Install on old laptop

I attempted to install LEAP on an old laptop that has bios boot and I can’t seem to get it to recognize the bootloader. It’s been a long time since I installed Linux on a bios boot machine, so I’m going to ask, what do I need to do? I tried installing the bootloader to the MBR record on /dev/sda, but that didn’t work. Help is appreciated, thanks.

Did you succeed to boot, but only get a black screen? Without details about what you accomplished or tried or what hardware you have in that laptop, or what happens when you try to boot, we have no basis on which to begin to suggest what steps to take.

I installed the OS via the installer, and chose the option to install the bootloader to the MBR record of /dev/sda. Upon reboot I get a no operating system found error. I can boot from the hard drive using the installation media, but the laptop does not recognize the bootloader. I also tried installing the bootloader to a separate /boot partition, with the same results. This is an old Dell xps L502x laptop.

Did the installer use DOS partitioning or GPT partitioning?

Perhaps it used GPT partitioning, and you have an old BIOS that is confused.

Boot the install media to the rescue system. Login at the command line as root, and run:

fdisk -l /dev/sda

That should tell you what kind of partitioning is in use.

There is a BIOS update for XPS 15 L502X dated 04-Jun-2020, did you install? I use opensuse on Dell latitude/precision notebooks without problems. Did you use a fresh SSD for install? Or re-use an old SSD/HDD?

What caused you to make this assessment?

“Upon reboot I get a no operating system found error.” maybe? :wink:

As others have suggested, it is difficult to know what the problem is; I have Leap 15.3 running on a 2007 Dell notebook with no problems at all. I originally installed Leap 15.1 on it and have command line updated it since then without problems. What bios do you have installed?

It was the partition table. I did not notice a way to change it initially, but I went back over the installation again and found the option to use a bios partition table. It now boots successfully.

Nice to hear when someone solves without need for help. :slight_smile:

I just needed a hint. The question about the partition table was helpful. I went back through the installer after I got that response in my email and searched for a way to change the partition table. I don’t recall where it was now, other than under some menu option within the partitioner. So, thanks for the assistance to all who responded. :slight_smile:

Good. This is usual for all old machines (Pre 2014 I find)