"Operation System not found" message on Dell Inspiron N7110 laptop

I think "press f2" should be "press f12" (in post #4) to get the boot menu, no?
All the Dells I've ever used, 'F2' brings up the BIOS. "F12" does bring up a 'boot menu', but with Dell this is typically a 'One-time' boot menu. This is the same thing that's accessed via "Esc" on HPs.....and with those, "F10" is your access key for the BIOS.

So, yah; on this occasion, I have to concur with Wiz. Though osprey was more or less right... :)

I don't have any experience apart from Dell and HP. I guess I'm right in assuming that most makes of laptop have summat similar to this 'One-time Boot Menu', yes?


Mike. ;)
 


...that is very different from mine.

Plugging it into a windows 11 computer to try to read it results in it telling me it needs to be formatted to access it, and if I try to format it, it tells me it is write protected. I got a different error at one point where it told me that it doesn't contain a recognized file system and that the volume may be corrupted.

i'm inclined to believe that last part at this point. but I'm not sure how to fix it if I can't format it or write to it in any way.
It's the classic "chicken & egg", that one. Because Windows doesn't natively recognise Linux file-systems, it wants to format it with a file-system that it does recognise.......either FAT32, exFAT or NTFS. Not sure about the write-protected bit, but if Windows does manage to format it, the very act of formatting it has then deleted whatever it was you were trying to access in the first place!

----------------------------------

.....hang about, hang about. A SanDisk flash drive, you said.....and 'write-protected'? Christ. That opens up a whole 'nother can o' worms, because SanDisk flash drives have a notorious reputation for doing exactly this.

There are several long-running threads on the SanDisk forums, at least one of which started way back in 2011. Originally, it was the Cruzer 'Blades' that were affected by this, but it's since affected several other model ranges they produce. Usually, it's traced back to crap firmware on the drive's controller chip.....and no, it can't be re-flashed, either. The type of controller chips these drives use is 'burn-once' ROM memory.....kinda like a CD-R optical disc.

Kinda funny, watching the mods on that forum trying to defend a product that it was proved beyond all reasonable doubt caused its own problem. They were blaming people's PCs, the relative position of the lunar cycle, was your Auntie still having periods at the age of 70, did you drive a Ford or a Toyota......you name it, everything else was being blamed rather than them have to defend the company for putting out a crap product. They just weren't having it.

The only real answer, long-term, is to go with another make of flash drive if you're getting this issue. Naturally, the thing won't boot, since being write-protected Etcher wouldn't have been able to write anything to it, so.....yeah. This ain't nothing to do with your lappie, and it ain't nowt to do with Etcher, either. This sounds like it can be traced back to the drive in use.


Mike. :rolleyes:
 
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As the next step I would try to boot an other PC with this USB-Drive ... probably the one with etcher on it. This should be the easiest way to further locate the issue - is it the flashdrive or the notebook.

You don't have to worry about messing up your Windows, as long as you don't start the installation process. You even can shut down the PC after you see the first Kubuntu/Ubuntu dialogue, because this means your USB-Drive has been found and is starting to boot.
I tried booting it on the computer I used etcher with and it worked, so it is some incompatibility with the Dell computer. it may be noteworthy that its original software was windows 7, since it was mentioned earlier about quick boot for 8, 10, and 11, and I also looked for legacy boot or secure boot but there is not anything like that in the BIOS settings.
 
.....hang about, hang about. A SanDisk flash drive, you said.....and 'write-protected'? Christ. That opens up a whole 'nother can o' worms, because SanDisk flash drives have a notorious reputation for doing exactly this.

There are several long-running threads on the SanDisk forums, at least one of which started way back in 2011. Originally, it was the Cruzer 'Blades' that were affected by this, but it's since affected several other model ranges they produce. Usually, it's traced back to crap firmware on the drive's controller chip.....and no, it can't be re-flashed, either. The type of controller chips these drives use is 'burn-once' ROM memory.....kinda like a CD-R optical disc.

The only real answer, long-term, is to go with another make of flash drive if you're getting this issue. Naturally, the thing won't boot, since being write-protected Etcher wouldn't have been able to write anything to it, so.....yeah. This ain't nothing to do with your lappie, and it ain't nowt to do with Etcher, either. This sounds like it can be traced back to the drive in use.

Mike. :rolleyes:
interesting. The Cruzer Glide is the one that I have now, which may be close enough to see similar issues, but I just tried booting it to my win11 PC and it worked fine, so it may not be the flash drive.
 
OK, trying something weird. I'll burn an Ubuntu distro to it and run it again on the win11 machine to see if it is doing something different.
 
OK, trying something weird. I'll burn an Ubuntu distro to it and run it again on the win11 machine to see if it is doing something different.
huh. when I booted off the stick this time, I noticed something I didn't before, a little error code flashing briefly before opening to a menu that is allowing me to try booting Kubuntu (yes, you read that right, it left the kubuntu burn on there). so basically, that means that the exact problem that MikeWalsh mentioned was indeed happening. it kept the old burn, still being stuck in read only mode, not booting correctly.

I guess I'm making a trip back to buy another (not sandisk) flash drive.
 
I guess I'm making a trip back to buy another (not sandisk) flash drive.
It's possible to just reformat the flash drive and start over. A second problem after that though might suggest discarding it. I've have good results with sandisk, but with various others as well.
 
It's possible to just reformat the flash drive.
you can't reformat a drive in read only mode, which it is stuck in. even going into the disk partition manager it is recognized as read and write but if you try to do anything to it you will get an error message saying it's in read only mode.
 
you can't reformat a drive in read only mode, which it is stuck in. even going into the disk partition manager it is recognized as read and write but if you try to do anything to it you will get an error message saying it's in read only mode.
Ahh ... that's in MS I guess. Evidently you may not be able to do the following, but if you could run a linux rescue disk, or live cd in one usb port, then plug the usb-to-be-formatted in another port, then linux tools could be used to run the format. If the rescue disk was the sort that loads itself completely into memory, you can remove the rescue disk, and use the same usb port to format the usb-to-be-formatted.

Another thought comes to mind, since the selection in the BIOS was made to boot usb first (mentioned in post #6), but it doesn't work for some unknown reason, then perhaps consider updating the BIOS.

In post #27 it was mentioned that the usb worked "fine", so it may not be the problem despite that flashing error message seen later. Not all errors stop functioning in linux, and there is evidence that it worked in another context.
 
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It's possible to just reformat the flash drive and start over. A second problem after that though might suggest discarding it. I've have good results with sandisk, but with various others as well.

@osprey :-

You wouldn't believe some of the suggestions that were being made on the SanDisk Forums when all this began to rear its head. Using Linux to re-format and "rescue" the drive was certainly mentioned; many people tried it, but nobody had any success. I found the threads out of curiosity, since I had a couple of my own Blades go like this, and did a wee bit of research just for the hell of it to see if it was a 'known' issue.

I, too, have had good results with them over the years, by & large - mostly with the more recent nano-sized Ultra 'Fits' - though I've had a few dogs myself. I bought a whole batch of 16 GB 'Blades' from Amazon 8 or 9 years ago - about 20 of them, IIRC. They've been used for all sorts of things over the years, though their one failing was the plastic 'plug' where they plugged-into the port; there was no metal on these things.....body & plug were one continuous piece of plastic. After a certain amount of use, the corners started to crack, then chip away, or split along the edges. Once that happened, they weren't long for this world.....but binning them wasn't an issue, 'cos they were so gosh-darned cheap to start with.

I had a sort-out the other day. I had about half-a-dozen 'Blades' left, out of which at least 3 weren't working. I put the good ones to one side, then indulged my favourite practice.....opening 'em up. One seemed perfectly normal, but, as expected, the other two just had a stub of circuit board with the plug 'contacts' on it, and that was it.....no NAND chip, no controller, no nothing! Quite usual for these, actually, 'cos not only have the 'Blades' had all sorts of problems like the write-protect thing throughout their long production run, they've also been counterfeited to the nth degree by Indian/Indonesian 'scammers'. Their one redeeming feature, and the reason they sold in such huge numbers, was the very low initial purchase price.

At the time, SanDisk produced these things literally by the billion. So many were produced, in fact, that there's still stock floating around warehouses & the 'net from production runs that probably ended a decade ago....


Mike. ;)
 
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MikeWalsh wrote:
....
SanDisk produced these things literally by the billion
....
It certainly seemed like SanDisks teemed in my neck of the woods because they proliferated in the shops that sold computer hardware, and the swap markets too. They still maintain a large presence today.

Not being familiar with "SanDisk Forums", I can't comment.

The plastic units are definitely susceptible to damage very easily. I guess they were the product of an economic decision by the company. I have some and treat them as fragile, and regard them as inferior.

It's probably worth noting that people who've had trouble with any hardware are more motivated to "make a noise" about it since they've been disrupted and moved. Those who have had no issues I guess are more likely to just continue with their activities unmotivated to share their experiences. There's a "negativity bias" happening there which confounds the picture somewhat and makes it difficult for observers to make more valid assessments.
 
I have had many brands over the years, all have been fine for general storage, but most were useless as USB Bootable ISO drives, these days I stick to [in my preferred order] PNY, Samsung and, Kingstone, to install any operating systems

oh, and for information,Sandisc is a Western Digital brand
 
@osprey :-

Yup, the Blades are definitely classified as fragile. Can't argue with that.

The first two generations of 'Fits' returned to a proper metal plug. The original USB 2.0 version ran cool as a cucumber. The follow-up USB 3.0 Ultra 'Fit' ran hot enough to melt the plastic end-caps off.....I had this happen on at least two memorable occasions! My guess is they used the metal plug as the NAND's heat-sink; these did run pretty fast for a flash drive.....writes of 95 MB/s and reads of around 130-140 MB/s were quite normal for these.

Tellingly, the current-gen USB 3.1 incarnation of the Ultra 'Fit' has now returned to an all-plastic design. Doesn't seem to matter now though; although the read/write speeds are getting on for twice as fast, the NAND in these is obviously built on a much smaller process.....they don't run anything like as hot, AND the plastic now in use appears to be very much tougher, and far more durable. I bought my first of these - a 32 GB - some 12 months ago, yet regular plugging & removal has produced no signs of wear or damage at all.

I just treated myself to a couple of 256 GB variants for use with the Latitude. At £20 a pop, we're now at well over 10 GB per UK pound.....which is getting impressively cheap for flash storage (and these things are quite fast enough to read my movie collection from without any stuttering. Which IS what I bought 'em for, so.....job done).

A half-terabyte of permanently-plugged flash storage is just easier to cope with when I'm outside, as opposed to having to plug in an external HDD/SSD on a lead.....

(*shrug*)


Mike. ;)
 
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so the USB stick works to boot Kubuntu on my win11 computer, but not the Dell Inspiron. maybe it is salvageable if I can find why it isn't detecting Kubuntu on the flash drive. any ideas? the BIOS menu is pretty bleak when I glance through it.

I've gone through and disabled each option in turn before attempting to boot, and none of the options changed the result, aside from some of the USB port ones, which only made it not detect any stick in the first place.
 
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Have you tried Gparted and delete the USB partition and create a new partition, the partition may be corrupted

Also have a look here - https://sharadchhetri.com/how-to-fix-read-only-usb-pen-drive-in-ubuntu/
I can't burn anything to the drive, as previous attempts have yielded, so no Gparted for me.

maybe I could try your second link on the win11 computer because it does boot, but if it is doing the same thing as windows' disk partition manager then it probably won't work.
 

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