Dual boot with Vista - partitioning problems solved

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Dual boot with Vista - partitioning problems solved

Postby Brayn on Sun Mar 30, 2008 1:02 pm

Hey,

I have a laptop with only one HDD and what I want to do is to install both Vista and Mint. Vista is the first install on the HDD and Mint is supposed to be installed on a separate partition of the same HDD. The problem is that, during the install process, when the partitioning step comes I cannot select any option but "Guided using the whole drive" and "Manual" that also uses the whole HDD.

How can I select only the partition I want to install Mint to ?

Thanks.
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Re: Dual boot with Vista - partitioning problems

Postby Husse on Sun Mar 30, 2008 5:03 pm

I think you are missing a point.
You have to resize the vista partition and create at least a root (/) (about 7 GB) and a swap partition - but I recommend a partition for home as well (with as much as you can/want to spare)
So when you are in manual partitioning right click the vista partition and select Edit and adjust the size to make room for the Mint partitions
This is not the easiest if you've never done it before, but be calm and systematic and you'll succeed
If you have a new Toshiba laptop with Vista it may have a "feature" in the BIOS that rewrites MBR regularly thus making it unusable for anything but Vista :( :( :(
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Re: Dual boot with Vista - partitioning problems

Postby Brayn on Mon Mar 31, 2008 9:18 am

I'm afraid I'm not missing that point. I have managed the HDD from Vista in such manner that a partition of 20GB is available for the Mint install.

The problem is that, the Mint disk management utility doesn't 'see' the Vista partitions, it only sees the whole 120GB hdd as one 'free space area' that can be formatted. The thing is I do not want to format the entire HDD, I want to keep my Vista partitions and only install Mint on the 20GB free partition. I have installed other distros and all of them recognized the Windows partitions and gave you the option to keep them or delete them.

I have tried to right click on the partition and the only option available is to create a new partition table (which will delete my Vista).

I really want to install Mint, but the disk partitioner is driving me crazy, any ideas ?

Thanks.
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Re: Dual boot with Vista - partitioning problems

Postby Husse on Mon Mar 31, 2008 11:05 am

There is something new in Vista and partitioning, MBR and the lot - M$ not playing nice
You also have to understand that my answers are aimed at some very low knowledge in the beginning, before I get some idea on the level to use :)
We have lots of people dual booting Vista....
Gparted should see two partitions, no doubt about that, but it is a bit "grumpy" in the install
Can you boot the live CD and start Gparted to make partitions before you install, sometimes that is the solution
Do you have a Toshiba laptop?
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Re: Dual boot with Vista - partitioning problems

Postby Brayn on Tue Apr 01, 2008 2:58 am

I understand, but I've tried to use Gparted to partition the HDD before the install and it still doesn't 'see' the Vista partitions... Is there any other way I could try to install Mint ? I really like this distro and it's really frustrating I can't install it :)

By the way my laptop is a HP 530.

Cheers
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Re: Dual boot with Vista - partitioning problems

Postby BAD on Tue Apr 01, 2008 3:11 am

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Re: Dual boot with Vista - partitioning problems

Postby Fred on Tue Apr 01, 2008 3:33 am

Brayn,

You wrote,
I'm afraid I'm not missing that point. I have managed the HDD from Vista in such manner that a partition of 20GB is available for the Mint install.


Fact: Gparted sees Windows partitions, including Vista partitions.

Fact: The partitioning manager in the installer for Mint is a subset of Gparted.

Not to be rude, but you are indeed missing something. I would suggest you use the Mint live cd and select Gparted from the menu and look at and familiarize yourself with the program and its options. If you do that in conjunction with some of the how-tos available I am sure you will figure it out. You probably need to do some reading about partitioning and file system mounting. There is a wealth of information right here on the forum if you run a search for it.

When you get to using the installer, the manual option is the one you want to use.

Below is a link to a good information source that may be of assistance to you.

http://www.howtoforge.com/partitioning_with_gparted

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Re: Dual boot with Vista - partitioning problems

Postby Brayn on Tue Apr 01, 2008 4:50 am

Fact: You are rude.

Fact: I quote from one of the many tutorials you have so kindly provided:

The GParted application will start automatically and show you the current partitions (including their filesystem types) on the hard disk(s):


This (one might say) is a crucial step in performing the needed configuration I sought, and since this does not happen when I try to partition my HDD using any of the tools provided by Mint, there is a problem. The disk partitioner only shows me the whole HDD as a free space partition (that means it does not recognize the Vista partitions at all) and the only option is to create a new partition table, thus disregarding the existing Windows partitions (as I have previously stated).

Hence I address myself to the Mint community requesting support from those who allegedly know more than I do. The problem that now arises is that no one seems to address the problem itself but prefer to question my know-how and capabilities. Although I am aware that this is not a support service I would prefer to be told that there is no interest in helping me than to be told that I should learn how to use a disk partitioner which from the start doesn't recognize any of my existing Windows partitions.

This being said, I thank you again for the tremendous amount of time you din not spend reading what I actually said and only considering the title of this topic.

Best of wishes.
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Re: Dual boot with Vista - partitioning problems

Postby Fred on Tue Apr 01, 2008 5:07 am

Brayn,

I am rude?! Surely you jest. If you think that is rude you are indeed naive.

At this point, with your attitude, I wouldn't give you the time of day, let alone spend my time to help you with a problem.

You do have the dubious pleasure and distinction of being the first person on this forum to be placed on my ignore list however.

Good bye,

Fred
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Re: Dual boot with Vista - partitioning problems

Postby McLovin on Tue Apr 01, 2008 10:13 am

I have a question, did you try to partition the disk using the partition tool built into Vista before you tried to install Mint? If not, then go into Vista and go to the disk management tool, and check to make sure that the partition isn't somehow corrupted, this would cause any partition tool to only see one large partition, and said partition to be empty. If it looks ok in Vista's disk utility, try defragging the HDD, sometimes if the data on the drive is all over the place you can run into these types of problems as well.
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Re: Dual boot with Vista - partitioning problems

Postby Fred on Tue Apr 01, 2008 11:38 am

McLovin,

Yes, you are right. If he had just been a little more polite and spent more time explained his problem than complaining, we would have gotten into those possibilities and remedies, probably much earlier in the thread.

My first post was 100% correct, therefore if he isn't seeing that then something else is going on. It isn't the Mint installer or Gparted. That was my point. I didn't need the tirade I got in return. :-)

What that something else was we would have found if he had been a little more patient and polite.

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Re: Dual boot with Vista - partitioning problems

Postby Brayn on Tue Apr 01, 2008 12:42 pm

Hey,

I've run defrag on my whole HDD and checked all my partitions using the Vista default disk manager and another third party software. The checks haven't return any errors, although I recently had some problem with a partition ( I've tried to use Partition Magic 8 that isn't compatible with Vista). Now those problems are fixed and all checks returned no error, if the problems I had could be a problem what can I to do mend them ?!

My problem is not with Mint or Gparted, I believe the software is OK, that's why I wanted to install Mint in the first place. What bothers me is that I can't seem to find any solution to this peculiar problem.

I've added a screenshot of the Gparted hoping that it could be of service.

As for the part of my rudeness:

I am rude?! Surely you jest. If you think that is rude you are indeed naive.


Later Edit:
I have also tried to partition the HDD using the Ubuntu live-cd partition manager and there also, the HDD seems to appear as one big happy unpartitioned space chunk. Any ideas on what should I do to fix this?!

Thanks
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Re: Dual boot with Vista - partitioning problems

Postby Husse on Tue Apr 01, 2008 1:35 pm

Please stop calling each other names or I'll lock this thread.
The screenshot + that you say you've defragged and checked the disk in Vista is really mysterious
Now there could be a ghost lurking somewhere - does this laptop have a hidden recovery partition?
Dell and others have one. These partitions can behave badly (but don't remove it! It's what you have to get Vista back in case of disaster....)
So the model of the laptop and existence of a hidden recovery partition - tell us that
I can tell you that all partitions are seen if not something is wrong....
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Re: Dual boot with Vista - partitioning problems

Postby Brayn on Tue Apr 01, 2008 2:02 pm

As far as I can tell (and the producer says) there is no hidden partition on my laptop.

Given what I've seen until now there might by a problem with the configuration on my HDD. Any ideas on how could I fix that ?!

Thanks
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Re: Dual boot with Vista - partitioning problems

Postby Husse on Tue Apr 01, 2008 2:48 pm

Which lappy - have to sleep on this....
Don't understand....
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Re: Dual boot with Vista - partitioning problems

Postby McLovin on Tue Apr 01, 2008 3:26 pm

Looking at that screenshot, I would say that there is a hidden partition, and this is why I think that.
You said that you have a 120gig HDD, however the screenshot shows only 111gig, 9gig missing, that is the average restore partiton size. This could be causing you alot of problems, but if you do not have restore disk, you need this parition, (at least until you make some restore disks)
Check out these web sites and try the tools they recomend, they be able to see something that the others are missing.
http://lifehacker.com/software/geek-to-live/partition-and-image-your-hard-drive-with-the-system-rescue-cd-292972.php
http://www.ghacks.net/2008/02/28/free-paragon-hard-disk-manager-8/
And it would really help to kno what kind of laptop you have, some vendors are getting kind of sleezy when it comes to OS's, and what you can do with your own computer and partitions. (Toshiba is really bad with this)
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Re: Dual boot with Vista - partitioning problems

Postby BAD on Tue Apr 01, 2008 6:22 pm

I have never installed Vista but cant you choose a partition size during the install.
If Vista can allow you to set the partition size during install try reinstalling.

Maybe your HDD is bad I have an 80GB HDD that only picks up 40GB and it does the same thing you are describing.
I install XP then I try to install Mint and it will not show XP and it will dual boot. Otherwise if one OS is on the HDD it works.
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Re: Dual boot with Vista - partitioning problems

Postby Brayn on Wed Apr 02, 2008 3:21 am

I've tried all that I knew to 'recover' my HDD so that all partitions are seen in Gparted. It would't work so I've backed up my data, formated the HDD, installed Vista, installed Mint and now it's all working fine.

It's not the most graceful solution, I'm aware of that, but it worked.

Thanks for the support guys!
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Re: Dual boot with Vista - partitioning problems

Postby Husse on Wed Apr 02, 2008 10:40 am

You have to understand that even partitions are a kind of "file" very losely speaking
All file systems (for x86) have a partition table (in MBR) which tells the system where the partitions are and each partition then has a "file table" (FAT for win 9x, MFT for NTFS, for ext3 I don't know the name :))
So if the table in MBR gets corrupted, you see faulty info about the partitions
This can be solved by several methods, among them reinstalling after a format - but it's not at all certain this helps - the partition table may still be erroneous
I have a solution that takes care of this in all situations, but at the cost of complete data loss....
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Re: Dual boot with Vista - partitioning problems

Postby McLovin on Wed Apr 02, 2008 1:37 pm

Husse wrote:I have a solution that takes care of this in all situations, but at the cost of complete data loss....

Thermite? :twisted:
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