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I've just acquired recently a brand new Dell Precision Tower 5810 with preinstalled Win7 pro. It has 2 disks 4TB each. I tried to install Ubuntu 14.04 as the primary OS wiping everything from the disks but when the installation is over and I try to boot from the Ubuntu entry under UEFI mode in bios the only thing that I get is a black screen with the following options

  1. Press F1 to reboot
  2. Press F2 to reboot in to settings
  3. Enter or change bios settings

Steps I follow during the installation process of Ubuntu 14.04 on my machine

  1. Boot mode UEFI secure boot OFF
  2. Boot from usb drive and install normally
  3. At the partitioning step I choose the first option to delete everything and install Ubuntu as primary OS on drive /dev/sda
  4. After installation I end up with 3 partitions on /dev/sda
    • 512MB efi
    • 16GiB /swap
    • remaining free space as /ext4 / (root)

After installation when I reboot it gives me a black screen with the message options I described above.

Has anyone faced the same problems? I would never expect to be it so damn hard to simply install an OS in a brand new machine.

2 Answers 2

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I had this same issue with a Dell 5810. Turns out it was related to installing Ubuntu in UEFI mode. I was able to fix it by following the excellent advice from Ubuntu here and here. To summarize the advice from those two links, I did the below after I encountered the screen the OP mentions.

  1. Reboot the PC using the Ubuntu install disk and selecting the "Try Ubuntu" option.
  2. Once the live cd has loaded to the desktop installed and launched the Boot Repair tool in a terminal by doing:

    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:yannubuntu/boot-repair    
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install -y boot-repair && boot-repair
    
  3. Select the "Recommended Repair" option.

  4. Rebooted.

There's probably a more elegant way of doing the install. However, this was pretty easy so I didn't investigate it further.

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Try this to gather more information:

  1. Download the USB flash drive or CD-R image for my rEFInd boot manager.
  2. Create the relevant medium.
  3. Boot with it. With any luck, you should see the rEFInd menu pop up, which should show an option to boot Ubuntu.
  4. Boot Ubuntu.
  5. In Ubuntu, open a Terminal window and type sudo efibootmgr -v.

The efibootmgr output will show your boot entries. Here's what it shows on the computer I'm using now:

$ sudo efibootmgr -v
BootCurrent: 0000
Timeout: 1 seconds
BootOrder: 0000
Boot0000* rEFInd (direct)   HD(2,c00,114000,6e49fcaf-d054-47c9-ba69-a668c5ee8192)File(\EFI\refind\refind_x64.efi)
Boot0004* UEFI: Built-in EFI Shell  Vendor(5023b95c-db26-429b-a648-bd47664c8012,)..BO

In your case, you should see at least one ubuntu entry that points to either \EFI\ubuntu\grubx64.efi or \EFI\ubuntu\shimx64.efi. There may well be other entries, like the UEFI: Built-in EFI Shell entry in this example. Furthermore, the ubuntu entry's number should appear on the BootOrder line as the first value. (My output doesn't show precisely what I've described because I'm using rEFInd, not GRUB, as my default boot program, and I don't even have GRUB registered on this system. The Ubuntu Shim/GRUB entry would be similar to my rEFInd entry, though.)

If you do not see such an entry, you can try creating a new entry with efibootmgr:

sudo efibootmgr -c -d /dev/sda -p 1 -l \\EFI\\ubuntu\\shimx64.efi -L "ubuntu"

Adjust the disk (-d /dev/sda), partition (-p 1), and the exact path to the file for what your system uses. There are also ways to do this using other tools; see this page for more information.

If you already see such an entry but it's not working, or if the entry you create disappears whenever you reboot, then chances are your firmware is broken. Workarounds are possible in such cases, such as installing the boot loader as EFI/BOOT/bootx64.efi. In some cases, using bcfg from an EFI shell works even when efibootmgr in Linux doesn't work, so it may be worth trying that approach.

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  • I know that comments of this type are not allowed in the askubuntu community but nevertheless I would like to acknowledge Rod Smith for his suggestion since it is an alternative viable solution.
    – Kirk Walla
    Commented Mar 19, 2015 at 14:51

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