Just installed latest PureOS. Now won't boot

Sometimes it says ‘Grub Loading …’ first, but it always gets to ‘Read Error’.

It is a Librem 15 laptop. Approx 5 years old.

PureOS was running on it, but had never been updated I figured it would be easier to just install the latest instead of a huge number of updates/upgrades that would likely fail anyways.

I picked the option to wipe the entire drive, because I wanted to start from scratch.

Why won’t it boot now? What’s wrong?

See image.


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Hi. In order to get better help, please post some information about what hardware you are using. It is possible to install PureOS on a wide range of hardware.


The post is tagged with librem-15 so one might assume that the hardware is a Librem 15.

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Does “just installed latest” mean

  • installed entire operating system from scratch, wiping out everything that was previously there, or
  • updated existing installation by applying updates?
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Updated original post.

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Do you have a version number for whether you downloaded PureOS Byzantium, or PureOS Crimson?

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Laptop is Version 3.
I downloaded Byzantium.


I did try installing Fedora 40 first. Got a similar error. Thought maybe this laptop really only supports PureOS.

Put the ISO on the USB stick using the Disks utility in Linux. Didn’t use the Balena Etcher utility mentioned on PureOS page

Not sure any of that info helps.

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Coreboot + SeaBIOS is outdated, so update it using these instructions:

Let us know afterwards if that resolves your issue.

Coreboot installed without an issue.

What I did was boot to PureOS Live, on the device I need to resolve this issue with.
I opened a terminal, and followed the the instructions.
Then, I booted to PureOS Live again, and installed PureOS.
I specified to erase the entire disk, and encrypted the disk.
Other than that, I accepted defaults.

Everything went as expected, except now when I boot, I get this:

I doubt there is a hardware issue, since it was running fine on the old PureOS install.

What now?

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OK. I made some progress … I think.

I reinstalled PureOS. This time, I specified to install the boot loader at /boot.

Now I get a bit more info, and I am thrown into grub rescue.

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I know you said the disk was working with the prior OS installation, but these do all sound like problems reading the disk. In particular, that last message from grub is pretty specific.

Do you have another disk or SSD you can try, at least temporarily to narrow down where we should troubleshoot?

Could you check the SMART data from the disk (e.g. with gsmartcontrol from a live boot) to see if it is reporting errors or indicators that it’s failing?


I have 4 near identical laptops. I need to update them all. So, I guess I could just start with another one, but I would rather not. I need to take a break from this, but will likely just order a new SSD and continue once it arrives. Thanks for your help! I’ll update later.

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I should add, that I did check the SMART data and every check passed with OK.

I did find an older and smaller SSD. As soon as any piece of hardware is suspect, (from a network cable to a drive) I usually trash it immediately. So, this spare I found should be good, but I don’t remember where I got it from either.

Guess what … I get the same ‘Read error’ message after booting to a fresh install of PureOS on that spare drive.

Odds are high then that this issue is NOT the disk, but I can’t be certain. The spare disk might have had an issue too.


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Just did a disk check and the SMART data report for this spare SSD came back with OK everywhere too.

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I just tried to install PureOS without Luks Disk Encryption.

This is impossible! The ‘Next’ button remains de-sensitized, until encryption is toggled on, and the passwords match.

I actually want encryption, but something is wrong if it is presented as an option, but actually isn’t.

This makes me suspect there are more things wrong with the installer.

Also, can someone explain when I should pick MBR, /boot, or no boot loader? I never setup Dual Boot. I am always 100% Linux.


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Being five years old I’d throw a new ssd in it and then see what happens.

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Provide the model name and capacity of the disk drive.

Here is the original SSD currently removed.

Here is the spare I have installed now.

I am about to head out to purchase a new SSD. Guess I could also install an M.2 instead as there is an empty slot in there. That might be a better option assuming there is a hardware issue with the SSD connection on the Motherboard. Maybe using a M.2 will bypass that?

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Great. Came home with an M.2 drive, and there is no mounting screw in the Librem chassis for it. Just the standoff. So, now I waste a hour driving again back to the store. Why? So that Purism could save $0.005 USD? Frustrating!

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