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Ubuntu on USB won't detect my internal HDD - Predator Helios 300 PH317-54

MikenetMikenet Member Posts: 8

Tinkerer

edited April 2021 in Predator Laptops
I'm trying to make duel-boot system with my existing Windows 10 installation and Ubuntu (probably encrypted) on my Acer Predator Helios 300 but I can't get past one of the first steps because Ubuntu wont detect my internal hard drive.  All that gets detected in GParted is the USB drive itself that has the "Try Without Installing" lite version of Ubuntu on it.  It's a new computer and there's nothing wrong with the internal hard drive as far as I know, it works fine in Windows and shows up in the bios as "HDD1 Model Name: WDC PC SN730 SDBQNTY-1T00-1014"

To give some additional information I'll start with some details about my BIOS because I'm reading that if the settings are wrong in the BIOS it can prevent the internal hard drive from being detected.

As the picture shows the SATA Mode is:  Optane with RAID

I've heard that maybe this needs to be changed but I see no way to edit anything in the Information tab of the BIOS unless I'm missing something.

Here's a Picture of the Main Tab in the BIOS...



I have Fast Boot disabled just in case that helps.

Here's a picture of the Advanced Tab in the BIOS...



It only has two options, Intel VTX and Intel VTD and both of those are disabled by default.

Here's a picture of the Security Tab in the BIOS...



TPM is installed and Enabled, I'm not sure if that matters but I've heard that this setting can impact OS installations so let me know if that needs to be changed.  There are some security settings in this tab that are shaded out and I can't figure out how to edit them if I'd needed to.  I disabled Password on boot but under the shaded settings it says Secure Boot Mode is set to Standard.  Other than that there's an option that says "Select an UEFI File As Trusted For Executing"  I cant figure out how to change this setting either if it turns out that I'd need to in the future.  I've read that UEFI is important for installing Ubuntu.

The good news is that under the Boot tab in my BIOS, the Boot Mode is set to UEFI and Secure Boot is set to disabled, here's a picture of the Boot Tab in the BIOS...



My BIOS may be missing options that are important for Ubuntu installations, I'm not sure.  For example, I've read that I may need to tweak the legacy mode but I don't see an option for that in my BIOS.


Additional Information:


  • The BIOS is InsydeH20 but I have no idea how to update it.  So I'd need help on where to download a new BIOS for this laptop model and how to update it if that's the case.  The Acer website didn't seem to have a BIOS listed for this specific laptop model number but they may have a bios for other Acer Predator 300's, I'd have to check. 

  • The Model Number of my laptop is:  PH317-54-70YD

  • The Version of Ubuntu that I'm Trying to install is 20.04.2.0  amd64  but my processor is an Intel and not AMD so I'm sure if that matters.  I doubt it because my processor is 64 bit regardless and Ubuntu runs fine off of the USB stick.
  • Here's a picture of what the Gparted and Disk programs see in Ubuntu...



As can be seen, my internal hard drive isn't listed here, again that's unless I'm missing something.  If there's a way I need to mount my internal hard drives in Ubuntu I'd need to know how to do that.  I'm not very familiar with Ubuntu Terminal Commands.

  • Here's a picture of the Terminal after I typed "sudo sgdisk --print /dev/sda"  ...


Ubuntu is giving me the error that says "Invalid GPT and valid MBR; converting MBR to GPT format in Memory.  Below this it says "Warning! Secondary partition table overlaps the last partition by 33 blocks!"  but I'm pretty sure it's referring to the USB drive and not my internal hard drive because the internal isn't even listed.  It only list a 3.8 Gigabyte Disk which I'm sure is the same USB drive that Gparted is seeing.

In windows I downsized my system partition to leave plenty of room at the end of the internal drive to install Ubuntu.  For one last picture here's a layout of my internal hard drive from within Windows..



I can't think of anything else to share to help members here to identify the problem I'm having but let me know what I can do from here to make it easier.  I can work my way around a computer somewhat but may need help on certain things if I haven't done them yet.  Updating my BIOS or doing commands in the terminal from Ubuntu are things I'm not experienced with.  I've installed Ubuntu once a long time ago on another laptop but have forgotten quite a bit since then.

Thanks in advance for any help! 

//Edited the content to add model name on title.​​

Thread was edited to add model name to the title


FAQ & Answers

  • MikenetMikenet Member Posts: 8

    Tinkerer

    Sorry for the typos guys, I meant to say that VTX and VTD are Enabled by default, not Disabled.  The only settings in the BIOS that I've actually touched are a couple of simple ones that I was told could potentially help, like disabling Secure Boot.
  • LeostatLeostat ACE Posts: 2,626 Pathfinder
    edited April 2021
    You are right about the Intel raid :) to change it you need to mash control+s a few times as the first keys entered and then it should unlock the option to change it to ahci 

    This will stop windows groom booting though I think, the Ubuntu page has a guide on trying to get it back working without having to re install

    You should be able to leave secure boot on I think for Ubuntu , their signing keys are by default trusted on almost all laptops :)

    You should also try leaving the TPM on, what this will allow is for Ubuntu to create a more secure keychain on the device for password storage
    If you found the comment helpful hit the like button, If the answer solves your Q, hit the yes button on the bottom of the post!  I'm a UK based techi, so apologies if my help links are for the UK region site! 

    Want to know if your PC supports Windows 11? Check out the offical Health Check tool :Dhttps://aka.ms/GetPCHealthCheckApp
  • MikenetMikenet Member Posts: 8

    Tinkerer

    Thank you!  This worked perfectly when I did in on the Main Tab in the bios.  Only issue now is that my Windows OS stopped working when I set the BIOS to AHCI mode as you suggested it might. 

    I'm hoping not to need to do away with my existing Windows OS because it has all of the ACER software and a bunch of other updates and programs that took a couple weeks to set up.

    I'll look for the link you're talking about to get Windows working again.  :)
  • LeostatLeostat ACE Posts: 2,626 Pathfinder
    Boop : https://discourse.ubuntu.com/t/ubuntu-installation-on-computers-with-intel-r-rst-enabled/15347

    Pre warning that playing with boot and registry is a blue screen waiting to happen! Make sure to back it up first :) , you can use the inbuilt create a recocer disk to give yourself an image with all the drivers already installed should the worst happen!
    If you found the comment helpful hit the like button, If the answer solves your Q, hit the yes button on the bottom of the post!  I'm a UK based techi, so apologies if my help links are for the UK region site! 

    Want to know if your PC supports Windows 11? Check out the offical Health Check tool :Dhttps://aka.ms/GetPCHealthCheckApp
  • MikenetMikenet Member Posts: 8

    Tinkerer

    Backup done and the internal HD was detected!  When I was searching for the link you mentioned I ran into another method that worked.  Hopefully this method continues to work because all I had to do was this...

    1. Enable Safe Boot (minmal) in MSCONFIG
    2. Reboot into BIOS and change to AHCI
    3. Save and exit BIOS
    4. Continue booting Windows into safe mode
    5. Disable Safe Boot in MSCONFIG
    6. Reboot
    After doing that, Windows loaded fine and Ubuntu started detecting my internal Hard Drives.  

    At this point I have Ubuntu installed on an encrypted partition by following this tutorial...

    https://www.mikekasberg.com/blog/2020/04/08/dual-boot-ubuntu-and-windows-with-encryption.html

    I'm all the way on the last step but got stuck because I don't know how to use the Vi editor to create a way to decrypt my Ubuntu installation during boot so I've been avoiding restarting my computer because I'm not sure how it'll behave with an encrypted OS with no method of decrypting it.  I'm confident I followed the other instructions correctly when setting up partitons and installing Ubuntu so my guess is that Windows and the USB lite version of Ubuntu that I'm using now will still work fine but I'm not positive.

    The problem I'm having now is only partially relevant to the questions I asked here.  I'll probably create a new help request since you helped me solve the primary issue I was having a couple days ago.   My current problem is still relevant to making a "duel boot" system with Windows 10 and Ubuntu Encrypted so if you know what I'm doing wrong below, I'm open to any tips.  If not, no worries. 

    I'm going to be marking this question as solved either way so thank you!


    Just in case you have any ideas on this, here is where I'm at in the the Tutorial above.  I have Ubuntu installed on my hard drive in an encrypted partition and a separate non encrypted /boot partition and all of that should be set up right so I left off on the last section of the tutorial on step number 3 below...
    1. When the installer is finished, hit Continue Testing. We have to do a couple more things before we restart.
    2. Set up etc/crypttab. This is what will allow you to unlock your encrypted drive by typing in your passphrase when booting.
      1. Find the UUID of the partition you set up with LUKS: sudo blkid /dev/sda6
      2. Get into a chroot in the newly installed system:
        # mount /dev/mapper/ubuntu--vg-root /target
        # mount /dev/sda5 /target/boot
        # for n in proc sys dev etc/resolv.conf; do mount --rbind /$n /target/$n; done 
        # chroot /target
              
        # mount -a
        
      3. Inside your chroot (that is, in the same terminal), set up /etc/crypttab. Use your favorite editor to edit this file. I’ll use vi. sudo vi /etc/crypttab Save the following file contents, replacing the UUID with the actual UUID you found above.
        # <target name> <source device> <key file> <options>
        # options used:
        #     luks    - specifies that this is a LUKS encrypted device
        #     tries=0 - allows to re-enter password unlimited number of times
        #     discard - allows SSD TRIM command, WARNING: potential security risk (more: "man crypttab")
        #     loud    - display all warnings
        sda6_crypt UUID=abcdefgh-1234-5678-9012-abcdefghijklm none luks,discard
        
      4. Run the following to apply the changes you just made. (Still in the chroot.)
        # update-initramfs -k all -c
        
    Done! Congratulations, you’ve created a dual-boot system with Ubuntu 20.04 and Windows 10 with all your data encrypted!

    With the Vi editor open, I'm not sure what the person in the tutorial was wanting me to do with all of this text that was listed in step 3...

    # <target name> <source device> <key file> <options>
    # options used:
    #     luks    - specifies that this is a LUKS encrypted device
    #     tries=0 - allows to re-enter password unlimited number of times
    #     discard - allows SSD TRIM command, WARNING: potential security risk (more: "man crypttab")
    #     loud    - display all warnings
    sda6_crypt UUID=abcdefgh-1234-5678-9012-abcdefghijklm none luks,discard

    I think the tutorial is suggesting that I should substitute the UUID in the example above, with the one that showed up in my Terminal during a previous step but other than that I have no idea if the rest of this text should be copied, as is, into the Vi editor or If it should be copied one line at a time into the Vi editor so I can press enter at the end of each line, or if all of this goes directly into another terminal tab.  I also don't know if I'm supposed to put something custom in the first line where it says....

    <target name> <source device> <key file> <options>

    For me, anything could be the case because the tutorial didn't explain this step by step.


    I tried copying and pasting this line from above, as is, into the Vi editor....

    <target name> <source device> <key file> <options>

    and then I pressed Enter like I was doing in the Terminal for every other step that was in this tutorial but this didn't seem to work in Vi editor.  I read that there are different modes in Vi editor and I believe I read that there's a command mode as well so it's possible I wasn't in the right mode when I copied and pasted the line above.

    I forget everything that happened when I pressed Enter but eventually the screen got weird and I saw nothing but single letters like CCCCCCCC and DDDDDDDDD all the way up and down the screen in the Vi editor.  I didn't know what was happening so I closed out this terminal and went to try again but this time I get this message before Vi editor opens...

    E325: ATTENTION
    Found a swap file by the name "/etc/.crypttab.swp"
              owned by: root   dated: Thu Apr 22 04:09:18 2021
             file name: /etc/crypttab
              modified: YES
             user name: root   host name: ubuntu
            process ID: 97350
    While opening file "/etc/crypttab"
          CANNOT BE FOUND
    (1) Another program may be editing the same file.  If this is the case,
        be careful not to end up with two different instances of the same
        file when making changes.  Quit, or continue with caution.
    (2) An edit session for this file crashed.
        If this is the case, use ":recover" or "vim -r /etc/crypttab"
        to recover the changes (see ":help recovery").
        If you did this already, delete the swap file "/etc/.crypttab.swp"
        to avoid this message.

      My guess is that when I exited the terminal, the Vi editor made a temporary save file of my work.  So I believe my immediate problem is that I need to know how to delete cryptab.swp.   I finally figured out how to get vim -r /etc/crypttab to work so that I could recover the file, as the error message said I should do.  I had to install vim and type it in after I entered the following commands again...
    chroot /target
          
    # mount -a

    I'm assuming that this mounted what it needed to so that the crypttab.swp file could be recovered.  This file is visible in the /etc/ folder when I browse for it from the Ubuntu GUI but when I right click it I don't see any option to delete.  Under properties for this file it says I don't have permission.  When I navigate to /target/etc in the terminal, crypttab.swp isn't even visible to be able to delete it.  Although that might not be the right place to look.  I don't know if I have to do "chroot /target" again and "mount -a"  to find the same /etc/crypttab file in the terminal.  However it's done, I think I need to be able to delete crypttab.swp to continue.

    I really don't know what I'm doing, I only know how to navigate directories because "cd" is a command that worked in old school DOS and MS-DOS.  I had to do research to learn how to do basic things like list the files in a directory because the old "dir" DOS command doesn't work, just like most other commands from the old days.   I probably only got this far with a Windows 10 / Ubuntu encrypted setup because I copy and paste commands.

    All I want to do from here is be able to continue with creating a way to unlock my encrypted Ubuntu installation from the boot screen otherwise it's unusable.  I'm not sure if I can ignore the "E325: ATTENTION" message and just start over with an existing cryptab.swp file already on the computer.  In Windows if you go to create a file with the same name and directory as another file, it gives me the option to overwrite the old file very easily.

    Whatever the case is, the bigger issue is using the Vi editor to create a way to mount my encrypted Ubuntu OS.  If there's another way to do that, I'd consider it but I feel like I'm so close and probably missing something very simple because of my inexperience with Ubuntu.

      

























  • LeostatLeostat ACE Posts: 2,626 Pathfinder
    That seems an exceedingly complicated way to do disk encryption, when configuring the partitions you should have just been able to click advanced - use lvm full disk encryption! 

    You are right about the vi modes, if vim is installed use that instead it is the same as vi , just better (vim is vi improved) 

    So when you open it in vi or vim you need to press i to enter edit mode, so use up n down to go to where you want, press i, paste, (hope that mouse integration is turned off else something weird will happen) hit ESC to exit edit mode , type :wq to exit (: is command w write, q quit)

    The lines with # don't matter as they are cowith themments , so it's just the ones without it. People do stuff like that to explain what the command is they are doing, so the things you need to change is the line without the hash, and the values you need are explained by the comment 

     And to delete the swap file it lives at .filename.swp so if your file was 
    /Etc/cryptab

    It would be 
    rm /Etc/.cryptab.swp

    Rm is just del :) as you made the file you don't need to care about recovering it

    The warning Is just a warning , if you delete the swap file it will go away :) . It has to be done in the chroot, else you would be editing just the files of the live boot rather than the files of the installed system
    If you found the comment helpful hit the like button, If the answer solves your Q, hit the yes button on the bottom of the post!  I'm a UK based techi, so apologies if my help links are for the UK region site! 

    Want to know if your PC supports Windows 11? Check out the offical Health Check tool :Dhttps://aka.ms/GetPCHealthCheckApp
  • MikenetMikenet Member Posts: 8

    Tinkerer

    It was very complicated! :#  With all of the hiccups I ran into, it's a miracle I got through that tutorial without messing something up.  From what many are saying, Duel Boot isn't available if you want to encrypt the Ubuntu installation.  So apparently the installation disc forces you to use only Ubuntu if you want to encrypt the installation.  I'm keeping Windows 10 around for compatibility with certain programs that aren't compatible with Linux but overall got fed up with Windows because it isn't very secure and forces updates.

    Thanks for the help on all of this.  I have a lot to learn about Ubuntu and Terminal commands so I wouldn't have been able to pull this off without a lot of help but everything is working great now!



  • LeostatLeostat ACE Posts: 2,626 Pathfinder
    I call BS on the not being able to encypt with dual boot, it may be a bit harder but it should be doable ;) If its something you need to let me know and I will have a playand see if i can put together a easier guide :)
    If you found the comment helpful hit the like button, If the answer solves your Q, hit the yes button on the bottom of the post!  I'm a UK based techi, so apologies if my help links are for the UK region site! 

    Want to know if your PC supports Windows 11? Check out the offical Health Check tool :Dhttps://aka.ms/GetPCHealthCheckApp
  • MikenetMikenet Member Posts: 8

    Tinkerer

    Yea, it does seem rather strange.  The guy who did the tutorial I was following commented that this "should not be so complicated in 2020".  People are saying it's not the mere idea of encrypting an Ubuntu installation but the fact that the installer itself has no options for encrypting an Ubuntu installation unless you're planning on erasing everything and going only with Ubuntu as an OS.   I hope for the sake of others that there's an easier way than what I did for sure =)

    I'm just glad it's done at this point, I plan to make additional backups so hopefully I don't have to do this again, lol.

    At this point I'm optimizing my Ubuntu installation with drivers and such and trying to figure out how to make NTFS faster on Ubuntu...

    https://community.acer.com/en/discussion/636806/how-to-optimize-my-ubuntu-installation-for-speed-with-my-predator-helios-300-ntfs-question-included/p1?new=1







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