I have a dell inspiron 15z (ultrabook) with two drives, one HDD (500 Go) and one SSD (32 Go) managed by a kind of raid 0 array called intel smart response, and Windows 8 already installed.

Dell allows the bios to disable the secure boot mode, but when I launch the ubuntu installer from a live cd, the install does not recognize any drive.

So I tried, as read on the web, to deactivate Intel smart response from the GUI in Windows 8, and to set the SATA mode to AHCI or to ATA (I tried both).

In both cases, it does not work. I just want to use ubuntu and remove (if possible) Windows.

What can I do? Should I format the bios and reinstall it from scratch?

  • Please share more on your attempts to deactivate Intel Smart Response. You seem to be going in the right direction here! Does the BIOS give you some options to disable this and enable direct AHCI access to all of your storage devices? Reading your question it seems you've tried to disable this from within Windows, which seems odd to me. You might also be interested in this answer in another question. – gertvdijk Dec 30 '12 at 16:34
  • Thanks for your answer. The bios gives me three options to deactivate the intel smart response : ATA, AHCI or the actual intel smart response. In windows, there is a gui to deactivate it (but i don't really know what it does), so i did that along with the bios change to ATA or to AHCI. The main problem after those changes is that the ubuntu installer does not see any drive to install itself on and the "try ubuntu" option freezes the computer. – Tallaron Mathias Dec 30 '12 at 16:47

thank you all for your replies, the problem was that the Ubuntu installer did not recognize any disk while the Intel Smart Response was on.

But it was easy after all, I was being a bit stupid : I just needed to find the Intel Smart Response GUI in Windows 8 and to turn everything off inside.

Then I could install any Linux distribution.

Thanks again.

  • After you install ubuntu, are you able to turn Intel Smart Response (SRT) back on so that it functions for windows? I know it does not work with ubuntu, but can I have it work for windows while at same time dual booting ubuntu? – bdeonovic Nov 5 '13 at 2:18

There is actually a simple answer to this question, if you mean to completely remove Windows 8 and keep only Ubuntu. After installing Ubuntu on the USB through PenDriveLinux, reboot with the USB attached to your computer. Now, restart and keep pressing F2, F12, or delete while it is booting to access the Dell startup menu. There should be an "exit" or "Boot" option. On one of those, if you see anything related to "USB", just select that. The Ubuntu load button should show, and after a while it will show a menu. Click "Install Ubuntu". After going through a few steps, you will see one which says "Installation Type". If you are sure you want to take out Windows and keep Ubuntu, select "Erase disk and install Ubuntu". Continue.

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