Installed Zorin 15.3 Core and now laptop is totally stuck!

I have a cheap laptop: ASUS E403S Laptop - Intel Pentium CPU 2GB RAM 32GB eMMC Storage 14" Screen Windows 10 … I think it was upgraded to Win11 before trying this Zorin installation. So, I installed Zorin 15.3 Core (“Zorin-OS-15.3-Core-64-bit.iso”) on this machine, from a USB. Before that the machine was performing very slowly (=poorly). The installation went normally, without problems. And there were no visible errors to mention during the process.

BUT after installation (after re-boot) I got into very bad glitch/Catch-22 dilemma! When starting the laptop again it doesn’t recognize anything on the USB and the only other thing it does is it comes into a menu that has three choices:

  1. Zorin
  2. Advanced options for Zorin
  3. System setup
    On the bottom of the screen it has three keyboard options, but they are basically the same as those three listed choices too. And there is a timer bar on top of the screen … advancing… if you do not choose anything it will choose number one of those choices (starting Zorin) .

If I choose number one all I get is this:
error: /boot/ vmlinuz – 5.4.0-96-generic has invalid signature
errorr: you need to load the kernel first.
Press any key to continue...

And I get nowhere from this message…. Since it brings me back to the original 3-listing

If I choose number two all I get is this:

Zorin, with Linux 5.4.0-96-generic
Zorin, with Linux 5.4.0-96-generic (recovery mode)
Zorin, with Linux 5.4.0-47-generic
Zorin, with Linux 5.4.0-47-generic (recovery mode)

When choosing any of these lines I get the same message as in first case (with the exception of those “96” -→”47” changes in text.

The third option takes me to the Asus BIOS (American Megatrends, version 213, GOP version 8.0.1033) … where I can only choose now the “ubuntu” as my boot preferences.

I AM STUCK! Can you help….. please.

One more thing: Anything else I seem to able to do at startup is to hit ESC while starting... and then it takes me into GNU GRUB version 2.02 view with some text and then the command line saying “grub>”. Since I am noobie in the Asus I am at loss.

This laptop does not have possibility to just remove the hard drive since it is welded I guess on the motherboard.

How can I get the computer back somehow so I can re-install Zorin (any other version) or any other Linux distro???

Hi and welcome to the forum.
I see you have Z15.3 Core. That should just about run on your machine but 2GB RAM and 32GB eMMc will be a performance challenge. But I once ran Z15.3 Core on 2.5GB RAM.

I assume you intend to run only ZorinOS from the 32GB drive and have wiped Windows.

That is your Grub menu.
The normal choice is Zorin, but see you get an error message.

Until someone else comes along that can help you. Can you please have a look at this pre-installation checklist. Before you install

If you want to confirm the SHA256 checksum for Z15.3 Core, it is:

Zorin OS 15.3 Core 64-bit ISO sha256 checksum


Also, in your BIOS settings, are you set to AHCI or to RAID?

Thanks zabadabadoo for the comments!

Sorry for not following the proper protocol (I am not probably so unusual in this case :smiley: :frowning: ) --> should have checked the checklist before installing & checksum viability! Darn! Now when I check you check list ... I WISH I had done that! :roll_eyes: It would helped me so.

Also... I do not understand much about (being over sixty is my excuse) the OSs, be they Linux or Windows based. Maybe I know more about Windows but moving on to Linux. I better follow this checking rule from now on! :slight_smile:

Grub ---> Ok, I learned that it is the basic boot loader for the OS. Did not know even that.

Had to learn something also about the checksum business and how to do it in Linux. Oh, well... my Zorin file "sum" came out as this one:
--> which turns out to be ok I guess.

About your assumption (I intend to run only ZorinOS from the 32GB drive and have wiped Windows). = That was 100% correct. :smiley:

One question though... now that you know my hardware I would kindly ask to help me narrow my search for a simple Linux distro that would fit into this basic, cheap laptop? This laptop is solely geared up for my father (look at my age and think how old he is then), who is basically listening with it some language recordings. And he also watches via HDMI (->TV ) some online stuff (streaming, local TV). And maybe uses the browser to read online newspapers. So the needs are not that great and he is using the Windows 7/10 environment for other stuff so he likes the Linux not to be that different from the WIndows desktop. Any suggestion are appreciated!

So my file was at least the right one. So it must be the hardware problems....on to the next issue....BIOS....

No worries. Coming here first time with a stuck installation you would be forgiven not searching in Tutorials. I just steered you to the "Before you install" thread as a starting point as that covers simple basic checks that are necessary and maybe overlooked.

You have now verified your Z15.3 iso is good and not a problem.

Check out the other items in that checklist.

Also answer @Aravisian 's question about your BIOS settings. I have in mind that eMMC storage has specific issues, that he may know more about than me.

Hi Aravisian and thanks for your question!

Since I am (as stated before) no BIOS expert (by any imagination, oh no) and for example this UEFI (standard firmware interface for new PCs pre-installed with Windows 8/10, which is designed to replace BIOS (basic input/output system)) and RAID are not known for me at all.
--> I had no idea that this type of BIOS is even on any machines... I am basically knowledgeable of the traditional BIOSs only, those present in the older Windows machines typically. So my Windows is gone now (after Zorin installation) and I have no access (?) to the "UEFI BIOS" either, so all I have to play is I guess that originally mentioned American Megatrends BIOS. And in that one I see no AHCI or RAID. BUt after reading about them in wiki Advanced Host Controller Interface - Wikipedia) I suspect that you are on to the problem at hand.

I have tried all kinds of setups in the BIOS but have not succeeded in either getting the Zorin to work in some form... or to get the laptop to recognize that there is an alternative USB flash drive ...
One possible way to rectify the situation... could be that in the BIOS menu (Main/Advanced/Boot/Security/Save&Exit) there is in Boot section this "Delete Boot Option" and "Add Boot Option". The first gives me the possibility to delete the "ubuntu". What about deleting it? Would that maybe help me?

I would not recommend changes to this.

We still commonly say "BIOS" so people know what we are talking about... but these days, it is the EFI Settings. I will often combine it to BIOS / EFI settings, again, so users know where to go.
In the case of American Megatrends:

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