Cannot install Ubuntu 11.04 on Dell Latitude E6420

Asked by Otakar Smrz on 2011-08-20


on my brand new Dell Latitude E6420 which already has Windows 7 Professional (Czech Republic) installed by the manufacturer, I cannot install or even run Ubuntu 11.04 (either 32-bit or 64-bit) from the installation USB flash disk that I made according to the Ubuntu website.

When booting from the USB flash, I do see the Ubuntu screen that lets me choose whether to try or install Ubuntu. If I select "try", I get a black screen with vertical white and black stripes (each about 1 milimeter thin) in the right part of the screen. I can hear the Ubuntu welcome melody, but I have no option to proceed from the screen or do any other action other than restart.

If I select "install", I do get the same black screen with white thin stripes, but no sound is played. There is no other option to proceed with the installation.

My Dell Latitude E6420 has a NVIDIA graphics card and a HD+ resolution 1600x900.

I tried the very same USB on a Dell Studio 1558, also with Windows 7 Professional (Czech Republic) installed, but with 1366x768 resolution 15'' screen. The "try Ubuntu" option works without any problems.

I am very unhappy since I bought Dell Latitude E6420 based on the Ubuntu Certified status:

I would very much appreciate your help and advice.

Is it possible to obtain some installation images for pre-installed versions of Ubuntu 11.04 or 10.10, so that I could find a way out of this situation?

Thank you very much.


Otakar Smrz

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Hi Otakar,

Unfortunately it looks like what has happened here is that because there is a configuration of the E6420 with Intel graphics (rather than NVidia) which has passed certification with 11.04, the system is appearing as certified for 11.04 in both configurations whereas the actual case it that the NVidia graphics configuration is certified with (pre-installed) 10.10 and the Intel graphics configuration is certified with both.

The only option that might work is to see if there is an option in the BIOS to change the graphics system used to the Intel one (the E6420 is what is called an Optimus system, where there are both Intel and Nvidia graphics systems available and it may be possible to switch between the two). I sincerely hope that works for you.

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