Ubuntu: USB Installer `Initramfs unpacking failed: Decoding failed`

Date: 2020-11-23 | ubuntu | usb | troubleshoot


I was trying to dual boot Ubuntu and continually running into an issue running my Ubuntu Live USB on my Lenovo P720. Whenever I would boot into my Live USB I would get the error Initramfs unpacking failed: Decoding failed and a black screen with glitchy colors on it.


I solved this by doing two things:

  1. Disabling Secure Boot
  2. Running Ubuntu in Safe Graphics mode

Disabling Secure Boot

To disable secure boot:

  • Enter your system's BIOS menu
  • Go to BIOS settings
  • Find the Secure Boot configuration setting
  • Set Secure Boot to disabled (or false on some machines)

Run Ubuntu in Safe Graphics mode

The next thing I did was run Ubuntu in Safe Graphics mode. Safe Graphics mode runs Ubuntu with graphics configurations that play nice with most graphics cards. In my case, I was running an Nvidia GTX 4000 and that seemed to be crashing the normal Ubuntu install.

To run in Safe Graphics mode:

  • Enter your system's BIOS menu
  • Select your Live USB to boot into Ubuntu GRUB menu
  • From GRUB, you should see two options Ubuntu and Ubuntu (Safe Graphics), select the latter

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