Some searching found me this suggestion, which actually seems to work:
hi, try this:Question for folks with more hardware fu than I have: Do I care that I've turned off AHCI mode on a netbook? My choices are AHCI or Compatibility; in Compatibility mode ubuntu boots up ok.
on startup press F2
on bios > avanced > SATA controller Mode change AHCI to Compatibility
and that's it!
Thanks for any thoughts.
I'm running ubuntu 11.04, 32-bit.