Ade Malsasa Akbar contact
Senior author, Open Source enthusiast.
Wednesday, December 30, 2020 at 23:16

This article shows how to boot a T430 laptop in BIOS (Legacy) and UEFI mode with Ubuntu operating systems. Thus, you will be able to boot either a hard disk, a solid state drive, or a USB flash to install such OS. Setups mentioned in this article are useful to help you install Ubuntu in modern standard UEFI-boot, GPT-partitioned, even in a 16GB USB mass storage. Now, let's learn!

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  • F1 = enter BIOS.
  • Enter = execute command.
  • Esc = cancel selection / command.
  • Arrows = switch selection.
  • F10 = save and exit BIOS.
  • F12 = enter Boot Options.
  • Ctrl+Alt+Del = restart.


ThinkPad Boot Screen

When initialized, a ThinkPad laptop normally shows screen like below while saying you can press a certain key, Enter here, to access more options including BIOS. On T430, the wording is "To interrupt normal startup, press Enter". This boot screen always appears every time you start your laptop. If you do not see this boot screen, or if there is a delay by an unusual long time, then it is a sign that there is something wrong with your laptop.

Enter BIOS

Press F1 key to enter ThinkPad's BIOS. Unlike some other brands / models, with ThinkPad you can start BIOS by doing press hold F1 and then pressing power button without repeatedly pressing that key. Below is picture of a BIOS that displays basic information of a Lenovo ThinkPad T430. To read the information, for example, this laptop is using CPU: Intel Core i5, memory: 4 GB, and BIOS version: G1ETxxxx released by 2012.


Press left-down-right-up (arrow) keys to move selection. Press Enter key to choose or execute a selection. Press plus / minus key to change value, for example, to move a hard disk down and a USB up in the boot priority. Press TAB to change between tabs in the Boot Options (the F12) when booting without entering BIOS.

Save and Restart

Press F10 key to save all changes made in BIOS and restart automatically after that. You will do this often.


Boot Device Selection 

Press F12 keys when startup to enter Boot Options menu instead of BIOS. This displays list of boot devices which you can select and boot. This is the quick access to boot either a CD, USB, an external HDD, a secondary disk drive in the same laptop, or anything else as long as it is recognized already by the BIOS. Picture below shows a T430 showing a "ubuntu" boot option (1st), DVDROM (2nd), HDD (3rd), and LAN (4th).

Enable BIOS Legacy Mode

Set UEFI/Legacy Boot to [Legacy Only] under BIOS > StartUp if you want to install or livecd an Ubuntu operating system in BIOS mode. The word "legacy" is the same as "BIOS" in the sense of technology mode for OS installation. Picture below shows a T430 with Legacy Only set so this laptop can only boot a HDD, or an SSD, or a CD, or a USB that is bootable or installed with Ubuntu operating system in BIOS mode. Most people will still need this mode greatly for example to install a 32 bit GNU/Linux distro.

Enable UEFI Mode

Set UEFI/Legacy Boot to [UEFI Only] in the same place of above if you want to install or livecd in UEFI mode instead. This is what you need mostly when you want a dualboot install with Windows 8 up to 10, or when your hard disk drive is GPT-partitioned.

Enable BIOS-UEFI Mode

Set UEFI/Legacy Boot to [Both] to enable double mode BIOS-UEFI so you will never worry to use any device you have anywhere anytime. You can set Legacy First (UEFI later), or set UEFI First (Legacy later) after UEFI/Legacy Boot Priority right below it. The recommended choice is Legacy First to be the most compatible with most devices. This setup is a solution if you want to avoid frequent BIOS setup so you can boot your Legacy-based as well as UEFI-based Ubuntu operating system disks.

I apologize for the poor photos quality. 

That's all. Happy installing!

This article is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.