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I've bricked my lenovo laptop -- any ideas?

Discussion in 'Linux Hardware' started by dart17r, Oct 5, 2018.

  1. dart17r

    dart17r New Member

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    Just bought a brand new Lenovo laptop (V130-15IKB, model 81HN) which came pre-installed with M$ Windows 10, which I hated (Cortana, unable to turn off automatic updating, need to pay for software already installed, etc. etc.). Bought the latest Debian install DVD to replace Windows without mercy, full HDD usage. It got rid of Windows alright, but failed to install after 1405 files seemingly read and saved ok. Have tried umpteen BIOS and install options, all without success. Brand new laptop now a "brick" with no OS on it. Have written to Lenovo but no reply (they don't seem interested). BIOS still showing Windows pre-installed with key etc. Need to convince BIOS that there is no OS installed, otherwise don't see any way of progressing?



    With no OS, need to boot-up to something just to get things moving. Any ideas anyone? Would Ubuntu live disk have a better chance? Anyone know of a way of resetting/blanking the bios?

    Have used and always liked Linux in the past, and would like to use it again, but seems M$/Lenovo are acting dirty and hiding little traps in the laptop that prevent me using a good OS. Help appreciated on how to overcome this mess.

    Regards

    Phil
     
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  2. atanere

    atanere Moderator
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    Hi Phil, and welcome! It's impossible to guess what the latest-greatest computers may implement inside the BIOS/UEFI... but Debian is not yet a good choice for newer UEFI systems without making some changes in the settings (Secure Boot, etc).

    I might begin by going into the BIOS setup and resetting everything to default. That's because this will always be a known point that you can return to later. Defaults will enable Secure Boot, but that's okay if you'll give Ubuntu or Linux Mint a try. Ubuntu and Mint are quite capable for the newer UEFI systems, at least as far as I know, unless your latest-greatest has made more challenges.

    Some other distros can handle UEFI also, like Fedora and openSUSE... and I'm sure others too. My own preference is for Linux Mint, but everyone has different tastes. Be absolutely sure to get the 64-bit distro for whichever you choose.... 32-bit will not work at all.

    Gotta run... working night shift soon. Others will join in to help also.

    Cheers
     
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  3. dart17r

    dart17r New Member

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    Thanks atanere. Yes, I've already been into the BIOS/UEFI and disabled "secure boot" and all the other superfluous options. I've also tried the "full legacy" options, and have also removed M$ Windows etc. from the boot-up list. But nothing seems to work. I was wondering about Linux Mint and Ubuntu, and whether they might have better tools to overcome the Lenovo traps. To be honest, ANY operating system that I could boot-up and install (and work) would be a blessing at the moment. M$ and Lenovo need to learn that "up with this we will not put".
     
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  4. Frank Wiles

    Frank Wiles New Member

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    Sounds like the bios still sees something on the HDD. Can You possibly Run an Ubuntu or linux mint live CD and use Gparted to format the HDD. Then attempt the install again. it should boot up, just ensure secure boot is off. Been seeing stuff like this at work lately.
     
  5. atanere

    atanere Moderator
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    I agree with Frank that erasing the hard drive is a good step to ensure that some Windows remnant isn't haunting you... and because you want to eliminate Windows completely anyway.

    But I disagree about disabling Secure Boot. The distros I mentioned above should all work with your BIOS/UEFI defaults. If not, then there is something "new" from Lenovo and that would be the thing to look for. I did see in a quick search that you may have a new feature that encrypts data and passwords... I didn't dig into that for more details, but that should not prevent you from formatting the hard drive, but it might indeed be a setting in BIOS that needs to be changed. That was called TPM, for Trusted Platform Module.

    Are you able to boot on a USB or DVD at all at this point? As Frank said, you will need to boot from a live media to run Gparted and erase all partitions on your drive. Then run the Linux installer and tell it to use the entire disk.
     
    #5 atanere, Oct 6, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2018
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  6. Frank Wiles

    Frank Wiles New Member

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    This is the reason I mentioned disabling it.

    https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-hardware/design/device-experiences/oem-secure-boot

    Not entirely sure why this is like this. but earlier this week, I was working with my IT Guy. We got some new computers in from San Diego(Brand New DELLs) they had windows 10 preinstalled. Well we work for the navy and we have to install special builds that were done by the navy for the navy. We attempted to build the new system with the special Win 10. would not take, so we figured well lets take the HDD out and format it maybe its the installed build thats giving us trouble. So we did that and that did not help either. turned off secure boot and installed easily. once new system is installed then secure boot can be turned back on. not sure why this was like this, but it was.
     
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  7. atanere

    atanere Moderator
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    You may turn out to be right, Frank. But the distros above have worked reliably with UEFI and Secure Boot enabled for at least a couple of years or more now. I'm still very surprised that Debian hasn't caught up yet, but to my knowledge they still can't load with Secure Boot.

    Lenovo has been kind of a quirky brand to me. I have an older Yoga Pro model but recent Linux editions now work pretty well with it. This is partly why "latest-greatest" is often an early suspect for troubles, and I am immediately suspicious of new "features" that are Lenovo-specific, such as the "TPM" that may be an issue in this case.

    It sounds to me like Phil has tweaked many BIOS settings already (without success so far). Resetting to default values will give a clean start point from which to begin troubleshooting. I think it's best not to change any more than is needed, and Secure Boot and related settings may work fine with the default settings... depending on which distro.

    Next up is to burn an iso file and boot something. Nothing will get fixed until the computer can be started and evaluated. Until then, it's still a brick.

    Cheers
     
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  8. wizardfromoz

    wizardfromoz Super Moderator
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    I've put Likes on all of the above, and I am not a pushover for Likes :)

    (Wizard appears in a puff of smoke)

    Welcome to linux.org @dart17r :p

    Another 60-plusser, yeay we're gonna rule the Linux world (sorry Frank)

    For Frank's benefit with his work (& yes, perhaps off-topic):

    That TPM Stan (@atanere ) refers to with Lenovo, in Dell is called PTT - Platform Trust Technology. You will find it under Security in the Setup, and need to clear the checkmark and OK, and combine that with Secure Boot off, then in General, you can enable the Legacy Option ROMs ... if Navy want to be able to use what is also known as CSM (Compatibility Support Module). This will then provide an extra category with the Boot options. For my Dell Inspiron (new 5000 series), that is F12 for one time boot and F2 for Setup in General.

    On the OP's dilemma (that's the Original Poster, you @dart17r ):

    I would go with the above advice on both Distros (from Stan) and disable every sucker, from Frank.

    With an Ubuntu MATE (pron. "mar-tay", South American beverage like coffee) or a Linux Mint Cinnamon or MATE.

    Both are rock-solid starts to Linux.

    Once you have "cracked" the Lenovo, you can always try a Debian, later. The PC can be like a horse that needs breaking in. Once you have it trained for Linux, you are good as gold.

    One of the "lieutenants" to Mr Linux Linus Torvalds is one Matthew Garrett. Matthew developed "shim", which is a trust key protocol whereby a Linux Distro being installed on a Windows computer hands over a key that M$oft is supposed to recognise, even with Secure Boot enabled. It tells the WinDozer that the incoming OS is "kosher" or "legit".

    Works for the most part, but not always.

    So when I got the new Inspiron a couple of months ago, I turned off Secure Boot (you can turn off Fast Boot too, it's crap) and the Platform Trust gizmo, and I'm running 15 or so Linux on it.

    We've got your back, so see how you go.

    And Avagudweegend

    Chris Turner
    wizardfromoz ... that's DownUnder, Sunshine
     
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  9. dart17r

    dart17r New Member

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    I'm really struggling with this site on my little tablet. Will post properly, with thankyous, once I can get access to a proper pc.
     
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  10. dart17r

    dart17r New Member

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    Many thanks everyone for your help -- it is much appreciated. The general consensus seems to be to try Ubuntu or Linux Mint "live" giving GParted a good whiz first. I don't have a Fast Boot option showing, but have already disabled Secure Boot, Platform Trust Technology etc. Will also go with UEFI rather than Legacy options. Yes, 64-bit as my first try with Debian. Lenovo BIOS does have a HDD "wipe" utility, which I've run a couple of times, but maybe even this doesn't actually wipe the bits they want to keep? Will need to try and find Ubuntu "live" on a bootable USB stick or DVD that I can order (can't make my own yet, hah). I'll make sure to report back on my progress, hopefully successfull. Regards, Phil.
     
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  11. wizardfromoz

    wizardfromoz Super Moderator
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    Hey Phil, just a postscript to yesterday's stuff ...

    If you haven't already found a place and placed an order, take a look at this screenshot I took before I logged in here

    [​IMG]

    In the middle of the screen, I have highlighted the link to OSDisc.com

    If you are US-based you might want to give them a try.

    Seems they are one of our advertisers, so if you click through from here, we probably get kudos with them.

    Other than that, we can teach you how to burn a stick with Linux.

    Cheers

    Chris

    Edit - added BTW

    BTW if you click the picture it will get a little larger
     
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  12. dart17r

    dart17r New Member

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    I'm typing this post on my new Lenovo laptop with Linux Mint fully installed and working! Yippee! And it looks beautiful, and works beautifully.

    Booted-up into the "live" Linux Mint on the USB stick, ran GParted to get rid of any redundant partitions that were present, then chose the install option. The installer ran perfectly. The only thing it asked (which Debian didn't as far as I recall) was whether I wished to "force UEFI installation". Too right I do! It then completed without a hitch, and rebooted into the Linux Mint OS. Everything present, correct and fully functional. What a lovely OS Linux Mint is! I've used FreeBSD, Ubuntu and Debian in the past, but Linux Mint is the best so far imho.

    Linux Mint must be able to cope with newer technology and manufacturer's traps better than Debian?

    Thanks again to everyone for your suggestions. I'll keep in touch on this forum, and will try my best to help out anyone suffering similar problems.

    Regards
    Phil
     
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  13. wizardfromoz

    wizardfromoz Super Moderator
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    Good work Phil, more power to you :)

    And that attitude of "paying it forward" always brings a smile to my dial.

    Wiz
     
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  14. atanere

    atanere Moderator
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    This question was probably because your BIOS settings were not as expected. If you had reset the BIOS to defaults before beginning, I don't think you would have seen this. It might be worth remembering later, if reinstalling, or if installing Mint on to another computer.

    The main thing is that you were successful, and that you're enjoying it. We are always very happy to hear those reports! :D

    Cheers
     
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