1st Install Fail - Need GRUB Install help [Solved]

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1st Install Fail - Need GRUB Install help [Solved]

Postby william on Sat Jul 18, 2009 7:55 pm

Hello all,

New to Linux and failed first time last night...lol. I have Vista on my laptop and I am doing a dual boot setup. I installed the Mint 7 Gnome CD (confirmed MD5sum) and it ran fine in Live mode. Then I went for an install (chose 'side by side' because manual scared me a bit). It installed and ran fine for a bit but then got some errors - could not access a few things and then a space message. From what I can gather, the side by side did not allocate enough space to the new partition - I think I forgot to shrink the Vista partition in advance, but thought it was ok as side by side let me move on with it. So, I rebuilt my drive from an image I had and I am ready for a second go.

-I have shrunk my Vista partition this time (about 30GB for Mint)
-I will do the manual install (though I think I should get the option for install on biggest available space this time, but read that others prefer manual over it) - some have stated to use GParted to set up the partitions before Mint install, but manual seems to do the same so I think I will go the manual Mint route.
-I will create:
-swap (4GB - my RAM x 2)
-/ (root) - 10 or 12 GB - still debating
-/home - 19 or 21 GB - still debating - this seems to be where I will store all my data from what I have gathered from other posts
<if anything seems wrong with this let me know - I am not sure about primary, logical, extended stuff though>

GRUB questions - After my initial failed install and wiping the mint install, I could not boot into windows since it was looking for Grub I guess. I have read in one of these posts that Grub can be installed in the / root partition instead of the master boot area. Is this a good idea for me to do? After I install everything, I think I am going to follow the instructions at http://apcmag.com/how_to_dualboot_vista ... htm?page=4 to use the Vista boot loader instead. But installing Grub in the Mint root will allow me to delete it later if need be or try other flavors or update Mint???

I think GRUB is my only remaining question - but let me know if anything sounds wrong. I have re-imaged my harddrive after shrinking the Vista partition so I can just start from there in case I fail again.

Thanks for any help,
-William
Last edited by william on Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 1st Install Fail - Need GRUB Install help before 2nd try

Postby markcynt on Sat Jul 18, 2009 8:41 pm

There are different opinions on this. Here's mine:

If you're brand new your best bet would be to install in the free space. That's the best newbie option.

As for Grub, installing to the root partition can cause problems later on down the line.

In my opinion you should make a "Startup Repair" disk if you don't already have a Vista disk.

http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows- ... -have-one/

http://neosmart.net/wiki/display/EBCD/R ... om+the+DVD

Then install Mint and let it install Grub to the MBR.

If you decide to get rid of Mint or bork Mint in any way you can use the disk to recover Vista's bootloader.

It's also a good idea to keep up with your backups to keep disaster as painless as possible.

You could also avoid all of this by installing Mint in Virtualbox.
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Re: 1st Install Fail - Need GRUB Install help before 2nd try

Postby william on Sun Jul 19, 2009 5:58 pm

Thanks for your advice...questions though:

markcynt wrote:If you're brand new your best bet would be to install in the free space. That's the best newbie option.

-If I do this, will Mint automatically install the 3 partitions (swap, /, and /home) or will it just install the main 2 (swap and /)?
-Lots of post and wiki state to use /home in case of a re-install or crash issue - but if I do manually create a /home, does Mint know to install my docs there or do I tell it to?
-If I do not create the manual /home, everything will work ok and the auto install will create the correct swap and / size based on my empty space?

As for Grub, installing to the root partition can cause problems later on down the line.
In my opinion you should make a "Startup Repair" disk if you don't already have a Vista disk.

http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows- ... -have-one/
http://neosmart.net/wiki/display/EBCD/R ... om+the+DVD

Then install Mint and let it install Grub to the MBR.
If you decide to get rid of Mint or bork Mint in any way you can use the disk to recover Vista's bootloader.

Thanks for those links - I have a Vista disk and did not know I could recreate the original boot cycle from it.

It's also a good idea to keep up with your backups to keep disaster as painless as possible.
You could also avoid all of this by installing Mint in Virtualbox.

Backups I do - will just have to learn how to image the Linux partitions. I already created the free partition and kind of want the dual boot install. I am taking a shaky walk into the Linux world but this is how we learn. Thanks for your help.

-William
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Re: 1st Install Fail - Need GRUB Install help before 2nd try

Postby altair4 on Sun Jul 19, 2009 6:18 pm

As markcynt said on the grub issue there are many opinions, here's mine: I currently have 6 operating systems on my machine. I use a 3rd party bootloader to manage those OS's. Each OS lives in it's own partition:

sda1 - WinXP
sda2 - Another WinXP ( long story )
sda3 - 3rd party bootloader
sda5 - Mint6
sda6 - Mint7
sda7 - Data
sda8 - Virtual Machines
sda9 - you get the idea

If I had Vista I would use EasyBCD. If one day I decide that Mint6 is no longer required I delete it ( format the partition). Done. No other OS is affected. Different Operating systems will come and go but my 3rd party bootloader is always there.
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Re: 1st Install Fail - Need GRUB Install help before 2nd try

Postby william on Sun Jul 19, 2009 7:12 pm

Wow...you do like a lot of operating systems...lol. Thats somewhat the setup I was thinking (but 2 OS's for me). Maybe when I gain knowledge I can move forward with that kind of advanced setup.

But for now, I am about to start laundry so to fill the time I will give Mint install a go again and see what happens.

-I will leave Mint to install the grub as usually but will use EasyBSD after the fact to bring Vista back in control (more than likely at least).
-I will create a /home or /data partition also to keep my files in it.

If it does not work, then I will just wipe partition, breathe, do new load of laundry, try again. Dual (multi) booting seems to be a pain for the newb like me because there are so many options and I do not have enough knowledge yet about what is best, especially for playing with future updates or trying different flavors and the like. Here goes...
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Re: 1st Install Fail - Need GRUB Install help before 2nd try

Postby william on Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:42 am

Ok...done :)

2nd try failed because I followed the NewGrub part of the instructions at http://apcmag.com/how_to_dualboot_vista ... htm?page=4 - but that allowed me to boot to Vista but it never pointed to the correct part to boot into Linux Mint. So I wiped and restarted - I am sure there was an easier way to edit NewGrub, but blah.

3rd time success:
-Like before, I created swap, /, and /home
-This time I chose to install the Grub Mint Booter in / instead of the MBR
-Instead of following the instructions to use EasyBCD via the NewGrub settings from the above link, I followed the instructions at:
http://neosmart.net/wiki/display/EBCD/Linux
http://neosmart.net/wiki/display/EBCD/Ubuntu
-these instructions were easier and all you have to do is add the Grub entry and choose the right location where Grub was installed (I did backup the original Vista booter before doing this though - EasyBCD has a backup function in it)

Now everything works as I want it and my wireless connection even works. Since the hard part is over (I hope), I will start to play with Mint and download the programs I want (first will be Opera!). Thanks for the suggestions and for this forum - lots of information, just have to glue it together :)

Note: I have Vista and am only using a single hard-drive, all on a Dell E1505 Laptop.
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Re: 1st Install Fail - Need GRUB Install help [Solved]

Postby markcynt on Mon Jul 20, 2009 6:58 am

Glad to hear you got it all worked out!
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