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jgthekid
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Message 1 of 3
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Blank screen on USB boot (Linux)

HP Recommended
HP Elitedesk 800 G1
Linux

First DIY computer project: I have an HP Elitedesk 800 G1 SF (Product No. C8N26AV) that I recently purchased from the local surplus shop that I would like to set up as a Linux machine. The hard drive was removed and I've put in a new SSD (easier to find these days than HDD). I'm using a 2011 MacBook Pro with High Sierra 10.13.6 to download the OS to a USB drive which I will use to boot the HP. Everything looks good on the USB stick and the HP's BIOS so far but when I go to boot (Esc, arrow down to Boot Menu, arrow to USB) I get a blank screen with an underscore (or minus) in the upper left corner. The OS I'm trying to use is Lubuntu 20.04.1 LTS.

 

More detail on what I've tried so far:

 

1. Downloaded .iso file from https://lubuntu.me/downloads/

 

2. Followed this guide to make bootable USB stick: https://ubuntu.com/tutorials/create-a-usb-stick-on-macos#7-boot-your-mac. (In sum, erased USB stick, ran belenaEtcher.) It looks like I did this properly since I can use this to boot on my mac, though possibly the guide I used was specific to a mac target computer? That seems unlikely as there weren't many branch points, although I did try formatting the USB using both GUID Partition Map and Master Boot Record, with the same results.

 

3. Insert USB stick to HP, turn on, hit Esc key to go to boot menu, then select USB. The system at least recognizes that there is a USB present since there is no USB option when I boot without it. Then I get blank screen with a static underscore (or minus sign) in the upper left corner.

 

I also ran the memory and hard drive tests and those passed. For now I am avoiding modifying the BIOS since it looks like it's working properly and that that would introduce another opportunity for me to mess things up (never done it before), but if necessary it looks like that's what I'll have to try next. The computer has a blank hard drive and no web connection yet so I would have to go through the USB on my Mac.

 

Anything I could be missing to figure this out? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

2 REPLIES 2
WAWood
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Message 2 of 3
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HP Recommended

@jgthekid 

I'm sorry, but HP only warranties their PCs for usage with the OS that comes preinstalled.

IF you replace that with a Linux distro, or add a Linux distro, then you assume full responsibility for maintaining that -- including solving any problems with booting the other OS and/or installing the other OS.

Modern PCs with UEFI, instead of the older BIOS, are especially difficult to install because you have to go into the UEFI settings and make several changes before you can even boot from a USB stick -- and we are unable to assist in that work.

Your best bet for support now is to contact the support forum of the distro you are using.

Good Luck



I am a volunteer and I do not work for, nor represent, HP
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mclang
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I'm going to assume that since you tried both gpt and mbr that the etcher utility is probably just doing something to the USB drive that your elitedesk doesn't like. From your description of your problem, it looks to me as though you're doing everything correctly. Sometimes PCs just don't like certain imaging utilities. I would try to find another utility to write that image to the USB drive.

 

Some alternatives that you can try on macos are:

unetbootin

fedora media writer (can write any linux OS if given an iso file, not just fedora)

the "dd" utility (which should be already on your mac, just use the terminal).

 

You can find guides for all of these options online. While you're testing, I would also try to use the rear USB ports on the elitedesk rather than the front ones.

 

If all else fails, you can grab a usb dvd writer and write the lubuntu iso to a dvd from your mac using the builtin disc burner utility. That may work better than a USB drive for this particular elitedesk anyway.

 

Also, make sure secure boot is disabled in BIOS. If the lubuntu USB bootloader isn't signed, it will refuse to boot if secure boot is enabled on the system.

I am an HP employee
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