Saturday, 19 December 2015

LinuxMint 17.3 on dell XPS 8900

I'm having trouble installing Linux Mint 17.3 on my Dell XPS 8900

I re-sized the windows partition from within Windows, but the Ubiquity installer chokes on the partition table.

sda is my hard disk, and sdb is some intel SSD cache to go with the hard disk.

To avoid Ubiquity choking, I hide them, thus: (tips from

mint ~ # echo 1 > /sys/block/sda/device/delete
mint ~ # echo 1 > /sys/block/sdb/device/delete

and then install on a spare USB hard disk.

That worked, and I can boot off the USB hard disk by using F12 on power-up to get a boot menu.

I will later try to DD that installation to the spare partition, and somehow merge the UEFI partition.

I don't seem to need the tips here:

This may be useful:


dmraid -ay

fixes the problem and supports Intel Matrix Raid which is the combination I have.

But when I came to install, having selected the new partition made under windows, it is confirmed as being /dev/mapper/blah_blah_5 (striped).

striped? So I daren't click yes. I would expect "sporadically mirrored" but not "striped".

One solution was to use "dmraid -ay" but install onto a separate internal SATA disk, and install the bootloader to the same partition I install onto, but the bootloader would not install on that disk, failing due to not being able to find the real mount point of /cdrom (!!) (and I don't want to install it onto SDA).

My working solution was to get a new internal SATA disk and connect it as an external USB disk and install on that, first using the "echo 1 > /sys/block/sda/device/delete" trick above on sda and sdb.

Then I move that disk to internal, and the UEFI boot entry still seems to work.

I will be repeating that trick later today when a spare SATA SSD arrives.

(I did try adjusting grub.cfg on /dev/sda1 or creating my own boot entries according to but could never get those to work).