Can't install any linux distro on Lenovo Ideapad 515ITL05

stan

Well-Known Member
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4,841
I don't know why I couldn't install Arch-based distros...
I wish I could explain "why" too, but it isn't clear to me either. I noticed in your first screenshot that you have a NVMe SSD, and it just seems (to me) that NVMe and eMMC drives frequently have issues. It probably boils down to driver support, and most distros use a customized Linux kernel by default... so some distros hit a friendly kernel combination, and others miss it. It's even more confusing since you said that Windows also failed to detect the drive. I would expect Windows to work.

The good news is that Lenovo didn't sell you (or me) a lemon after all, and Linux happiness is available. It's quite possible that you can try Arch-based distros again after awhile and you'll find one that will install cleanly. If you're really ambitious and determined, you may be able to find a way to make Arch work now... booting with a particular kernel option, or possibly inserting a needed kernel module at boot time. Personally, I lean toward lazy, not ambitious. ;)

I'm glad you got it going. Knowing it works, you can decide which way to go next. Good luck!
 


finxol

New Member
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Sorry to bother you again, but my fedora install just broke...
I installed an update that was pending -- I think it was a firmware update but it was definitely a Lenovo specific update. Everything worked just fine until the update, I shutdown and rebooted my computer several times before that and everything was good. I just installed the update yesterday evening rebooted as it asked me to and I just got a BIOS message saying no boot device is attached...

I can't see the NVMe SSD in the BIOS, nor can I see it in a live Fedora or Arcolinux session with fdisk -l, gParted or calamares installer...

Can anyone see a solution to this problem ?
 

Fanboi

Member
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514
"Is your boot partition marked as such?" is the obvious question if the BIOS can't "see" it as a boot device, but if it cant see it period, it's likely trashed (only certain BIOSes can list devices, though).
If your OS can't pick it up, could be drivers (Fedora and rolling releases can break things). Try downloading and booting System Rescue CD. If that does not pick up your hardware, it may be broken. Also check lspci because it may appear as a device, just not a storage one. NVMe can be tricky.
Finally, make sure your BIOS is up to date, my board gave me RAM issues with basic XMP until the update. I know people who've had video card issues over this.
 

finxol

New Member
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78
When I run lspci, I can see a NVMe device (at least a controller?) :
Code:
0000:00:0e.0 RAID bus controller: Intel Corporation Volume Management Device NVMe RAID Controller
That is the first time I've been able to see anything like this drive since yesterday.
I've managed to reinstall Fedora on the secondary drive (1TB HDD) until my issue is fixed

Try downloading and booting System Rescue CD
I'll try that too

Finally, make sure your BIOS is up to date
How can I update my BIOS ? I saw a Lenovo tool to do it but it is only for windows.

I've also contacted Lenovo customer support, I'll see if they can help me at all
 

Fanboi

Member
Credits
514
When I run lspci, I can see a NVMe device (at least a controller?) :
Code:
0000:00:0e.0 RAID bus controller: Intel Corporation Volume Management Device NVMe RAID Controller
That is the first time I've been able to see anything like this drive since yesterday.
I've managed to reinstall Fedora on the secondary drive (1TB HDD) until my issue is fixed
At least the controller is visible.
Have you at all successfully installed and booted any OS on the NVMe? If not, check that your motherboard and firmware version supports NVMe boot.

If you've successfully installed an OS on the NVMe, ensure that it has the "boot flag" set on (gparted shows if it is bootable). You may also need to also check your /boot/efi directory (or /boot/efi/EFI/) and ensure it has a .efi file either there or in a directory with your OS name, example: /boot/efi/EFI/MyOS/shimx64.efi.

Ensure NONE of your other disks (that are connected) are marked as bootable.

Don't forget to update and save BIOS options for each change. Not all board firmware "automagically" finds stuff.


How can I update my BIOS ? I saw a Lenovo tool to do it but it is only for windows.
There are plenty ways to do it from Linux. They're just not so "official" and a littly "hacky" and very arduous.

Before continuing:
1. Always backup/dump your existing BIOS image before tinkering.
2. You accept ALL liability. I accept no liability if things go wrong, temporal paradoxes, or division by zero ;)
3. Your board must support it. Some stuff cannot be flashed without actually manually physically flashing the chip using specialised tools.

First:
There's a Linux tool called "Flashrom" (package name: "flashrom") which you may be able to use. However, read up on it: https://linux.die.net/man/8/flashrom

Second:
General Linux flashing reading (includes a lot of info):
https://wiki.archlinux.org/title/Flashing_BIOS_from_Linux

Third:
Again, ensure your specific model supports it.

Fourth:
I've prescribed some known/common-ish methods below that are OS-agnostic. I suggest you know what you are doing if you flash from Linux or use any methods except Method 1 and Method 2, which are very simple and user-friendly.


Method 1:
1. Go to the OEM website and check for the latest BIOS (I suggest the latest stable as "beta" sometimes regression, like with some Ryzen boards, or just not 100% tested. Make sure you choose the one for your exact model!
2. Assuming you have the image (you may have to unzip an archive), format a flashdrive (thumbdrive) to FAT32 (create a new partition table, too). Note: You may have to rename it, check the net or OEM site for this.
3. Copy the ROM image only to the flashdrive.
4. Put the flashdrive in the slot mentioned in your BIOS for updating firmware. If there's no specification, use any USB slot, though 1-1 is best recommended.
5. Search the BIOS. There should be a flash option for newer-ish and/or higher priced brands.
6. Selecting it should search and then list the updates in the flahdrives. Choose it.
7. Once it has started, do not to interrupt the process. It may seem like it froze. Just leave it. Do not close the lid, unplug it or plug it into the charger. Note that it may poweroff, maybe a few times, maybe even for a few seconds. Just wait until it has finished. Basically, it'll either stay powered off for at least 60 seconds or it'll start up as normal (sometimes with a new logo/UI)

This is the one-click method for upper-tier and newer hardware.

Method 2:
1. Follow Method 1, Steps 1-3
2. Check for a flashing button (I've never seen any on a notebook, but worth checking). You may find out about it online.
3. Find the USB port for updates (usually, it is 1-1). Try the net if not obvious.
4. Place the flashdrive in the BIOS flash port.
5. Completely shutdown/poweroff. Do this from the BIOS.
6. After ~10sec, hold down the flash button and power on. Hold it on until a message posts or until you see a blinking light, or about 15 seconds.
7. See Method 1, Step 6: Leave it alone until it says it's done, or the light stops blinking, or, if there is no indicator, until it has finished rebooting. Basically, it'll either stay powered off for at least 60 seconds or it'll start up as normal (sometimes with a new logo/UI)

This is the more standard way electronics' firmware updates are done in "modern times".

Method 3:
1. Follow Method 1, Steps 1-3
1.1 AT YOUR OWN RISK from here on:
2. Check the internet for a schematic of the notebook's board and find the BIOS FLASH header.
3. Make darn sure you double-check that it reads from USB x-x and that all is in order.
4. Insert flashdrive, poweroff completely, then wait at least 10 seconds.
5. Short the BIOS FLASH header (you don't need a jumper, though it's preferred, you're finger will do as it's conductive -- I do this for CMOS resets) while powering on and keep it shorted ~15 seconds. If it appears to go into flash mode, release BIOS FLASH.
6. Follow Method 2, Step 7.

I've also contacted Lenovo customer support, I'll see if they can help me at all
Good luck with tech support :rolleyes:, lol, "Have you tried turning it off and on again" (you'll get it if you've ever watched "The IT Crowd").
 
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