Home > tech question, ThinkPad W520 > W520 won’t boot from hard drive.

W520 won’t boot from hard drive.


I received my shiny, new ThinkPad W520 this afternoon and immediately installed Fedora 16 Beta.  All seemed to go well but when I rebooted it wouldn’t actually boot into Fedora.  No GRUB no nothing.  So I grabbed a F15 Live DVD and booted off of that.  No problem so far.  Did the installation from there and same thing.  No error message or anything.

I’ve disabled the IEEE1394 port and VT-d to no avail.  Anyone have any ideas?

Update: (140227Z) – First, thanks to everyone that responded to my request for assistance.  I’ve humbled by the number of people that provided advice and gave me additional avenues in which to look.
I believe I am having the GPT problem.  The reason F15 wouldn’t work is that I didn’t do a “full disk” installation (I used the default of replace Linux installation which doesn’t update the partitions).  So when I did a full installation including “full disk” everything “just worked”.  Now that I have additional information I believe I’ll go back and do some more troubleshooting.  I have to fly out on Sunday so I need to have a working, fully patched and hardened, system to take with me.  I’m hoping I can get a native install of F16 Beta on-board before I go.  If not I may just have to upgrade from F15 to F16 Beta and leave it at that.

Update: (140517Z) – After talking with more Fedorians on IRC I hit me that I hadn’t turned off UEFI and then tried to install F16.  I also had a plan to use the F15 partitions for F16 which would also “fix” the GPT problem.  I’m not sure which but the problem is gone.  I’m successfully running Fedora 16 Beta on my shiny, new laptop.  I’ll talk more about it tomorrow but for now I’m going to finish doing the system hardening and then go to bed.

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  1. Tom Callaway
    2011-10-13 at 18:30 EDT

    I think that system is UEFI… that may be the issue. Ask pjones.

    • 2011-10-13 at 18:44 EDT

      it is and i turned all of that off, i thought.

  2. 2011-10-13 at 18:47 EDT

    It may be a GPT issue? Can you turn off GPT in the installer? I think Luke Macken ran into a similar issue with his x220 and was able to get around it somehow.

    • 2011-10-13 at 22:10 EDT

      Yep, I’m almost sure that this is the problem. I continue to troubleshoot but I did get F15 up and working. Thanks!

  3. 2011-10-13 at 18:50 EDT

    Could be:

    https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=735733

    you can use anaconda 16.21 – either from the pre-TC1 image tim flink sent to test list recently, or final TC1, which will appear shortly – and pass ‘nogpt’. Or you can use Beta and the updates.img from that bug, and pass ‘nogpt’. Or you can try using the first workaround listed under ‘sticking with the BIOS’ at http://www.rodsbooks.com/gdisk/bios.html , because I’d *really* like someone to find out if that fixes these Thinkpads.

    And whatever the case, you should post the output of ‘dmidecode’ run on the system in question to the bug report.

    (though that bug shouldn’t cause F15 to fail unless you re-used the partitions from the f16 install without re-formatting the disk).

    • 2011-10-13 at 22:09 EDT

      Adam, I believe you are correct. When I tried to install F15 over F16 Beta I wasn’t using the “whole disk” option when setting up my partitions. This was basically causing the F15 install to use what was already there which perpetuated the problem. I was able to get F15 installed and functioning although I’m having another problem that has already been documented.

      I’m not sure how to do the nogpt thing. I’ll keep working with it, though.

  4. JD
    2011-10-13 at 19:03 EDT

    It’s almost certainly this GPT issue: https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=735733

  5. 2011-10-13 at 19:14 EDT

    I would actually look at turning UEFI on. It may be more supported that way.

  6. 2011-10-13 at 20:17 EDT

    You might want to try a different boot loader. I’ve got a Toshiba laptop that behaves similarly with grub and lilo, but boots fine with extlinux.

  7. 2011-10-13 at 22:00 EDT

    you have to grab the latest anaconda and install with the nogpt flag, I think…

    See: https://www.redhat.com/archives/anaconda-devel-list/2011-October/msg00048.html and https://www.redhat.com/archives/anaconda-devel-list/2011-October/msg00083.html

    You may have to patch anaconda with an updates.img file, since I don’t think these patches have been committed, and I’m not sure that this is the same issue that Ales was seeing, but if you can do it, it’s worth a shot, and you’ll be helping out the anaconda team.

  8. 2011-10-14 at 04:20 EDT

    Go for EFI :) Be brave. No need to avoid it.

    • 2011-10-17 at 11:53 EDT

      I would if it would work.

  1. 2011-10-22 at 17:16 EDT

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