Unable to install Linux | PCSPECIALIST

Unable to install Linux

Hi,

I'm having great difficulty in getting Ubuntu installed on my Lafite Pro 14". During the Ubuntu installation, when you get to the screen to partition the disk and install, the NVMe disk isn't showing up as an option. When running things like fdisk from the live USB, it cannot see the disk at all. It appears to be because the Insyde H2O BIOS is too restrictive and I cannot disable the Intel Rapid Storage Technology (RST).

PC Specialist so far are refusing to provide any support as I'm trying to use Linux, despite it being very clear when I configured the laptop that my intention was to have no OS shipped with it and to install Linux.

Has anyone else managed to get Linux installed?

Thanks

Code:
Chassis & Display
Lafité Pro Series: 14" Matte Full HD IPS LED (1920 x 1080)
Processor (CPU)
Intel® Core™ i7 Quad Core Processor i7-10510U (1.8GHz, 4.9GHz Turbo)
Memory (RAM)
24GB 2666MHz DDR4 (1 x 16GB Corsair SODIMM + 8GB SOLDERED)
Graphics Card
INTEL® HD GRAPHICS (CPU Dependant) - 1.7GB Max DDR4 Video RAM - DirectX® 12
1st M.2 SSD Drive
2TB SAMSUNG 970 EVO PLUS M.2, PCIe NVMe (up to 3500MB/R, 3300MB/W)
Memory Card Reader
Integrated Micro-SD Memory Card Reader
AC Adaptor
1 x 65W AC Adaptor
Power Cable
1 x 1 Metre Cloverleaf UK Power Cable
Battery
1 x Lafité Battery 73WH
Sound Card
Intel 2 Channel High Definition Audio + MIC/Headphone Jack
Bluetooth & Wireless
GIGABIT LAN & WIRELESS INTEL® Wi-Fi 6 AX200 (2.4 Gbps) + BT 5.0
USB/Thunderbolt Options
1 x USB 3.1 PORT (Type C) + 1 x USB 3.1 PORT + 1 x USB 3.0 PORT
Keyboard Language
LAFITÉ PRO SERIES SINGLE COLOUR BACKLIT UK KEYBOARD
Operating System
NO OPERATING SYSTEM REQUIRED
Operating System Language
United Kingdom - English Language
Windows Recovery Media
NO RECOVERY MEDIA REQUIRED
Office Software
FREE 30 Day Trial of Microsoft® Office® 365 (Operating System Required)
Anti-Virus
NO ANTI-VIRUS SOFTWARE
Browser
Microsoft® Edge (Windows 10 Only)
Notebook Mouse
INTEGRATED 2 BUTTON TOUCHPAD MOUSE
Webcam
INTEGRATED 1MP HD WEBCAM
Warranty
3 Year Gold Warranty (2 Year Collect & Return, 2 Year Parts, 3 Year Labour)
Delivery
STANDARD INSURED DELIVERY TO UK MAINLAND (MON-FRI)
Build Time
FAST TRACK 3 WORKING DAY DISPATCH
Welcome Book
PCSpecialist Welcome Book - United Kingdom & Republic of Ireland
 

Stephen M

Spamtastic
I have a Lafitte with Ubuntu on, albeit an older model and had no problems. Have you tried using Gparted to check the drive is OK: https://gparted.org/
You could also try reformatting the drive before an install attempt.
I will have a further think on this but not come across a problem like this before.
 
I have a Lafitte with Ubuntu on, albeit an older model and had no problems. Have you tried using Gparted to check the drive is OK: https://gparted.org/
You could also try reformatting the drive before an install attempt.
I will have a further think on this but not come across a problem like this before.
The disk doesn't show up under gparted, only the live USB does. I believe from what I've read, I'm supposed to see /dev/nvmeX or something similar, but I only see I only see /dev/sda which is the USB.

I can't reformat it until I can see it :-(

PC Specialist have said
Normally RST wouldn't cause the issue as RST only works when RST software is installed and you want to set up a raid or Optane memory installed. RST can also be used in different Linux systems https://www.intel.com/content/dam/www/public/us/en/documents/white-papers/rst-linux-paper.pdf
Spectactularly unhelpful, especially when the question was "Please can you tell me how to change SATA mode to AHCI?"
 

Stephen M

Spamtastic
If it is not showing on Gparted it sounds like either the drive is kaput or has come disconnected. Is anything showing on Gparted, there is a drop down top right to choose drives, on mine the M2 shows as /dev/nvme0n1, while the SATA drives are /dev/sda and /dev/sdb.
Have you looked inside, PCS allow us to open machines without voiding the warranty.
 
I've opened it up, looks OK I think?



IMG_20200214_212327-min (1).jpg


I have put the Gparted Live on a USB stick and booted up that, still not seeing the NVMe

I don't think there's anything wrong with the disk as such as Windows 10 is running OK on it.
 

Stephen M

Spamtastic
Did not realise you had Windows already installed on it. What exactly is showing when get to the partition screen when you try to install Ubuntu? It seems odd that the disc is not being recognised by GParted if Windows is successfully running on it, what, if anything, is GParted showing?
 
Did not realise you had Windows already installed on it. What exactly is showing when get to the partition screen when you try to install Ubuntu? It seems odd that the disc is not being recognised by GParted if Windows is successfully running on it, what, if anything, is GParted showing?
IMG_20200215_220617_262.jpg


Just the USB, nothing else in the drop down.

dmesg showed something interesting ;

received_791481588027409.jpeg


Which led me to a few results on Google



I can't seem to get away from the BIOS being crap and too restrictive, and the Intel RST being the issue and needing to change SATA to AHCI, even dmesg says to do it!

Any suggestions based on the above?
 

Stephen M

Spamtastic
Unfortunately I m at a loss at the moment, have read those links and they provide info but not much help. Not a solution but it would be interesting to know if you are able to install Ubuntu on another drive connected to the Lafitte, either internal or USB, at least it would give you another angle of attack, perhaps something could be done by altering things through that system.
 

Stephen M

Spamtastic
Still struggling but another thought. If you can get a "try Ubuntu" to work by USB of if you can run Ubunbtu from a USB drive (it is possible to install Ubuntu on a stick with another computer then use that). If you can get that to boot use the "disks" option in "utilities" on the Ubuntu menu. I am unsure whether you will be able to see the drive from there but worth a look.
This is a more work but if it was me I would remove Windows and start with a blank disc, do you have another machine you could try the SSD in, if yes you could format it on that.
 
I don't think the issue is the disk, I think the issue is the BIOS. Even if I were to pull the SSD out and install it in another machine, I don't think it would find it when it comes to booting up.

Reading in https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/linux/+bug/1808842 it looks like the Linux kernel doesn't support NVMe remapped devices and the SATA operation needs changing to AHCI.

I'll go back to PC Specialist with this and try and get them to sort out this rubbish BIOS.
 

Stephen M

Spamtastic
That looks the best option, I cannot see the drive itself being a problem, I have run Samsung NVMes on a number of 'nix systems. The problem is whether the BIOS can simply be changed on this machine. Mine is the older Lafitte but is using the same Intel CPU dependant graphics and a Samsung EVO NVMe, albeit smaller capacity. That machine dates from July last year.
 

Stephen M

Spamtastic
Hope you can get it sorted. A thought, PCS are generally very good but they specify they do not support Linux and it can frighten some people. As this is a BIOS, Intel etc issue perhaps it best not to mention Linux unless you have to but just point out you are unable to see the NVMe to partition it.
 

jerome_jm_martin

Bronze Level Poster
Hi,

Sorry to hear about your issue, I was considering buying this laptop with the same spec, so far I am holding back my order due to the lack of bios / linux support, as my goal is to have strictly linux as host and VM as guest.

if bios is so much limited it's just a nightmare... lenovo and acer laptop users are also facing the same issue.

BTW, it shoud be stated that Lafité Pro 14" + NVMe disk is NOT linux compatible on this page :

https://www.pcspecialist.co.uk/forums/threads/linux-laptop-compatibility.60811/

rgds
J.
 
Last edited:

SpyderTracks

Huntsman
Moderator
Hi,

Sorry to hear about your issue, I was considering buying this laptop with the same spec, so far I am holding back my order due to the lack of bios / linux support, as my goal is to have strictly linux as host and VM as guest.

if bios is so much limited it's just a nightmare... lenovo and acer laptop users are also facing the same issue.

BTW, it shoud be stated that Lafité Pro 14" + NVMe disk is NOT linux compatible on this page :

https://www.pcspecialist.co.uk/forums/threads/linux-laptop-compatibility.60811/

rgds
J.
There is no confirmation yet that this is the actual issue, if you read he was going to confirm with PCS. We haven’t heard back yet, so let’s not jump the gun.

to further highlight the current issue, it’s just NVME drives that are affected? Is that correct?

I have added this thread and a warning about NVME drive incompatibility to the Linux compatibility thread here:

 
Last edited:

jerome_jm_martin

Bronze Level Poster
to further highlight the current issue, it’s just NVME drives that are affected? Is that correct?
Correct, the way intel is managing the nvme drive is a bit "tricky", to prevent the issue, bios suppliers should allow the paramater 'SATA mode' to be edited to : AHCI, but some of them just hardcode it to RAID, thus raising the issue.

more info here :

https://github.com/torvalds/linux/commit/aecec8b60422118b52e3347430ba9382e57d6d76

and more technical (and up to date) here :

https://www.spinics.net/lists/linux-ide/msg57379.html

J.
 
Last edited:

jerome_jm_martin

Bronze Level Poster
Hi again,

btw, can someone using a lafitté pro try to access the bios and press ctrl+s and see if a Sata mode appears ?
or can pcs try this on a laptop and confirm ?

why ?
because some acer nitro laptops using insyde bios have a hidden sata mode that can be shown by doing so.
it may be worth to give it a try.

J.
 
I have exactly the same problem here ( L141CU )

I can't believe the Bios is so bad, we need to find another one from another vendor.
 

ubuysa

Moderator
Moderator
PCS do not officially support Linux on any of their builds and since they are Microsoft partners that's not likely to change. That's not to say that Linux won't run but, as you're discovering, it might not run well. I'm afraid you're very much on your own with Linux. You can experiment with alternative BIOSes of course but you will almost certainly void the warranty if you do.
 
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