I have a HP computer with Windows 7 that does not operate properly. Windows only works for a few seconds to a few minutes before showing a blue screen and restarting. I am trying to install Ubuntu from a 4 GB USB stick, but when I do that it has an X next to "has at least 5.3 GB available drive space" but the computer has well over 600 GB available. I think Ubuntu thinks the USB drive is the HDD. I have been trying to install Ubuntu since this morning. I can try Ubuntu from this computer and that works fine. When I first turn on the computer and press F12 it doesn't show the USB drive as something I can boot from. Then Windows boots and when it restarts due to an error it boots Ubuntu. Does anyone have any idea of how I could fix this and get it to install on the computer?
First things first here. If the machine keeps re-booting, then there is either a problem with the hardware or a driver that is loading when Windows boots. If you have recovery media for Windows, suggest you try to boot with that first to determine what may be happening. If the hardware is somehow in a bad way, no amount of "just reinstall or install something else" will resolve the issue.
Does your BIOS have the option to make sounds when it fails on POST? If so, and that is turned off, enable that option and restart the machine. The POST (power-on self test) errors are there to make noise for a reason. They let you know if hardware is failing, but many manufacturers turn it off to prevent end-user complaint.
Have you tried grabbing the GParted bootable ISO and loading that? At least you might see how the machine sees your hardware. Would also suggest trying the Ultimate Boot CD as a way to boot into your hardware and run diagnostic tests. There are a number of utilities that can provide assistance.
Once you have run the tests, you will hopefully have an answer as to the root cause of the failure. Sometimes, a bad driver can cause this (from a recent install) or failing memory or a hard disk failure. Once you determine the issue that way, you can properly take action to recover your system.