Installing Ubuntu Linux Distro on Sony Vaio Laptop

I'm trying to install Ubuntu on my Sony Vaio PCG-7X2L laptop that is a couple years old, however, I'm unable to get the system to boot from disk. I'm really confused because I have tested the install disk and it works on other machines, as well I couldn't get my genuine Windows XP disk to boot on this machine. Currently my laptop has Windows Vista installed and in the bios it is setup to have the CD-ROM boot first, also I have removed all other boot devices and all it does after post is say 'operating system not found'.

I really don't know what to do at this point, any suggestions would be very helpful.

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  1. So let me see if I understand properly. You tried installing both Ubuntu and later Windows XP, but neither would boot from the hard drive after installing? This says to me that you have a problem with your hard drive. Perhaps it is dying? Then again you also say something about already having windows vista installed, so I am a little bit confused. Or is your problem that the Ubuntu and XP cds will not even start the installation process at all? If this is the case, perhaps there is a problem with the CD drive? Unless, of course, you are able to use it without issues under vista?

    Please let me know exactly what happens when you try to boot from an Ubuntu liveCD. You should see a screen that gives you 4 options such as "boot from hard drive", "test ubuntu", "install ubuntu", and "memory check" or something like that. If you select "test ubuntu" and it just hangs, you may be able to fix this by changing the boot time options that the operating system takes. Please get back to me with this info and I will try to help you out.

  2. The problem is that the Ubuntu and XP CDs will not start the instillation process, i cant get the computer to boot from them. The drive works fine in windows, so i will go ahead and give the live CD a shot.

  3. Doesn't seem to work after I'm logged on either, it plays DVDs just fine... But when I put any of the install disks in it acts like they are blank CDs... However they do work on my other systems. This makes no sense to me.

  4. Did you burn that disk on that laptop? You could try reburning the liveCD on a different machine and see if that makes a difference. If the problem persists, you could also try looking for a liveUSB version of Ubuntu (provided that your laptop can boot from a USB device). I must say that this is certainly a new one to me. Hopefully we'll straighten it all out.

  5. That was my first idea too, but I wasn't able to get it to boot from USB either. I enabled it in the bios and made it the first and only boot device but again it simply says operating system not found.

    I'm starting to think it has more to do with Sony Vaio not wanting you to reformat your hard drive, instead using their recovery console. They hid a lot of the bios options and all of this seems pretty shady to me, anyways I'm really at a loss here.

  6. Do you have a usb cdrom or usb hard drive?

    If you do you can do a hard drive or network install but in order to do that you need to be able to boot from a device ( usb, cd, dvd, SD, CF, memory stick, network, etc ) to start the install process.

    Some laptop optical drives are very picky and it sounds like the bios is rather strange too.

    Does your bios have any settings related to OS installation?

    Can you flickr some bios pictures please?

    Good luck :)
  7. Basically, its very plain and simple, almost no options except for, time settings, usb/network boot enabling, and boot order. The one thing I haven't tried is a network install because I'm very unfamiliar with that.

    I guess I will give it a google and try it out.

  8. Does your laptop have a bootable SD card slot?

    Are you able to boot from a usb flash drive?

    Network booting requires PXE support and you have to have another Linux computer on your LAN with dhcpd, tftpd and a web server. It can be very complicated to setup. I've done it a bunch of times but it would take me about a week to show you how it's done.

    If you can figure out how to get your vaio to boot from an SD card or usb or something, it would be a lot easier.

    Good luck :)
  9. If you're a hardware guru, you could yank the drive from the vaio, install the OS on another computer and then put the drive back in the vaio.

    Most versions of windows would be seriously dazed and confused so this is usually not a good option for windows, but most versions of Linux will work just fine as long as your architecture is the same and all your kernel modules are in place.

  10. Yeah, just taking it out seems like the best option at this point, I've tried everything else except the SD card. I should have no problem doing that, didn't think of it probably because it was a laptop.

    Thanks much appreciated
  11. You might have to do some configuring but it should work :)

    I've gotten away with doing this several times, it helps if the hardware is similar.

    It doesn't matter that much that's it's a laptop.

    If you get stuck don't worry you can get unstuck :)

    Good luck :)
  12. Got it working, thanks for all the help
  13. Very cool :)

    Got some screenies for us? ;) :D
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