How to Perform a Mint4win Installation of Mint 13 32-bit

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How to Perform a Mint4win Installation of Mint 13 32-bit

Postby karlchen on Thu Jul 05, 2012 6:55 pm

Abstract

This post will give you a step by step instruction on how to perform a Mint4win installation of Mint 13 32-bit successfully, even though the Mint 13 release notes state
Release Notes for Linux Mint 13 wrote:Mint4win [...] is only functional with the 64-bit ISOs.

Affected editions:
  • Linux Mint 13 "Maya" 32-bit, Cinnamon Desktop
  • Linux Mint 13 "Maya" 32-bit, MATE Desktop
  • Linux Mint 13 "Maya" 32-bit, Xfce Desktop
Although the Release Notes are right with respect to the originial Linux Mint 13 32-bit ISOs, released and published in May 2012, by now it has been found out that what prevents Mint4win from performing a successful installation is indeed not Mint4win itself, but a trivial error inside the initrd.lz file which it uses during the installation.
In this post you will get a step-by-step instruction on how to fix or rather work around the mentioned error thus performing a successful Mint4win installation.
All those readers who are not really keen on messing around with initrd.lz themselves may be glad to learn that the forum user breaker has made available for download a corrected ISO-file holding Linux Mint 13 "Maya" 32-bit, MATE Desktop, and that he is about to make available for download a corrected ISO-file holding Linux Mint 13 "Maya" 32-bit, Cinnamon Desktop.

References



Symptoms telling you you are affected:

You perform a Mint4win installation of Mint 13 32-bit. The target Windows machine uses 1 or more drives formatted as NTFS filesystems. Mint4win has completed those steps which can be performed under Windows. Mint4win has rebooted the system in order to execute the second phase of the installation. This second phase is performed by a Linux Live system stored on the Windows target drive of your Mint4win installation.
When this Linux Mint live system tries to start up you will read error messages like the following
caribiz wrote:BusyBox v1.18.5 (Ubuntu 1:1.18.5-1ubuntu4) built-in shell (ash)
Enter 'help' for a list of built-in commands.

(initramfs) Begin: Running /scripts/casper-premount ... done.
Begin: ...waiting for devs... ... done.
stdin: error 0
/sbin/mount.ntfs: line 1: ELF: not found
/sbin/mount.ntfs: line 2: : not found
/sbin/mount.ntfs: line3: syntax error: unexpected ")"
mount: mounting /dev/sda7 on /isodevice failed: No such device
Warning: Cannot mount /dev/sda7 on /isodevice

Could not find the ISO /linuxmint-13-cinnamon-dvd-32bit.iso
Needless to say that the installation will not be performed.


How to solve the problem:

Prerequisites
  • A bootable DVD, holding either of the two affected Linux Mint 13 32-bit editions, Mate Desktop or Cinnamon Dektop
  • A Windows 7 system, 32-bit or 64-bit which can be booted from the Mint 13 DVD. The system must also have a functional USB interface where you can plug in a USB stick.
  • A USB stick having a minimum of 20 MB free space on it.

One time action: fixing the faulty initrd.lz file
  • Boot the machine from the Mint 13 32-bit DVD and select to "Start Linux Mint"
  • Once the live system is ready, launch a terminal window.
  • Execute
    Code: Select all
    mount
    and locate the line referring to your DVD. Here it is /dev/sr0, mounted on /cdrom.
  • Execute
    Code: Select all
    cd /cdrom/casper
    ls -al
    You will see the names vmlinuz and initrd.lz. These two files will be copied to the Windows machine during the first (Windows) phase of your Mint4win installation later on. It is this initrd.lz which holds the errors that we are going to correct.
  • Execute
    Code: Select all
    cd
    to return to your home folder and
    Code: Select all
    mkdir x
    to create a subfolder named x and finally
    Code: Select all
    cd x
    in order to enter the new sub-folder.
  • Execute
    Code: Select all
    zcat /cdrom/casper/initrd.lz | cpio -i -d
    This will extract the content of initrd.lz to your current folder, preserving the folder structure inside initrd.lz
  • Execute
    Code: Select all
    cd sbin
    ls -al mount.ntf*
    file mount.ntf*
    This will list two files and reveal that they are 64-bit ELF executables although in fact they should be 32-bit ELF executables.
  • Execute
    Code: Select all
    ls -al ../bin/ntfs-3g
    file ../bin/ntfs-3g
    This will list a correct 32-bit version of the same file, only having a slightly different name.
  • Correct the error by executing
    Code: Select all
    cp ../bin/ntfs-3g ./mount.ntfs
    cp ../ntfs-3g ./mount.ntfs-3g
  • Verify the files are correct now by executing
    Code: Select all
    file mount.ntf*
  • Now we need to recreate a new initrd.lz file by repacking the whole sub-folder sturcture. Execute
    Code: Select all
    cd ~/x
    find . | cpio -o -H newc | gzip -9 > ../initrd.lz
    This will generate a new initrd.lz file in your home folder.
    Code: Select all
    cd
    ls -al initrd.lz
    If it is not there you have not followed the instructions carefully enough.
  • Insert your USB stick and wait till it has been automatically mounted. Feel free to use Nautilus to perform the next steps, even though I will give the commandlines, because they require less typing.
    My stick is /dev/sde1 and got mount under /media/INTENSO. (OK, so you now know who the manufacturer is. :wink:)
    Code: Select all
    mkdir /media/INTENSO/initrd
    cp ~/initrd.lz /media/INTENSO/initrd/initrd.lz
    By now there is a folder named initrd on the stick, holding exactly one file, the file initrd.lz which we have just created.
  • Umount the stick or tell Nautilus to safely unplug it.
  • The repair job is finished: We have got the repaired initrd.lz on our USB stick.
    We are now ready to reboot to Windows and perform the Mint4win installation.
    So tell your Mint Live System to reboot.

Performing a successful installation of Mint4win for Linux Mint 13 32-bit
  • Boot up your Windows system normally and login.
  • Insert the Linux Mint 13 DVD.
  • Navigate to mint4win.exe on the DVD, right-click it and select "Run As Administrator"
  • Select "Install inside Windows".
    Select the Windows drive where you want your Mint4win installation to go. - I selected drive D:
    Confirm the suggested foldername "linuxmint". - So Mint will be found inside D:\linuxmint here.
    Assign a decent disk size to your Mint4win installation. - I selected 30 GB.
    Specify a username and assign it a password.
  • Wait till Mint4win has finished its work and offers to reboot.
  • Do not reboot, yet, instead select "I will reboot later".
  • Insert the USB stick holding the corrected initrd.lz file.
  • Open a Windows Explorer window. Navigate to D:\linuxmint (or wherever you told Mint4win to install.)
    There will be a subfolder named "install". Enter it.
    Inside this folder there will be the files vmlinuz, initrd.lz (the faulty one) and installation.iso.
  • Open a second Windows Explorer window. Navigate to the corrected initrd.lz file on the USB stick.
    Drag this corrected initrd.lz file from the stick to the other Explorer window into the folder holding the faulty initrd.lz. Drop it and allow it to overwrite the existing initrd.lz.
    Now the corrected initrd.lz file is on the harddisk.
  • Eject the DVD. Safely unplug the USB stick. Reboot.
  • During the boot phase you will be presented a boot menu. Select to boot "Linux Mint".
  • Unless you have committed a mistake, the second phase of the Mint4win installation should startup without any hassle and really quickly.
    If this is true, then you will see the Live System Desktop within a few seconds.
  • On the Live System Desktop click on the icon labelled "Install Linux Mint" in order to proceed with the installation.
  • Follow the instructions on the screen.
    In particular make sure that you select /dev/loopX as the target for the root.disk (ext4 file system of your Mint installation) and the same /dev/loopX as the target for Grub. The "X" inside /dev/loopX will be 1 or 2 actually. It should be obvious when looking at the offered choices.
    Never ever allow Grub to go to /dev/sda! Else you will run into trouble which is totally unrelated to any (fixed/not fixed) bugs in your initrd.lz. - Yet, this kind of trouble is not part of this instruction.
  • Unless you have committed a mistake, the second phase of the Mint 13 installation should finish without any problems.
Hope the above steps will help anybody.


Disclaimer

I have in fact installed Linux Mint 13 32-bit Cinnamon Desktop using Mint4win following the steps given above. It worked perfectly. Nonetheless, I may have forgotten or incorrectly written down a detail or two. In case you should find any errors in the instruction, please, do not hesitate to let me know. So I can check and correct it.

Karl
Last edited by karlchen on Sun Oct 07, 2012 6:11 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: How to Perform a Mint4win Installation of Mint 13 32-bit

Postby oobetimer on Thu Jul 05, 2012 7:43 pm

You could make a HowTo .. :wink:

viewforum.php?f=42
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Re: How to Perform a Mint4win Installation of Mint 13 32-bit

Postby karlchen on Thu Jul 05, 2012 7:59 pm

Hello, oobetimer.

You're right. Should have created my post under the Tutorials/Howtos. Maybe a kind forum moderator can be persuaded to move it there?

Cheers,
Karl
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Re: How to Perform a Mint4win Installation of Mint 13 32-bit

Postby Oscar799 on Fri Jul 06, 2012 11:58 am

Moved here by moderator
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Re: How to Perform a Mint4win Installation of Mint 13 32-bit

Postby karlchen on Fri Jul 06, 2012 5:10 pm

Thank you very much, Oscar799. :)
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Re: How to Perform a Mint4win Installation of Mint 13 32-bit

Postby hyperfang8 on Wed Oct 10, 2012 7:52 am

Is KDE edition affected too??
I know that mint 13 KDE was released few months latter so i thought that theye were not affected!

EDIT:
It seems that this bug is not present in KDE edition...
http://www.linuxmint.com/rel_maya_kde.php
KDE is the best!!
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Re: How to Perform a Mint4win Installation of Mint 13 32-bit

Postby dogluvver on Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:35 pm

I seem to recall that somebody had prepared an .iso which worked, rather than go through the lengthy steps that are described in an earlier reply.

COuld somebody please direct me to the link for this iso.

Thanks
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Re: How to Perform a Mint4win Installation of Mint 13 32-bit

Postby karlchen on Thu Oct 18, 2012 4:21 pm

Hello, dogluvver.

I seem to recall that somebody had prepared an .iso which worked
Correct.

The forum user breaker had created such an ISO image and offered it as a torrent download. Yet, not enough users helped spreading it. Maybe the direct download link which breaker posted here still works: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/84584106/linuxmint-13-mate-dvd-32win.iso

Next breaker decided to publish a shell script which fixes the ISO image, linuxmint-13-mate-dvd-32win.iso or linuxmint-13-cinnamon-dvd-32win.iso. See here.
With the help of breaker's script you can fix the 32-bit ISO image and next perform a normal Mint4win installation using the fixed ISO image.
If you need a step by step instruction on how to do so, there are a lot of such instructions out there, among them, this one e.g. How to install Mint 13 32-bit xfce using Mint4win

Kind regards,
Karl
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Re: How to Perform a Mint4win Installation of Mint 13 32-bit

Postby jimohara on Fri May 09, 2014 5:07 am

Karl thanks for this was able to finish install. :D couple of typos in your article:
1. cp ../bin/ntfs-3g ./mount.ntfs
cp ../ntfs-3g ./mount.ntfs-3g #believe this second command should be cp ../bin/ntfs-3g ./mount.ntfs

2. Open a Windows Explorer window. Navigate to D:\linuxmint (or wherever you told Mint4win to install.)
There will be a subfolder named "install". Enter it.
Inside this folder there will be the files vmlinuz, initrd.lz (the faulty one) and installation.iso.

vmlinuz and intrd.lz are in D:\linuxmint\install\bin
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