It boots, gives the install menu, so you can choose "start or install ubuntu," or "install in safe graphics mode" (i tried both) After loading for a little bit, it gives me the following blue screen: "Failed to start the X server (your graphical interface). It is likely that it is not set up correctly. Would you like to view the X server output to diagnose the problem?"
The Dell Inspiron 5160, contains the XGI Volari XP5 video card.
I don't think Ubuntu has these drivers, or perhaps they are on the disk but the hardware isn't being recognised.
The important piece of information here is that this card maker was bought by Trident, so look for them in the list of drivers, to see the list, you need to type in the following. Use Ctrl-Alt-F1 to get access to a terminal
ubuntu@ubuntu sudo dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg
From here I was able to select Trident
Select defaults for everything
then from a terminal, do the following
sudo /etc/init.d/gdm stop
sudo /etc/init.d/gdm start
It looks like 1024×768 is the resolution to go for.
Try system-config-display from a terminal and see if you can set the correct resolution, 1024×768 or whatever is correct for your laptop's lcd