Linux Newbie - Can't boot from USB

JMChamp

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Hi all,

New to the forum and eager to learn. I've been trying to install Linux on a Thinkpad T510, but can't get passed the boot stage. I've tried using various versions of Linux, along with various USB installers and flash drives, but still no luck. Once I get to the installation menu and hit 'enter', my cpu simply reboots. I've searched for hours on the web trying to figure this out myself but I've been unable to make any progress. So I've decided to join this forum in a last ditch effort.

Any ideas? Do I need to update the bios? Please let me know if I can provide any additional info.

Thanks so much,
John
 


wizardfromoz

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g'day john and welcome to linux.org from those of us in the last ditch ;)

can't write much, crook shoulder

questions for others to run with the ball

1. dual booting with windows (which) or just putting linux on?

2. which linux, down to the version and desktop environment? eg linux mint 19.3 MATE - tell us the exact name of the .iso if unsure, in fact do so anyway, it helps

3. if running windows, have you tried disabling secure boot and fast boot in bios?

4.
...various versions of Linux, along with various USB installers and flash drives,...
which ones?

5. if not tried, have you tried etcher? https://www.balena.io/etcher/

good luck

chris turner
wizardfromoz
 

zg_nico

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Once I get to the installation menu and hit 'enter', my cpu simply reboots.
Hello. please check BIOS settings on you're laptop. Is UEFI mode enabled for you're laptop? If so, is UEFI mode is using now? If so, first of all, try to disable SecureBoot and Fastboot (if that options are available).
 

JMChamp

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Thank you, both, for your quick responses.

Chris: Thanks for the warm welcome. Here are answers to your questions.

1. Just Linux. There's no operating system currently installed. I'm working with a brand new 256GB SSD. CPU is a Thinkpad T510 (circa 2010), 8GB RAM, Intel Core Duo i5, M540 @ 2.53GHz. Previously ran Windows 7 for years with no problems.

2. I've tried the following versions: UMassLinux 18.1 (a version optimized for the university I work for); Mint 19.3 Cinnamon; Ubuntu 18.04; and Ubuntu 10.10 (an older version that I read someone had success with installing on a T510.

3. I can't find fast boot or secure boot options in my bios. I do have the option of choosing between 'quick' boot and 'diagnostics' boot. I've tried both with no success.

4. I've used both Rufus and Universal USB Installer (pendrivelinux.com). Various flash drives ranging in size from 8GB to 32GB (Kingston, PNY, Patriot)

5. I am not familiar with Etcher. It looks interesting. How can I best use this?
 

Vrai

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Hi all,

New to the forum and eager to learn. I've been trying to install Linux on a Thinkpad T510, but can't get passed the boot stage. I've tried using various versions of Linux, along with various USB installers and flash drives, but still no luck. Once I get to the installation menu and hit 'enter', my cpu simply reboots. I've searched for hours on the web trying to figure this out myself but I've been unable to make any progress. So I've decided to join this forum in a last ditch effort.

Any ideas? Do I need to update the bios? Please let me know if I can provide any additional info.

Thanks so much,
John
Any chance any of this applies?
I found the info on the Lenovo "Detailed specifications - ThinkPad T510, T510i, W510" page.
5751
 

JMChamp

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Yes, my computer's specs are listed on that page. Are you seeing information there that could help me? Thank you.
 

70 Tango Charlie

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Greetings Champ, and welcome to the forum!
Regarding Etcher; do as Chris suggested and use it.
I have tried all the others and found that Etcher really works the best.
Cheers
Old Geezer
Tango Charlie
 

JMChamp

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Tried Etcher and got the same results. Linux Mint's logo appears, the automatic boot countdown ensues, then the cpu reboots when the countdown reaches '0'.

If I hit 'enter' during said countdown, I receive six menu options: "Start Linux Mint," "Start in compatibility mode," "OEM install," "Integrity check," "Memory test," and "Boot from local drive." All lead to a reboot except for the memory test.
 

Vrai

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Yes, my computer's specs are listed on that page. Are you seeing information there that could help me? Thank you.
I might be. Read the information in the picture I posted regarding 'Security' 'System' and 'Password' and determine if any of those issues apply.
 

JMChamp

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I might be. Read the information in the picture I posted regarding 'Security' 'System' and 'Password' and determine if any of those issues apply.
Thank for clarifying. It doesn't appear that these issues apply. I'm not running into any password or security issues in the bios.
 

Vrai

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Thank for clarifying. It doesn't appear that these issues apply. I'm not running into any password or security issues in the bios.
IF there are no Supervisor, Administrator, or Security passwords or blocks in place then the following may be worth taking a look at. Found it on the Lenovo site.
Although it says for Windows 7 or Windows 10 preloaded it looks to me like a BIOS setting could still be in play.
A Microsoft Windows 7 (32-bit or 64-bit) or Windows 10 preloaded PC may not boot or may fail to boot to other devices such as CD/DVD, USB, network, etc.

To boot to Legacy devices or systems configured with Microsoft Windows 7 (32-bit or 64-bit) or Windows 10:

1) Restart the PC and press F1 to enter Setup.
2) For ThinkPad: Navigate to the RESTART menu.
For ThinkCentre and ThinkStation: Navigate to the EXIT menu
3) Select OS Optimized Defaults and change the value to Disabled.
4) Select Yes to continue to disable the OS Optimized Defaults.
5) Press F9 to load Setup Defaults.
6) Select Yes to confirm the loading default configuration.
7) Press F10 to save and exit Setup.
8) If necessary, press F12 to access the boot menu and select your boot device.
 

JMChamp

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IF there are no Supervisor, Administrator, or Security passwords or blocks in place then the following may be worth taking a look at. Found it on the Lenovo site.
Although it says for Windows 7 or Windows 10 preloaded it looks to me like a BIOS setting could still be in play.
Thank you. I don't seem to have option 3 in my bios menu under the RESTART menu (select OS optimized defaults).
 

Vrai

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Thank you. I don't seem to have option 3 in my bios menu under the RESTART menu (select OS optimized defaults).
Here are links to 3 very interesting videos I found on Youtube.
One in particular seemed to have the issue you are describing.
Another one pointed out a setting which may be apropos.
Although they are not the exact same model laptops the BIOS settings may be very similar.

Boot lenovo thinkpad from USB

Lenovo T420 laptop not booting or loading from CD or USB and not showing on boot menu

How to Enter BIOS Change Boot order and secure boot Lenovo Thinkpad E560
 

JMChamp

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Thanks, but the bios on my CPU is much simpler; it doesn't provide many of the options demonstrated in those video clips.

It appears that Lenovo likely updated the bios interface beginning with their x20 series of laptops. My T510 is one generation earlier than the T420, T520, etc.

Here's a screenshot of what I'm seeing:
5753
 
Last edited:

dos2unix

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It looks like from the pictures of your BIOS, that your computer only supports legacy BIOS and not UEFI. But I would think a 8GB intel i5 would run Linux OK. On some arre occasions, I've found some Linux distros on USB drives only work with UEFI (and in some cases, only BIOS).

What is under your "Security" selection?
 

JMChamp

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Thanks for replying.

Under "Security" I have the following menu options:
- Password
- Fingerprint
- Security Chip
- BIOS Update Option
- Memory Protection
- I/O Port Access
- Anti-Theft
 

wizardfromoz

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g'day john - this is frustrating for me (with the busted shoulder) as it must be for you :confused::D

what do you find if you drop down the config arrow in setup?

there should be an option

usb bios support

is that enabled?

then there is the bios update option, but i hesitate to risking your computer becoming a brick

before I try going with Windows 10.
windows 10 usually requires uefi

chris
 

captain-sensible

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Thanks for replying.

Under "Security" I have the following menu options:
- Password
- Fingerprint
- Security Chip
- BIOS Update Option
- Memory Protection
- I/O Port Access
- Anti-Theft
the bios update is probably not much use; i had a quick look and the last update for your pc was 2012. what does the sub menu "start up" show
 


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