I've been happy with LMDE on my old test computer (no Gnome shell!), and am thinking of installing it on my work computer. Currently my work computer is a WIndow 7 dual-booting with Mint LXDE. Since the LMDE installer currently requires manual partitioning without any direction, a noob like me is in danger of messing up something important. So here is my question:
While distro hopping I've installed many distros, and I always use the 4-partition scheme that some web sites suggest: /boot (50MB), / (root), /home, and swap.
When things go wrong, it often goes wrong with the /boot partition. In mild cases, on startup the Grub splash screen displays more operating systems than are currently installed. Sometimes the entire OS gets installed into what I thought was the /boot partition. Or other booting problems.
When I don't manually create a /boot partition, though, things seem to go better. I have the impression that somewhere on the hard disk is a "master boot record" that doesn't show up as a partition on Gparted, but does the same job as a separate /boot partition. And I get the feeling that if I don't manually create a /boot partition, the MBR will still handle the dual boot while creating fewer problems.
I think my impressions must be wrong, though, because I've heard that you should avoid doing things that mess with the MBR.
So where have I gone wrong? And is there some trick to setting up the /boot partition to avoid problems?
This must be a stupid question, but I'd be very grateful for any advice.