Why does my Ubuntu Live CD not work properly?

Saptashwa Bandyopadhyay March 24, 2011
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I have used Ubuntu (and other flavors of Linux) before. The Live Ubuntu (9.14 or 10.10) Live CDs used to work fine.

When I upgraded to Windows 7 (on the exact same hardware), I upgraded the BIOS using a .exe file. Now I’m thinking that has been the problem.

When I pop in the Live CD during the BIOS checks, it goes past the splash screen, then freezes at the Radiance background, but the cursor works (read “moves as I move the mouse”). It stays like that for 30 minutes.

I need the Live CD to manage the partitions. I’m thinking of a fresh install of Windows 7 and Ubuntu. I really like GParted. So what I need to know basically is how to downgrade the BIOS, preferably within Windows.

  1. Tina
    March 27, 2011 at 6:14 pm


    did you try any of the other advice above and were you able to solve the issues with the Live CD in the meantime? Let us know what did the trick or in case none of the tips worked. Thank you!

  2. Sarah Alli Brotherton
    March 24, 2011 at 8:35 pm

    I had this problem with a Live CD- exact same symptoms. I thought it was a problem with the disk but I tried burning several different ones and the problem persisted. I was using the same source .iso but I had run an md5sum checksum on it, so that couldn't be the problem, right?
    I ended up downloading a new .iso and burning it on a different CD and the problem was fixed. Before you mess with your BIOS and likely brick your computer, be sure to try burning a new CD using a new .iso on a different computer.

    • Saptashwa
      March 25, 2011 at 8:33 am

      Thanks for your reply. But I have already burned a new Ubuntu 10.10 disc. It went to the menu, but after that I wanted to go back and use the "Try It without installing". When I went back, the radiance screen came up. Then I had to shut down the computer by directly powering off the UPS. And then this problem occurs.

  3. Anonymous
    March 24, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    Reset the CMOS battery and see if it will help with your Ubuntu.

    1)download the windows flash version of the bios you wish to downgrade to
    2)once the bios is on the hard drive double click the file
    3)The file will run in the background and eventually reach the "you can't downgrade" error. DO NOT click "ok" or whatever it says on the error popup. IGNORE IT (for now)

    4)In windows explorer navigate to /windows/temp/winphlash

    5)Here you want to do a [ctrl] + A to select all of the files then Copy all of the files to a new location. like C:Bios. Make sure that all of the files copied successfully, then you can finally click "ok" on the error from earlier.

    6)Open the file: C:BiosPHLASH.INI with notepad

    inside the file, you want to look for the lines that say:

    Change the value from 0 to 1

    Save your changes

    You should now be able to run the flash interactively

    March 24, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    Hello, just a comment, playing with the BIOS is a big risk. You have to be sure of what you are doing because if you are not, the end result is a bricked computer. Gparted is a really good tool for partitioning. Also the partition utility that comes with Windows 7 is pretty good and quick but it has less options.

    In order for you to downgrade your BIOS, you would have to go to your computer's manufacturer site and download the flashing tool they provide. If it is a home built computer, you could go to the motherboards manufacturer and download the tool. Also make sure you download the BIOS version you know works, in your case the previous version you had installed. Also, you have to realize that sometimes it is just not possible to downgrade your BIOS. If your downgrade does not work, sometimes you could try removing the CMOS battery and try again.

    The process should go like this:
    -- if it is a laptop, make sure you are connected to electrical outlet, otherwise it will not let you do it
    -- download the BIOS file
    -- download the flashing tool for BIOS
    -- start the flashing tool for BIOS
    -- point it to BIOS file you want to install
    -- let the process run its course
    -- restart computer

    Very important: make backups before you implement any of this. This is a very tricky procedure that might render your computer useless.

    if your BIOS is made by Award:

    if your BIOS is made by AMI:

    For PHOENIX and AMI:

    If you are comfortable working with DOS, you can download the following tool to make any USB drive bootable. When that is accomplished, just download the flashing utility on a DOS format: