So I just got my new laptop (a Dell Precision 5510, i7/16GB/1TB SSD/4k) and after upgrading the pre-installed Win7 to Win10 and shrinking the 1TB disk to create an empty 700GB partition, I booted elementary OS “Freya” 0.3.2 (64bit) from a USB created with unetbootin.

So far so good; choosing “Try without installing” I arrived at the desktop where I could start the installer. The first problem was that no partitions showed up at all in the “Installation type” screen. What could be the reason for not detecting the empty 700GB partition on the SSD?

This issue was due to having the SATA mode set to RAID in BIOS. It was resolved by first following this post, then switching SATA mode to AHCI in BIOS and booting to Safe Mode in Windows which seems to install the AHCI driver needed to start Windows in AHCI mode.

After this, I was able to again restart from the elementary USB, chose “Try without installing” and started the installer from the desktop. When arriving at the “Installation type” screen I was able to see the SSD, hooray! :)

However, after finishing the installer it rebooted straight into Windows, bypassing GRUB – but that’s a topic for the next post.