition is 500GB (the whole drive). So i've either got to create a small boot partition or upgrade the BIOS to support UEFI boot. Upgrading the BIOS is turning out to be a challenge, the bios flash exe wont run on freedos or windows 10, so I actually have to get windows 7 and try and run it with that (thanks Dell).
    – DeepFried
    Commented Nov 7, 2019 at 12:38
  • Please paste the output from udevadm test --action=add /sys/class/block/sda to ubuntupastebin. In bios your harddrive is recognized correctl?
    – nobody
    Commented Nov 7, 2019 at 12:53
  • the BIOS seems to see the drive ok paste.ubuntu.com/p/SG5tD87bNQ
    – DeepFried
    Commented Nov 7, 2019 at 18:46
  • Please update the firmware from your SSD. samsung.com/semiconductor/minisite/ssd/download/tools
    – nobody
    Commented Nov 8, 2019 at 10:59
  • I have updated the SSD firmware, unfortunately i'm seeing the same behaviour.
    – DeepFried
    Commented Nov 8, 2019 at 18:25

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