New install of 24.04 Will Not Boot

I deleted the boot options present in BIOS and selected 'add another'. It then offered \EFI with the choice of 'ubuntu' (lower case) which I opened and it offered the choice of grubx64.efi which I selected. So I think it's configured as you direct. This BIOS doesn't offer me a chance to type a pathname just a choice of files, one of which is the one you want but grub doesn't seem to get the message because when I try to boot I get the same result.

According to the DELL 8960 BIOS page, https://www.dell.com/support/home/en-us/drivers/driversdetails?driverid=247wd the update should be XPS8960_1.4.0_x64.exe but you wrote a different file in post 15. Can you update the bios with the correct file?

Try to install 22.04 and tell us if that works.

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The Dell website is a bit confusing. If you go to the link you sent and enter the service tag of my machine it links you to XPS8960_2.5.0_x64 which is marked as CRITICAL. Dell bios update program actually blocks installation of XPS8960_1.4.0_x64 as downgrade not allowed.

So I'm burning ubuntu-22.04.4-desktop-amd64.iso now and will report back on its install.

Attempted install of ubuntu-22.04.4-desktop-amd64.iso gives error message '1.721856 nouveau unknown chipset'.
Attempted install of ubuntu-mate-22.04.4-desktop-amd64.iso gives same unknown chipset error message.

I've tried to install other distros to this system with similar errors to the above. Ubuntu 24.04 is the only one that seems to have recognized the new hardware and succeeded as it got all the way through to the end 'press restart' and then 'remove installation medium' and then found and started itself. And it seems to be present on the ssd but for some reason can't be found by the boot process.

Should I be concerned that boot-repair right up front reports 'nvram locked' whatever that is and how do I turn it off?

I really don't understand what's going on here.

Do you have a gpu installed (which?) or are you using the Intel Graphics in the chip?

nvram locked has to do with secure boot but you disabled that. You could turn off the pc, remove the power cord, remove the cmos battery for 5 min, put the battery back in, plug in the power cord, and boot. The purpose is to wipe every ram in the pc so the bios should start with defaults.

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I'm unsure about the cmos reboot as I'm so ignorant in this area. Is it pretty certain that the computer will still boot after this?

You don't have to do this, it was a suggestion. I dont know what else to suggest but your pc does not like ubuntu. Your pc is the latest and bios needs some tweaking to boot Linux.

The motherboard has a coin sized battery (CR2032) which is used to keep ram powered so it does not loose its data. (like the custom configs you did in BIOS). By removing the battery, ram will be cleared, you insert the battery again, the motherboard is happy, and will boot in its default state.

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Thanks for the clear picture. I think I'll probably try it tomorrow after some more reading about it.

I, of course, understand that any advice I solicit in a forum such as this does not entail any responsibility whatsoever by the giver. I'm grateful that you care to help.

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I tried a kluge copying the efi files to a usb drive and making it the first choice to boot from but the new and not very satisfactory bios interface Dell has doesn't show boot order and its 'create boot item' doesn't allow the choice of usb drive.

So I removed the cmos battery for six minutes and tried a new install with same result. It installs right up to 'press restart', starts reboot, pauses and says 'remove media now', continues and boots 24.04 to all appearances fine, but then when that's restarted it fails to boot.

This is disappointing as I put 22.04.4 on a new XPS 8950 just a year or two ago and have been very satisfied with it.

I'm giving up and Dell is sending me a return label.

Thanks to everyone here who has tried so persistently to help, particularly pavos_kairis.

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