Where to turn? Elementary OS Forever? Not sure where to turn...


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I wasn't sure where to turn on this... it's most likely an issue with my laptop but maybe there's a way out through Elementary OS.

Long story; I installed Elementary OS to give it another go and see if I can become more comfortable with the OS compared to my life-long use of Windows. Yes, I do love it and easily could use this daily without issue. But, I wanted to make sure I could get back to Windows if needed and I'm stuck. During Elementary installation I must have used the entire disk so no dual boot which is ok as I knew I could just throw my USB stick in and boot there to get Windows back. No, go... It turns out for some reason I cannot boot from my USB stick on my Lenovo Ideapad 330S -- I've tried changing BIOS settings and it just boots right into Elementary. I was able to install and configure Grub and do have a boot menu at this time but how can I get Grub to pick up my USB stick? Is that even possible? Boils down to a Grub question so maybe I can be pointed to the right area of expertise on how to resolve so anything is appreciated as I am just stuck.

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do you have any other USB stick? how are you copying the bootable media?

 

grub shouldn't be part of the problem as the USB would boot before that.

 

If you're formatting the drive for UEFI boot then make sure Secure Boot is disabled to safe.

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On 08/12/2021 at 09:43, Brandon H said:

do you have any other USB stick? how are you copying the bootable media?

 

grub shouldn't be part of the problem as the USB would boot before that.

 

If you're formatting the drive for UEFI boot then make sure Secure Boot is disabled to safe.

Sorry some info is missing from my OP... I use Rufus to create the USB stick. I'm thinking it's a hardware issue at this point as nothing I've done has enabled me to boot from USB. I've tried other USB drives and am getting nowhere fast. No matter what I do in the BIOS or even selecting the Lenovo support menu and load the boot menu I get Grub. I'm at a total loss. https://i.imgur.com/gbiiHYF.mp4

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I'm confused. I can't see what Grub is showing.. Is it just showing up your Windows partition?

 

Try not going through Rufus. (to make sure that isn't the issue) Download an ISO from the website and burn it using Etcher or other software.

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On 08/12/2021 at 09:43, Brandon H said:

do you have any other USB stick? how are you copying the bootable media?

 

grub shouldn't be part of the problem as the USB would boot before that.

 

If you're formatting the drive for UEFI boot then make sure Secure Boot is disabled to safe.

This is exactly what I would've suggested also. I've never had any issues using Rufus whether creating a bootable Linux or Windows drive.

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I've tried everything I can think of... No matter what I do it will not boot from USB. I did check and I can replace my M.2 since I want to expand storage anyway so maybe that will jolt things? I tried downloading Mint and burning it to USB with Etcher and get an error ... something about 'message 'null' whatever that means. I'm all out of ideas. I've tried turning secure boot off and back on.. UEFI and Legacy... And Grub just shows Mint or boot into UEFI settings. Takes me to my BIOS.

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On 08/12/2021 at 14:43, warwagon said:

Try using a different USB flash drive or if you have another Windows machine, use this tool on that flash drive to erase it and then create a bootable usb stick again with rufas.

 

https://www.grc.com/initdisk.htm

I'll give it a go.. I have honestly tried everything else. Tried UEFI/Legacy on both BIOS and USB stick formatting. I can't figure out how to fully wipe the BIOS on this thing if that would help at all. Like I said, in the BIOS the boot menu order still lists operating systems I haven't used in at least a year and I can't clear them. It's a very basic BIOS on these Ideapads. 

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On 09/12/2021 at 06:57, jbarcus81 said:

 in the BIOS the boot menu order still lists operating systems I haven't used in at least a year and I can't clear them. It's a very basic BIOS on these Ideapads. 

Older entries in your BIOS can be cleared in a command prompt (albeit in Windows) by typing bcdedit /enum firmware, then removing the IDs for entries that no longer exist.  That is done by copying the ID code for the entry, then typing

bcdedit /delete {ID code}.  Otherwise they're in your BIOS, which is annoying.

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all else fails you can take the m.2 drive and borrow another system with an m.2 slot to reinstall windows then plop the drive back into your machine and it should boot like normal.

 

note: move the drive back to your computer before doing the OOBE. If you do the OOBE and get to desktop just open an admin command prompt and run the following to generalize the drivers:

 

Sysprep.exe /generalize /shutdown

 

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On 09/12/2021 at 09:05, Brandon H said:

all else fails you can take the m.2 drive and borrow another system with an m.2 slot to reinstall windows then plop the drive back into your machine and it should boot like normal.

 

note: move the drive back to your computer before doing the OOBE. If you do the OOBE and get to desktop just open an admin command prompt and run the following to generalize the drivers:

 

Sysprep.exe /generalize /shutdown

 

I'll do ya one better, perform just the FIRST part of the install on another system. After it copies the files and goes to restart, turn off the system. Then put the m.2 into the original system and it will perform the first boot which includes configuring hardware :)

 

It works great. I've done that a few times on a system that just refuses to boot off USB. I just put the SSD or HDD onto my spare workstation and do what I mentioned above.

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This is genius!! Other than taking out 50 screws to get to the M.2 in the laptop, this is fine! I'll give it a go for sure... I'm just at the point I really feel this issue boils down to the laptop. It will NOT boot from USB no matter what I've tried. Every suggestion and everything I can think of has not worked one bit. It does not boot from USB. The USB stick lights up as if it's being accessed but then bam, right into Linux. 

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On 09/12/2021 at 10:05, Brandon H said:

all else fails you can take the m.2 drive and borrow another system with an m.2 slot to reinstall windows then plop the drive back into your machine and it should boot like normal.

 

note: move the drive back to your computer before doing the OOBE. If you do the OOBE and get to desktop just open an admin command prompt and run the following to generalize the drivers:

 

Sysprep.exe /generalize /shutdown

 

THIS WORKED!!!! I was able to boot from USB on my laptop after putting the M.2 into my main desktop and install a full fresh copy of Windows. Who knew?!?! What the hell did Linux do?! Anyway... I appreciate EVERYTHING!! Why didn't I think of doing this in the first damn place? They're M.2's... The size of a matchbox. Anyway... I can't thank everyone enough!!!!! Lesson learned... No more Linux for this guy!!!

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On 09/12/2021 at 17:15, warwagon said:

I'll do ya one better, perform just the FIRST part of the install on another system. After it copies the files and goes to restart, turn off the system. Then put the m.2 into the original system and it will perform the first boot which includes configuring hardware :)

 

It works great. I've done that a few times on a system that just refuses to boot off USB. I just put the SSD or HDD onto my spare workstation and do what I mentioned above.

that's what I meant take it out before doing OOBE :p

 

On 09/12/2021 at 21:06, jbarcus81 said:

Lesson learned... No more Linux for this guy!!!

linux is fine to play with or even try as a daily driver. no idea what your computer was doing not allowing booting into other drives to reinstall windows though. never had that happen personally

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On 10/12/2021 at 09:39, Brandon H said:

that's what I meant take it out before doing OOBE :p

 

linux is fine to play with or even try as a daily driver. no idea what your computer was doing not allowing booting into other drives to reinstall windows though. never had that happen personally

that's what I don't understand. Why did it stop me from booting using USB? Now if I use the Lenovo button and select the boot menu it loads right up fine. May never know what happened but that Linux install took full possession of my laptop. 

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On 10/12/2021 at 08:43, jbarcus81 said:

that's what I don't understand. Why did it stop me from booting using USB? Now if I use the Lenovo button and select the boot menu it loads right up fine. May never know what happened but that Linux install took full possession of my laptop. 

Lenovo systems are usually fine with Linux software, huh...

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