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My laptop has become unusable, please help.

I tried installing Ubuntu for the first time on a USB stick to run from any computer.

Here are the steps I took:

  1. downloaded Ubuntu from web on Windows and transferred to USB1 using Rufus
  2. boot into Ubuntu test from live USB1
  3. checked that Windows EFI partition (separate SSD) was flagged as msftdata (the guide I followed stated it should be changed from EFI to mfstdata, but it was already this way)
  4. ran install ubuntu to USB2 (clean drive, 332MB EFI partition and rest of 16GB Ext4, mount point ’/’
  5. after successful install changed main OS EFI partition flag to EFI (I suspect this might be the issue, as it was msftdata when I started?)
  6. restarted computer

This is the situation now:

  • when USB2 with newly installed Ubuntu is inserted it boots(?) but gets stuck on the loading screen (Ubuntu logo), however I can enter Ubuntu recovery mode
  • can’t access Ubuntu downloaded with Rufus on from USB1 (to that way see what might be wrong)
  • cant boot into Windows 10 (OS on my SSD), removed the drive from the computer and all other issues persist. Does this mean my BIOS is damaged? Is there any way to fix that (laptop is Samsung NP530U3C)
  • stuck in restart loop (can’t enter BIOS or Recovery Mode)
  • Edit: unplugged the CMOS battery, but problems persists. Only way to exit restart loop seems to be using USB2.

Let me know if more information is needed. Unfortunately my knowledge is none when it comes to recovery.

Thank you for the help! Even if I can just get Windows back running I’m more than happy.

Output of sudo parted -ls:

root@LA-5303C:*# sudo parted -1s
Model: ATA C250BX100SSD1 (scsi)
Disk /dev/sda: 250GB
Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/512B
Partition Table: msdos
Disk Flags:
Number Start End Size Type Filesys Flags
1   32,8KB 249GB 249GB primary ntfs 
2   249GB  250GB 609MB primary ntfs

Model: ATA SanDisk SSD 1100 (scsi)
Disk /dev/sdb: 24,0G
Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/512B
Partition Table: msdos
Disk Flags:
Number Start End Size Type Filesys Flags
1 1049KB 20,8GB 20,8GB primary
2 20,8GB 24GB   3221MB primary     irst

Model: Kingston DataTraveler 3.0 (scsi)
Disk: /dev/sdc: 15,5GB
Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/512B
Partition Table: msdos
Disk Flags:
Number Start End Size Type Filesys Flags
1 1049kB 332MB 331MB primary fat32 boot,esp 
2 332MB 15,5GB 15,1GB primary ext4 
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  • 1
    Adding the esp flag to a partition that originally didn't have is is certainly wrong. Maybe you now have two EFI partitions, or maybe you system is really a legacy setup (no EFI partition). Please include the output of sudo parted -l /dev/<your device not a partition> in your original posting. What model machine do you have? Some machines will boot either legacy or UEFI depending upon your preferences (what BIOS settings are used?) and the boot medium. There should be a way to enter BIOS/UEFI Settings at power up, that is not dependent upon any Os installed.
    – ubfan1
    Commented Mar 23 at 22:47
  • I tried replacing the esp&boot flags with msftdata with parted, but it was not possible (no idea why). Included output of sudo lsblk -ls in original post. The model is a Samsung NP530U3C. When I run dmesg | grep ”EFI v” I get efi: EFI v2.3.1 by Phoenix Technologies Ltd., so I assume it boots in EFI/UEFI (atleast the Ubuntu). Really wierd how I can’t access the BIOS settings though…
    – Liam
    Commented Mar 26 at 12:01
  • 1
    Sometimes there's a grub option to get into the BIOS/UEFI settings. Otherwise, some button at power-up, but if you've selected fast start, there's not much time to press the button. Find right button, press the button, spam the button, hold the button, etc. Intel Rapid Start option should be turned off. Your install is legacy anyway, unless the irst (Intel Rapid start) partition somehow replaces the esp. If it does, you can have a UEFI setup on an msdos partition type disk, but not recommended.
    – ubfan1
    Commented Mar 26 at 15:35

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