The installer encountered an unrecoverable error. A desktop session will now be run

Getting this error while trying to dual boot zorin os with windows 10.
In the live environment, double clicking the installer doesn't do anything. The mouse goes to the loading sign for some time and goes back to normal.
This isn't the first time I've had the issue where the installer wasn't booting, linux mint xfce behaves in a similar way.
My bios mode is UEFI Native (without CSM)

Edit: Answering some questions.

Installing Z16 Core.
CPU: i5-4300U
Intel HD 4400 (not too hd)
Ram: 4 GB
HDD: ~300 gb
I've verified the hashes and my ISO seems alright.
I'm using rufus.
The error pops up a bit after i click "try or install zorin os" the installer just doesnt show.

@DemigodKushal Hi and welcome to the forum.
First off, have you looked at this: Before you install

Which version and flavour of ZorinOS are you trying? e.g. Z16Core, Pro or maybe Z15.3 Lite.

What is spec of your machine? e.g CPU, RAM, disk.

Welcome to the forum. I hope that you'll become a part of this community.

The usual cause of the error you are getting is a bad installation USB/CD, but that doesn't seem to be the situation in your case, because you've had the issue with Linux Mint, so we will no doubt have to dig deeper.

However, on the off chance that something is not right with your installation media, let me ask the basics:

(1) Are you attempting to install from a CD or a USB?
(2) If a USB, did you prepare the USB using balenaEtcher**, or did you use a different burner?
(3) If a CD, what burn-speed setting did you use (lowest possible speed is usually the most reliable)?
(4) Did you (or the installer) run a checksum to verify the installation iso?
(5) At what point during the process do you see the "The installer encountered an unrecoverable error. A desktop session will now be run so that you may investigate the problem or try installing again." error message?

I am asking these questions because the "unrecoverable error" message most often results from bad installation media, but @zabadabadoo's questions will more likely result in a solution given your particular circumstances. Your hardware specs are particularly important.

** balenaEtcher is often the source of problems. Since you have Windows on your computer, you might try creating the installation media with rufus if you have been using balenaEtcher, and see if that solves the problem.


@tomscharbach @zabadabadoo
Updated the main post.


From what you've said the installation USB and Zorin iso are fine. The CPU/GPU (i5-4300U/HD-4400 onboard) are vanilla for Linux. The USB Live session works, so that suggests that there are no inherent incompatibilities with other system hardware. The point at which you are encountering the error suggests a block early in the installation process, a block showing up during some sort of pre-check.

Assuming that you are following suggested BIOS/Windows settings (UEFI/EFI, SecureBoot disabled, FastBoot disabled, GPT-formatted hard drive, Bitlocker off, hard drive SATA set to AHCI, and so on), then I'm going to do a deeper look.

I have two questions to help narrow down the problem:

(1) What is the make/model of your computer? I ask because some Lenovo, HP, and Acer models of what seem to be your computer's generation have been known to have issues.

(2) You've encountered the issue with Linux Mint and Zorin. Both are Ubuntu derivatives. Have you encountered the issue with any other distros? Which? I ask because the issue might be Ubuntu-specific, which narrows the search for a solution.

What flashing tool did you use ? possible a corrupt file on the usb ?

OP has been updated stating:

At this point, did you also attempt the other option to "Try ZorinOS"?
Does that also get stuck?

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Good catch. This is a critical question. I jumped right over it, assuming that the Live session booted correctly. As I read back, the error appears to come right after @DemigodKushal clicks clicks "try or install zorin os". That suggests that the installer never loads at all.

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Hello again, sorry for the delayed response.

  1. I'm using the HP Elitebook 820 G1.

  2. Heres the "weird" part. Until a few days ago I was running a dual boot with pop os. The only thing I've seemed to notice is that when flashing pop os, it prompted me to use the "dd mode" which I did. I haven't tried that mode with zorin os and linux mint. I'll be trying it later today hopefully.


The Live session works perfectly it seems. Just the installer never starts.

You may want to re-burn using iso mode in rufus. When i tried dd in rufus i couldn't get the live image to boot. Your mileage may differ.

I know you are probably tired of questions already, but we are still trying to narrow the possibilities down, how old is your hdd?

Pretty old ( I dunno the exact age ) The laptop itself is 5 years old.

Also tried DD Mode, same issue.

Have you checked the Drive integrity using SMART monitor tool?

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I'll do that rn.

Edit: Could you give a link?

Giving up on this problem. If anyone in the future finds a solution Please mail me at ***********

Thanks for all the help!

@DemigodKushal I have edited and obscured your email address from the above message.

Important Note: Revealing your email address on any public forum is a bad idea as it may be harvested and you will get lots of spam or worse.

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That was a useless email address that I use for extra stuff, no problem tho. Have a great day.