I have a new HP Stream 11" laptop, and I would like to install Ubuntu 18.04.

At the moment, I have secure boot and legacy support both disabled. USB is first in the boot order. Plugging in a bootable Ubuntu 18.04 flash drive (created with Rufus) and turning on the PC, I eventually get the text menu that starts off with "Try Ubuntu without installing".

When I choose this, I get the Ubuntu name with five orange dots beneath it. After the second dot lights up, I get the following:

[    0.390899] ACPI BIOS Error (bug): Could not resolve symbol [\_SB.IPPF._STA.POSV], AE_NOT_FOUND (20190703/psargs-330)
[    0.390984] ACPI Error: Aborting method \_SB.IPPF._STA due to previous error (AE_NOT_FOUND) (20190703/psparse-531)

The two lines above are repeated three more times (with increasing numbers in the leading brackets).

BusyBox v1.27.2 (Ubuntu 1:1.25.2-2ubuntu3.2) built-in shell (ash)
Enter 'help' for a list of built-in commands.

(initramfs) mount:  mounting /cow on /root failed:  Invalid argument

overlay mount failed

Pressing Enter gets (initramfs) again.

Entering help brings up Built-in commands followed by a long list.

I would be happy to wipe Windows entirely for a linux laptop, but so far even the tryout option isn't working.

Thanks for any leads.

  • did you verify the checksum of your downloaded .ISO before writing it to a USB? This is an important step to make sure that the integrity of your download is not compromised. I suggest also using a different USB device as yours may be faulty. Rufus unfortunately also gives extra options that sometimes prevent the USB from booting. Try Etcher instead, which is a cross platform "no-nonsense" tool for writing images to flash devices. Once you have done these things please come back and make an edit – Nmath Mar 24 '20 at 20:17
  • @Nmath, so you think persistence support is nonsense then? Some people do want persistence (that, as opposed to Rufus, Etcher does not current provide), which, as I indicated below, I am pretty sure is the cause of the error here. So, yeah, because of a pure Ubuntu bug that went unfixed for years, if you do enable persistence with 18.04 in Rufus, you will run into this issue. And before you say "Then Rufus should detect Ubuntu versions with the bug and prevent persistence creation", it's not as easy as it seems, in part because there were talks of retrofitting that bugfix into LTS... – Akeo Mar 24 '20 at 21:51
  • @Akeo this question has nothing to do with persistence. OP has stated they intend to install Ubuntu. OP needs reliable installation media. Etcher is good for this purpose because the user is only prompted to select the ISO and the destination device. That's what I mean by "no-nonsense". You can't mess it up. Unlike rufus, which has a buffet of options, there is no potential for "user error". Rufus is great for power users and those that know what they are doing, but it's far from the easiest and most straightforward way to create installation media. – Nmath Mar 25 '20 at 0:55
  • @Nmath, I disagree. This question has everything to do with persistence because mounting /cow on /root failed: Invalid argument is what you get if you enable persistence with 18.04 due to the Ubuntu bug mentioned. So I am positive that the reason OP ran into an issue is because they enabled persistence in Rufus (which, btw, is disabled by default). You can easily check this yourself. So that "no-nonsense" point, which you are still trying to argue for, is baseless in this case. All OP did was enable an option that would work if Ubuntu wasn't buggy. It's not a media creation tool issue. – Akeo Mar 25 '20 at 11:20
  • I'll add that you want to be careful about letting your preferences bias your judgement of where the issue lies. I can understand why one could reason that "Etcher doesn't provide option to add persistence, therefore people using Etcher won't run into a pure Ubuntu persistence bug, therefore Etcher is the better tool to use" but I hope that you can also appreciate how this alone doesn't mean that using Rufus is the problem. Else you're going to argue that all software should restrict what users can do as much as possible, so that they don't run the risk to run into external bugs... – Akeo Mar 25 '20 at 11:34

(initramfs) mount: mounting /cow on /root failed: Invalid argument

This is symptomatic of Ubuntu bug #1489855 which was only fixed in version 19.10.

Did you enable persistence in Rufus? Coz that won't work with 18.04 due to the bug above.

If this is what you did then you basically have two choices:

  • Use Ubuntu 18.04 and make sure to disable persistence when creating the drive in Rufus
  • Use Ubuntu 19.10

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