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W520 odd booting issue

W500/510/520 and W700/710 series specific matters only
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Monkeyfume
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Joined: Wed May 18, 2016 2:18 pm
Location: Vermont, USA

W520 odd booting issue

#1 Post by Monkeyfume » Mon Nov 20, 2017 11:02 am

Hello, I recently received a used W520 from Ebay, which came with no OS installed.
I put in my own Samsung PM800 mSATA SSD and attempted to install Ubuntu. When I turned it on without any OS, the bootup process seemed completely normal, it went into the Intel boot agent and onto the "F12" select menu of drives to boot from. I also had a different distro installed on my SSD before mounting it into the W520, and when I turned it on before realizing this, it booted into that distro just fine. However, after going to the F12 boot menu, selecting the USB drive with the .iso that I've used to install on multiple computers, going through the installation process, and restarting resulted in an issue I've never come across before -- in the bootup process, after the ThinkPad splash screen, the system hangs and only a flashing underscore ("_") in the top left corner appears on the screen, as it would normally for just a few flashes before proceeding into the operating system. When I press the ThinkVantage button as prompted by the splash screen, the system goes into flashing the underscore and does not list options. However, when I press F1 or F12 at the splash screen, those functions work fine.

I have tried:
- trying every graphics mode, in case video is the issue
- disabling/enabling AMT
- changing UEFI/BIOS modes
- reinstalling after each setting change
- removing both power supplies and holding and pressing the power button to drain bad energy

I really don't know what else to do here. Has anyone experienced a similar issue to this, and solved it? Is it an issue in the default installation of the operating system, or is an issue with my hardware? Thanks.
IBM ThinkPad X41 Tablet ... formerly: T23, T43
lenovo ThinkPads X300, X300, X301, W520, X230 FHD Classic ... formerly: X220, T420, T430
HP G62
Toshiba Portégé R930
Desktop: i7-4770K + R9 290X

RealBlackStuff
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Re: W520 odd booting issue

#2 Post by RealBlackStuff » Mon Nov 20, 2017 12:09 pm

I would try another HD/SSD.

mpcook
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Re: W520 odd booting issue

#3 Post by mpcook » Mon Nov 20, 2017 1:02 pm

RealBlackStuff wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 12:09 pm
I would try another HD/SSD.
My experience with my W520's is that if it tries to boot from a drive that does not have a proper os installed, I get the blinking cursor.
Current: 2 x W520 ET, 3 x X220 i7, X220 i5, T420, X230 i5, T420s, MacbookPro, Dell Venue 11 Pro
Past: IBM5150-8088 500 600E 600X T20 T21 5xT23 X30 3xX31 X32 T40 T42 3xT43 T43p SL510 T60p X60T X60s T61 2xT400 T410si T400s T500-3.06GHz X200 X201 X220i5 X220i7 2xT420s

thinkpadcollection
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Re: W520 odd booting issue

#4 Post by thinkpadcollection » Mon Nov 20, 2017 5:09 pm

Sounds like this is not a problem. I seen this before since linux distro do strange things with any storage stuff. Start up the linux distro installation and use partitioner to remove linux partitions and change from linux to NTFS tag and write new partition. This should will destroy the funny formatted linux and allow you to reinstall windows partition properly.

Cheers, thinkpadcollection

Monkeyfume
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed May 18, 2016 2:18 pm
Location: Vermont, USA

Re: W520 odd booting issue

#5 Post by Monkeyfume » Mon Nov 20, 2017 8:37 pm

thinkpadcollection wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 5:09 pm
Sounds like this is not a problem. I seen this before since linux distro do strange things with any storage stuff. Start up the linux distro installation and use partitioner to remove linux partitions and change from linux to NTFS tag and write new partition. This should will destroy the funny formatted linux and allow you to reinstall windows partition properly.

Cheers, thinkpadcollection
Thank you! My issue has been solved after I reinstall Ubuntu with manual partitioning.
IBM ThinkPad X41 Tablet ... formerly: T23, T43
lenovo ThinkPads X300, X300, X301, W520, X230 FHD Classic ... formerly: X220, T420, T430
HP G62
Toshiba Portégé R930
Desktop: i7-4770K + R9 290X

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