Alienware R3 + Tumbleweed = install issue

Hi all,

I’m new here, but not quite so new to Linux - I’ve been running a Mint machine for a couple of years, and thought I’d move up to OpenSuSe.

This has proven less straightforward than I thought. My new Alienware R3 is fitted with an M2 SSD on which Windows resides and is the primary disk; I wish to install Tumbleweed onto another M.2 SSD (a Samsung NVMe). Installation progress is excruciatingly slow, and it hangs at the “Preparing Disks” stage, with the HD LED flashing for all it’s worth. I gave it more than 20 minutes but there was no discernible progress. I’ve tried several times, and it hangs at the same stage.

The same ISO installed fine on my old machine, in a VirtualBox; on my Alienware, I have successfully installed other Mint releases (takes about 3-4 minutes), and Kubuntu as well.

Is there something I can try, because current Mint distributions don’t like the Killer networking that’s in the new mahcine and I have to jump through a few hoops to get it up and running? TW copes fresh from the box. (I tried a live install first.)

Many thanks for any help.

Michael P

I had the same issue with the latest tumbleweed (03062016) and the one before (02062016) with the install hanging on preparing discs - so I suspect it is not a problem with yur computer.

Thanks for the reply. My conclusion too, particularly after further investigation reveals this to be an uncommon but long-running issue, usually with a dual-boot system and because the installer is fiddling with (Windows) partition sizes. I’m happy to devote my entire 256GB drive to TW. Maybe the installer sometimes has an issue with being given an entire drive to play with.

My preference is to give TW a try, but for now I have a fully-functional Mint-KDE on my machine, which allows me to be productive.

Resize Windows and give space for openSUSE rather then letting the installer doing the resize. Be sure that you stop the Windows fast boot and any BIOS fast boot options. Turn off secure boot at least for the install

Thanks for the suggestions but… I haven’t been able to locate and fast boot settings in the BIOS and Secure Boot is already off.

Also, as per my original post, I have a separate, 256GB drive for TW alone; are you suggesting that if I set up a smaller partition on the drive (say 50GB) for TW, it might install okay? And then I could expand to take the whole disk after install? (In VirtualBox, I created a 20GB virtual disk, and install proceeded fine.)

No did no say that but you said the installer was “fiddling with Window partition size” So you must tell the installer exactly where and what you want to install since it will default to the first drive and attempt to modify Windows partition to give space to install. Don’t assume the installer can read your mind

Fast boot may be on in Windows which make the those partitions unmountable and also unmodifiable by Linux since it leaves the file system in a unknown state. So the installer can not modify or mount the Windows stuff if you are installing to the first drive which sound like is happening. Take control and tell it exactly where you want things to go. If this is EFI then you need to mount the existing EFI boot partition as /boot/efi

Some BIOS may have odd fast boot and shut down options which can be a problem.

I don’t want to argue with you, but I have reread my posts and it is apparent you misread them. In one post, I merely quoted what others were experiencing, and stated my situation (which differs somewhat to theirs) which is that I want Tumbleweed on its own, single drive.

To be absolutely clear: I have* two *(2) M.2 SSDs. One contains Windows; the other is where I wish to install Tumbleweed. The installer correctly nominates the SSD I wish to use as the target and proposes a series of partitions and other actions on the correct SSD (which I lack the knowledge to change) and seemingly has no interest in the Windows SSD at the “Preparing disk” stage. I do not want to install Tumbleweed onto the same physical drive as Windows.

Never at any stage have I proceeded in the belief that the installer is telepathic.

I do not think it is an issue with your partition settings - as tumbleweed is set to be installed on a separate SSD. It is also safe to let opensuse partition this drive. The problem is the install issue with the latest tumbleweed version (getting stuck - which we have both experienced). I got round this problem yesterday by installing from a tumbleweed iso from the end of May (that I had kept) and then updating to the latest version.

It sounds a bit of a faff but it might be easiest to install Leap (the last released version of Opensuse from July last year) and then update this to Tumbleweed. An alternative approach would be to try a net install. This installs a very basic system (the iso is only 106m )and uses your internet to install the rest of the distrubution. I must add that the install problem might also affect the net intstall (which I haven’t tested myself).

Thanks again for the reply, dth2. I agree with what you’ve said, and have considered both Leap and network installs, but my guess was that both would use much the same installer, so I might not get around the issue that way, but it is worth a try. Perhaps the speed or some other aspect of the NVMe drive is upsetting the installer. For sure, this is not a common issue so might take a while to resolve, and I may well expend a lot of time in the attempt. I even considered manually partitioning the drive and attempting an install of TW alongside Mint-KDE.

I was unaware that I could upgrade from Leap to Tumbleweed - but this is good to know.

I thought a lot about this yesterday and today (it’s morning here in Oz as I write this), and have decided to put off Tumbleweed for the time being - I have a pressing need to do some work on the (new) machine. And given that I have a functioning install of Mint-KDE right now, I think it best if I put TW to one side for a short while, and try again when I have more time.

I’m grateful for your suggestions and help (and so too, gogalthorp’s words), and am likely to revisit Tumbleweed in a few months - I don’t like to let things go unfinished, so I may yet give TW another try.


Michael P

I have the exact same issue. I’m using the openSUSE-Tumbleweed-NET-x86_64-Snapshot20160603-Media.iso (net install) on an older PC with a 1-TB spinning disk drive. The installer is very slow moving through the steps, then stops altogether at the “Preparing Disks” phase on the “Performing Installation” screen. In the “Actions Performed” field, it says “Creating volume /dev/sda1” and just sits there for eternity. I left it overnight to see if it would make any progress, but it didn’t.

The HDD is blank, so there is no conflicting partitions or current OSes. I’ve tried the X86-64 version and the i586 version. I’ve tried using two different thumb drives as boot media. I’ve even swapped the hard drive with a new SSD I just bought. Nothing has gotten me past the “Preparing Disks” step. I’m thinking it’s a problem with the latest release.

I’m sorry to hear that’s happening and is probably as frustrating to you as it has been to me and others.

I must admit though, I’m a little bit relieved to find it’s not restricted to just a couple of machines because that increases the chance of a fix.

I don’t like leaving things unfinished, to thought I’d try installing Leap. It went very well, except the networking was inoperational. Alienwares have the Killer wireless (and I think, ethernet) chip and this is relatively new and therefore problematic. I tried to get either up and running but was unable, and I can vouch for how painful it is attempting this without access to the web. Plus my relative unfamiliarity with Leap/TW

So, it’s back to Mint, I’m afraid. I’ll keep an eye out here from time to time, because as I have said, it is not a huge amount of work to replace on Linux with another.

I’m also having this problem. Yet, I cannot use the Leap solution, since I’m trying to install Tumbleweed to an old x86 laptop and Leap comes only 64 bit. I’m trying to find a list of the previous network ISOs but to no avail. Is there such a list? Is there a way to obtain a Tumbleweed Net ISO from May for example?

Just to chip in: I’m having the same issue on an i5 Skylake NUC. I was able to install Tumbleweed successfully in the past (about two weeks ago), but the newer snapshots didn’t work.