Saturday, January 7, 2012

Installing Ubuntu 11.10 on Lenovo Z570

I've been running Ubuntu as my primary OS for several years now, and have been loving every minute of it! Today, I received a new laptop for work, a Lenovo Z570. You can imagine my excitement, pulling back the plastic and booting things up.

Of course, the first thing I do is setup the laptop as Dual Boot Win7/Ubuntu. Turns out, several of the Lenovo laptop have a crappy implementation of the EFI Boot system. This means that simply popping in a cd and clicking a few buttons does not leave you with a dual booting system. Even worse, re-partition the entire hard drive, and you are left with a system that won't boot.

All of that said, it took me an entire evening and a TON of Google'ing to figure this one out. I thought I would lay this one out for anyone else who is unfortunate enough to be in the same situation.

Step 1: Install Ubuntu. Perform the basic install, resizing the Windows partition accordingly. Once the install is complete, the system will reboot and you will be full of joy to discover that you have no way to boot to Ubuntu. Turns out, the way Lenovo has things setup, grub does not get installed with Ubuntu.

Step 2: Install Grub. Pop the Ubuntu cd back into your drive and reboot to the Ubuntu Live CD. Press Ctrl+Alt+T to open a terminal and type the following:

sudo -i
mount /dev/sda6 /mnt
mount /dev/sda1 /mnt/boot
grub-install --root-directory=/mnt/ /dev/sda

mount --bind /proc /mnt/proc
mount --bind /dev /mnt/dev
mount --bind /sys /mnt/sys
chroot /mnt update-grub
umount /mnt/sys
umount /mnt/dev
umount /mnt/proc

Restart your laptop and you will find the happy little Grub running, but Ubuntu is still not a boot option!

Step 3: Install Ubuntu in Grub. Reboot your laptop back to the Ubuntu Live CD. Press Ctrl+Alt+T to open a terminal and type the following:

sudo -i
mkdir /media/ubuntu
mkdir /media/winBoot
mount /dev/sda6 /media/ubuntu
mount /dev/sda1 /media/winBoot
cp /media/ubuntu/boot/grub/grub.cfg /media/winBoot/grub/grub.cfg

Restart your laptop and boot into all of the Linux Goodness. There is just one problem, no WiFi!

Step 4: Fix your WiFi. This laptop suffers from MWP (Multiple Wifi Personalities), as well as a glitch in the Bios. Press Ctrl+Alt+T to open a terminal and type the following:

sudo -i
modprobe -r acer-wmi
cd /etc/modprobe.d
gedit /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf

When the editor opens, add "blacklist acer-wmi" as a new line at the end of the file. Save and exit Gedit. Back at the terminal type the following:

rfkill list all

If you see any "Hard blocked: yes" entries, you have one of three things going on. Either your physical wifi switch is in the off position (Look at the front right portion of the keyboard), your software switch is off (Fn+F5), or you need to reset your Bios. For me, it took reseting my Bios to fix it. Restart your laptop and press F2 at boot up. Once in the Bios, press F9 to reset the Bios followed by F10 to save and exit.

Aside from these major but temporary setbacks, I am pretty impressed with the laptop. As I come across new issues, I'll keep everyone informed.

Many thanks to the MANY websites & blogs I had to scour to finally find the appropriate answers for my Ubuntu Woes. Thank you for putting me in the right direction on the dual boot issue. Also, @Venkat with, thanks for bringing back my WiFi... I was seriously going through Internet withdrawals!

Anyway, I hope this information can ease you open source pains!


Paweł Ryznar said...

Hi :)
What about graphic card and driver? Do you have available higher resolutions than 1024*768? Could you change screen brightness? I have 10.04 and there are problems with drivers because this notebook has two graphic cards :(

Paweł Ryznar said...

what about GPU drivers? Do you have available higher resolution than 1024*768?

Test my blog said...

I have not had problems with the gpu drivers thus far... Yes I am on a resolution greater than 1024x768, but I don't remember what it is at.. I'll check and let you know. That said, I have not really pushed the gpu yet with Linux, so I don't really know if there are any outstanding issues yet.

Paweł Ryznar said...

Ok, so please let me know about resolution. Do you have Intel GPU enabled or Optimus (intel+nvidia)?

Test my blog said...

I am running 1366x768. But I do have the Optimus setup (intel+nvidia), so that might make a difference.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Thank you very much! You have saved me lots of time! Your instructions are perfect to the letter.

Greetings from Warsaw, Poland!
Paola :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks a bunch!

Unknown said...

Worked for me, craziest part, it didn't require me to do all those steps, just the wifi. o.O

Test my blog said...

Glad to hear!!! That's probably because you are starting with a clean install =)

Colin said...

I'm writing this on my new Z570 which I've just been able to dual-boot into Ubuntu because of the instructions in your blog. Thanks so much!

Aaron said...

Thank you so much for this post! I just wished I found it sooner!

Anonymous said...

Hi there,
I had my issues too with the booting.
I've shuffled partitions around and installed 12.04 at least 3 times.
After my last install I did start again from my USB into the live system and installed the Boot-Repair software as descibed and all got fixed.

Now I want to get to the bottom of graphics, and energy optimisation.

would you kindly share some of your links that you've been browsing to fix you issues?


Test my blog said...

I actually haven't tried dealing with those issues yet.... I just haven't had the time. please let me know if you come up with anything!

Chris said...

I just installed Ubuntu 12.04 on my Z570, and your method worked perfectly to get grub functional. However, I updated the kernel, and even after running update-grub, grub doesn't update. I can get it to correct itself if I copy grub.cfg into the sda1 boot folder. For reference, I use the following commands:

sudo -i
mkdir /media/winBoot
mount /dev/sda1 /media/winBoot
cp /boot/grub/grub.cfg /media/winBoot/grub/grub.cfg

Do you have any suggestions to automate this? I'd rather not have to mount/unmount the windows partition every time I happen to notice the kernel has been updated.

Anonymous said...

Hey :) I have a question :) Have you already tried installing 64-bit Ubuntu 12.04 on z570 laptop ? I've been considering an update but have no much informations about how will this work :)

Test my blog said...

Not yet, but I plan to over the weekend. I'll post an update about how it goes.

Zamaan said...

Thanks you so much for this guide! That was completely painless.

justbliss said...

Thanks allot for this idea of reseting the BIOS... In the process of finding a solution for my Non-booting, i messed the BIOS and the F9 trick solved it for my Z570. I am currently running Linux Mint 13 32 bit. The 64 bit version gave an error, 'cannot install Grub on this system... and crashed there. Wonder if it will make that much difference to install the 64 bit at all. The Ubuntu 12.04 64bit did install but could not start... obviously with your Grub installation procedure it would. PS. I am from India.

Anonymous said...

Thanks. It was a great help

Anonymous said...

Thank you its work!1 gracias!!!