john4747
1 Copper

Cannot boot from USB - XPS 13 9360 [SOLVED??]

Hi there,

I have been struggling for days now with how to boot my Dell XPS 13 9360 from USB so that I can update my Linux installation. Whenever I boot and press F12 to go into the boot menu and switch to the USB, it boots the USB, but then as it is loading the OS it stops and switches to the recovery drive with the Ubuntu 16.04 live image on it (I purchased the Ubuntu version of the Dell XPS 13 in 2017). I cannot get a successful boot from the USB.

I have read extensively online about potential issues and problems and here is what I have done so far with my BIOS settings:

  • Disabled Fastboot (Thorough)
  • Turned on Legacy Boot
  • Disabled Secureboot

 My bios is version 1.3.2. 

Since I am initially able to boot into the USB I know I must be close, but I cannot get it to fully boot from USB, which prevents me from being able to run an OS from the USB (which also makes it impossible to fix problems on the HD). Anyone have suggestions for me? I'm out of options at the moment. Thanks!

--John

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4 Replies
jphughan
5 Rhenium

Re: Cannot boot from USB - XPS 13 9360

Unless you’re using an old Linux version that doesn’t support UEFI booting, I would keep UEFI boot enabled (not Legacy), Secure Boot disabled, and Legacy Option ROMs disabled. If you can’t see your flash drive in the F12 menu in that configuration, it means your flash drive isn’t properly configured for UEFI booting even if the Linux distro on it would otherwise support it. In that case, make sure the flash drive is set up as GPT rather than MBR and contains the correct partition layout for a UEFI boot.

If you still have trouble, maybe try another flash drive? I’ve seen cases where certain flash drives simply don’t boot on certain systems, even though those drives and systems both boot with other devices just fine.

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john4747
1 Copper

Re: Cannot boot from USB - XPS 13 9360

Thanks for the suggestions. I can definitely see the USB drive in the boot menu. When I select it I get the GRUB menu, but after selecting "try before installing" it doesn't complete the boot and instead boots from the Ubuntu recovery section of the hard drive. So, something is interrupting the boot process from the USB. This happens with multiple USB drives from multiple manufacturers. It's pretty puzzling. It means that I cannot overwrite my current system, which is slightly borked. I love this computer, but this UEFI and Secure Boot stuff is just killing it for me....

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john4747
1 Copper

Re: Cannot boot from USB - XPS 13 9360

[UPDATE]

I successfully booted Linux Mint 19.2 from USB. I haven't tried, but I suspect that Ubuntu 18.04 and 19.10 would also likely boot successfully. I really had my heart set on installing PeppermintOS 10 on my XPS 9360, though, but it simply refuses to boot from the USB. I didn't realize that Dell restricts certain distros from its hardware?? That's a shame, because freedom of choice is what Linux is all about.

--End

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jphughan
5 Rhenium

Re: Cannot boot from USB - XPS 13 9360

Nice to hear you're at least making progress.  I don't think Dell restricts certain Linux distros at a hardware level.  I could see certain distros not having proper kernel support for certain hardware in the system, and Dell definitely doesn't offer official SUPPORT for Linux on most of its systems (and not all distros even on the relatively few systems where it officially offers Linux), but I would be very surprised if Dell had started implementing some sort of blacklist for specific Linux distros.

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