My name is Tom Ghormley
I live in Sacramento, CA
My email address is

I purchased a new Windows 7/HP laptop specifically to install and learn about Ubuntu.
I downloaded 10.04 on my iMac, burned it to disc and spent an hour
trying to get my HP to recognize it.
No luck, so I used a 9.10 disc from a magazine.
I get the initial screen, choose a language and select either "try it"
or "install it".
The CD drive chatters happily for a while, all the time the screen is blank.
After several minutes and several sessions of head chattering, it
becomes quiet.
The screen is still blank and the power light is glowing.
I've tried it several times and I always get to this spot but no
further, even if I leave it for an hour.
Since I know of no one locally to help with this obstacle, I wonder if I might impose upon someone on the web to assist me with my installation.
My Linux experience is just north of nil.

I will also be happy to reimburse you for your time and efforts.
Please let me know.

Burning ISOs

A common mistake is to burn the ISO as a data disk. You need to open up the ISO file in your burning programme. Think of it as a compressed file. The burned disk will then include all of the files inside the ISO and not the ISO itself. See:

If you did this, then next consider that the ISO may have been downloaded with errors. The burning programme should check for errors, but it is a possibility.

Finally the disk may have errors and you may need to burn it at a lower speed.

The disk from the magazine is another question. It obviously is good. The screen with try it is called grub. It is the boot loader for Linux. What is happening is that it is running in quiet mode and because of this you are not seeing what is happening, hence the blank screen. Behind the scenes it is stalling somewhere and you cannot see what is causing the problem. You need to get it out of quiet mode and into text mode so that you can view the boot process and see what is happening and not happening.

See this page for grub and how to change the boot options and get it out of quiet mode:


Your mac is trying to be too clever

The problem is the burning speed of the default mac software.

I had this problem trying to install, where the disc burning function of Disk Utility only allows me to choose 2x or 4x speeds. If you burn the iso at 1x speed it should definitely work. For that, will do the trick.

Good luck :)