Fresh 22.04 install won't boot [resolved, sort of?]

hm flag

Going to try my best here, but tbh I was going to use Ubuntu because it was supposed to just work out of the box and I don't know much about any of this :(

Background info: I'd been running Ubuntu 20.04 with increasing weird errors on my Thinkpad P50, so I thought I'd do a reinstall to 22.04. I was having weird issues with the USB startup disk too, so I had someone create one on their Windows laptop. Got a 452 out of range pointer error, but it ran after switching to UEFI in the Bios (it was set to Legacy only but I have no idea what this means). Got through the installation process and was prompted to restart. No dual boot or anything special that I'm aware of btw.

Current issue: When trying to boot my freshly installed 22.04 (ETA on my Thinkpad P50), I get two outcomes depending on Bios settings. With UEFI I get a boot loop, sometimes "Reset system" shows up for a second. With Legacy I get "error: file '/grub/i386-pc/normal.mod' not found" and a grub rescue prompt.

I've tried to reinstall from USB, same result. I can boot into the "Try Ubuntu" environment. UPDATE: I managed to find out about boot-repair and it was supposedly repaired, but nothing changed. I got the URL It also says to make my UEFI firmware boot on some Ubuntu entry with a path to a grubx64.efi file, which I've tried to look up with no clear answers.

UPDATE 2: Seems like Will was correct and at least part of the problem was the installation media, as I managed to install and boot a slimmer distro from an old USB stick (though with limited functionality, see comment below). My friend found another large enough USB stick to experiment with. I found discussions on the P50 not meshing too well with Ubuntu, but good experiences with Mint so I might try that one (even though it is based on Ubuntu?).

(Where do I go from here? I can't even go back to Windows as my device was second-hand. I'm willing to try a different Linux distro if it's not too complicated, I really just want anything that works without much trouble :( )

Thanks for any advice.

UPDATE 3: I installed Mint from a different USB drive, and it didn't boot either. UEFI leads to boot loop as with Ubuntu, Legacy to a Boot Menu where nothing happens and an App Menu where I ran all the diagnostics with nothing found. I'm having attention deficit issues, but I'm trying to get through the system-info script and am going to look into BIOS updates as recommended below (thank you).

Hopefully last update. I finally managed to get into the grub menu (after failing earlier) and added nomodeset for my last install, which was Mint. It seems to work so far, so I guess I'm a Mint user now because I'm not going to risk screwing things up again. This may or may not have worked with Ubuntu (as I said, I chose the option to install proprietary drivers right away; Mint didn't have that option). I should probably still find a way to update my BIOS, but that's going to be a post for some other time, maybe. I'd like to thank everyone in this thread for your patience with me.

Will avatar
id flag
It’s hard to know, but I’m suspicious your installation media is the problem (even if it works in live session). I’d suggest make another one - if you have another 4GB+ usb stick, you should be able to create it yourself from the live session environment:
sudodus avatar
jp flag
It can help us help you, if you tell us some more details about your computer. I see that you have a Lenovo from the info in the pastebin, pllease add the model number. I see also that you have nvidia graphics, which often needs the [boot option]( `nomodeset` (add into the 'linux line' via the grub menu). If that makes the installed system boot into a desktop, the next step is to try with a proprietary graphics driver.
sudodus avatar
jp flag
1. You can try a few Ubuntu community flavours: Kubuntu, Lubuntu, ... Xubuntu, which might work better for you, particularly if your computer is getting old; 2. You can also wipe the partition table of your internal drive (leave it without any partitions) and let the installer create a fresh partition table 'GPT' or 'MSDOS' type. You can use gparted in the live system booted from USB for this purpose. After this operation, the installer should be free to create a partition table with suitable partitions for its purpose.
Idkm avatar
hm flag
Hi again and thank you for your replies. In the meantime I found an old (smaller) USB stick with Solus 3 which booted after install, but now Firefox and system updates aren't working properly and I have to reply from mobile. It's a Thinkpad P50, do you need more specific info? I chose the option to install proprietary drivers during install as I knew I was going to need the nvidia one. Looking into alternative flavours and distros now
sudodus avatar
jp flag
@Idkm, Please download and run the [Ubuntu Forum's system-info script]( and let it upload the result to a pastebin. Then edit your original question to show a link to the pastebin. That information will help me and others understand what you have (software and hardware) and it will help us help you. - Do this from the live system booted from the USB drive.
karel avatar
sa flag
Does this answer your question? [Ubuntu stuck/freeze on install](
it flag

It appears that you're having issues booting Ubuntu 22.04 on your ThinkPad P50 laptop. You're encountering errors during boot in both UEFI and Legacy modes. You've tried reinstallation, but it didn't solve the problem.

In such a situation, I suggest trying the following solutions:

Check if there's a firmware BIOS (UEFI) update available for your laptop. Sometimes, BIOS updates can resolve boot-related issues. Visit the support page of your laptop manufacturer and check for any available updates.

If you have access to another installation media, try creating a new Ubuntu 22.04 USB installation disk. This may help if the current installation media is damaged or has errors.

Try a different Linux distribution, such as Linux Mint, which is also based on Ubuntu. Different distributions often have different default settings and may work better with specific devices. Install Mint on your laptop and see if the boot issue persists.

If none of the above solutions yield results, it's worth consulting other ThinkPad P50 users who are running Ubuntu or Mint to see if they've encountered similar issues.

I hope this helps you

Idkm avatar
hm flag
Thank you. There were indeed BIOS updates available, but I just keep running into problems. After a failed install command that got resolved by disabling Boot order lock, fwupdmgr now seems to believe that it's already done the job: "Specified firmware is older than installed '0.1.71 < 65588'" I checked in the BIOS and it's still the old version though, while the "specified firmware" is 1.71, the latest version from this year. (As mentioned in my edits, both switching installation media and distribution didn't help. I haven't been able to find similar issues described by P50 users)
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