How to boot a Dell laptop using an external device?

How to boot a Dell laptop using an external device?

This page assumes that you already have a bootable USB stick. The instructions below (to be completed) will indicate how to use your USB stick to boot your Dell laptop.

to be completed...
Bios boot for Dell Inspiron 15 5580.
Start the laptop, then press f2 two to three times continuously until the bios setting will come out.
Choose the appropriate command in the bios setting in your preference.

Use Rufus to create a bootable device

Write .iso

  1. Download the .iso file you wish to install on the bootable USB drive. Save it onto your computer.
  2. Download
  3. Plug the USB drive into your computer.
  4. Run the Rufus program (no need to install)
  5. From the Device drop-down menu, select your USB drive,
  6. Under "Boot selection", select your .iso file.
  7. "Image option" ?
  8. Set "Partition scheme" to GPT.
  9. "Target system"? UEFI?
  10. "File System" ? FAT32?
  11. Start.


Boot external device

Always have an external device to boot your system with.

Most of the time, Linux installation ISOs can also be used to boot the system:

See also

How to install Linux on a laptop?

This page is place holder for a project to install Linux on a laptop, keeping windows already installed on the laptop, in order to dual boot.

We are going to perform the following steps in order:

1) Learn to boot the laptop using an external boot device (usb stick...). See .

2) Investigate the amount of data on the hard drives, space left, etc. and make a backup of the system and all important files.

Kernel boot parameters

Official documentation

See: man bootparam.
For up-to-date information, see the kernel source file Documentation/kernel-parameters.txt (usually within /usr/src/linux/).

Getting started

Understanding your system

There are 3 types of boot parameters:
1) linux kernel parameters, e.g. log_buf_len=1M
2) module parameter, with the module name and the parameter separated by a dot, e.g. nvidia-drm.modeset=1

How to burn .iso to USB drive

From the command line

Find the device name of your usb drive:

$ df
/dev/sdg1             7.4G  4.0K  7.4G   1% /media/usb-drive
// OR:
# fdisk -l
   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sdg1               1        6297     7712740    c  W95 FAT32 (LBA)

The unmount the device and use dd to copy (burn) the iso:

# umount /dev/sdg1
// In the command below, use /dev/sdg NOT /dev/sdg1!
# dd bs=4M if=cld-20161116-x86_64.iso of=/dev/sdg
558+1 records in
558+1 records out


Reasons for NOT having a separate /boot partition

Not having a separate /boot partition is less hassle. It is the default for all Linux distributions and is suitable for most systems and home use. Use a separate partition only you have a very good reason to, for a specific need.

Reasons for having a separate /boot partition

Not mentioning historical reasons that are typically no longer valid today.

Use a separate /boot partition if:

* the boot loader cannot read the root filesystem, because of encryption, esoteric filesystems not supported by GRUB, etc.

Linux kernel will not boot

The Linux kernel may not boot for a numerous variety of reasons. The purpose of this page is to build a diagnostic flow that will lead the user to the proper cause and thus to the proper solution.

Black screen

- the bootloader is properly configured and the right partition with the linux kernel is being booted.
- however, during the boot process, the computer freezes 1 We can only see a black screen with white written output.
Part of the output (without the memory addresses appended to each line):


  • 1. augustin: TODO: insert IMAG0747.



If you get the following error:

The disk drive for /mount_point is not ready yet or not present.
Continue to wait; or Press S to skip mounting or M for manual recovery

it basically mean that the system cannot mount the specified drive at the mount point /mount_point.
If the mount point is root / , then the system cannot be booted at all. There are many posts on the internet discussing this problem.

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