I am attempting to install 13.04 on a Dell XPS 15 (L502X), onto an Intel SSD. I have run shred to wipe the contents of the SSD, so I should be starting from a clean slate, and my objective is for Ubuntu to use the entire drive. Note, though, that I had an older Ubuntu installation on this SSD prior to running shred.

However, from both a amd64 DVD and an amd64 boot USB key (created using Startup Disk Creator from the downloaded ISO), I get "Operation system not found" when I attempt to boot. If I try booting from something else (e.g., an old SysRescue Linux mini-CD), it boots fine, so the issue is not that the L502X cannot boot from external media.

I even double-checked that the MBR on the SSD was wiped by using dd. Still no luck.

Any suggestions?

(and to those editing the title, no this is not a typo in my question)


UPDATE: Replacing the SSD with another hard drive (one with Windows 7 on it) allows the USB key to boot. Hence, the problem is with the SSD. The SSD itself seems fine -- SysRescue Linux sees it. However, there's something on it that is preventing the Ubuntu 13.04 live DVD/USB from booting, for some reason.

  • Run this script and edit the results into your question: sourceforge.net/projects/bootinfoscript – psusi Sep 16 '13 at 17:51
  • @psusi: I cannot run the script, as I do not have a non-Ubuntu bootable Linux environment handy that is capable of accessing either the Internet or a thumb drive from which I can load the script in question. – CommonsWare Sep 16 '13 at 18:08
  • You can use the Ubuntu livecd you used to install. – psusi Sep 16 '13 at 18:40
  • @psusi: Neither the live CD nor the live USB drive boot. Quoting myself from my question: "However, from both a amd64 DVD and an amd64 boot USB key (created using Startup Disk Creator from the downloaded ISO), I get "Operation system not found" when I attempt to boot". – CommonsWare Sep 16 '13 at 18:42
  • Did you md5sum check the downloaded iso? See help.ubuntu.com/community/HowToMD5SUM Check the number against the listing in the link for your release listed at releases.ubuntu.com under the MD5SUMS link. – ubfan1 Sep 16 '13 at 19:00

You need to set your SATA mode to AHCI instead of RAID in you BIOS. Also make sure you remove the RAID meta-data:

sudo dmraid -E -r /dev/sda
sudo dmraid -E -r /dev/sdb

Now reinstall Ubuntu, and you should be fine.

Keep in mind that any other operating system won't work anymore after this.

Related: Installing Ubuntu 13.04 on a MSATA SSD

  • My Dell XPS L502X notebook does not have a RAID option -- it was already set to ACHI. Running dmraid -E -r /dev/sda reports No RAID disks and with names: "/dev/sda", which fits. Thanks, though! – CommonsWare Sep 16 '13 at 19:28
  • My HP laptop does, so thats where my assumption came from. – Joren Sep 16 '13 at 19:30

Well, running fdisk again, to write a fresh partition table after having wiped it along with the MBR, seems to have done the trick. I am now able to boot the live DVD/USB key and get started on Ubuntu 13.04 installation.

Thanks for the suggestions!


This message is usually what you get from a stupid bios that reads the MBR and checks it to make sure that it has a boot partition. It should not be looking at the SSD when you are explicitly telling it to boot from another disk. What doesn't make sense is that you could boot the rescue cd, but not Ubuntu.

Try creating a dummy partition on the SSD and setting the boot flag on it.

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