What are all of my options as far as installing Mint 8 x64?

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What are all of my options as far as installing Mint 8 x64?

Postby yournameinink on Sun Jan 03, 2010 2:06 am

Let me just get this out of the way first. The machine I am planning to put this on is a new computer with two HDDs. one is a WD Velociraptor, 10,000 RPMs 160GB and the other is a WD Caviar Black 7200 RPMs 650GB. Core i7, 12 GB RAM, Gigabyte NVIDIA 9600GT, Gigabyte UD5 Mobo, Plextore Dual Layer/Light scribe, Presonus Firebox. I am currently running windows 7 on the 10,000 RPM drive. Any compatibility warnings would be appreciated. Anyway...

I installed Linux Mint 6 a long time ago on my old main computer and had a lot of trouble getting rid of grub when I decided I didn't want it anymore. In fact, I never got rid of it and I ended up losing a good 100GB on my HDD until I finally decided to format and install windows fresh. I don't think (or at least hope) that will be the case this time, and I just want to see what my options are. Also, I don't like the fact that grub slows down my boot up time when I want to get in windows.

Here are the options I have considered. If it is impossible, just plain stupid, or not easy enough for a n00b (me) please say so:

1) I basically want it to log in to windows every time by default (as quick as normal, not even seeing linux as an option), and only log into Mint when I hold down a certain key at boot. Is this possible?

2) Or maybe, is it possible to install this on a partition of the 650GB HDD so it will only boot into linux when I have that drive as the main boot drive?

3) Or can I install this on a partition of one of my external drives, and boot from that when its plugged in?


The whole HDD, partitioning, and booting is the only thing that has been keeping me from Mint. I use Mint as more of something to play around in, learn from, and show off to my friends occasionally; and less of a main OS to handle my media. This is why I want to keep it as far, tucked away as possible, and want to make sure I wont have a problem with completely getting rid of it and getting all of that used space back if that time ever arrives. Please help me, this is crucially needed information for me to get back on the amazing Linux Mint! :D
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Re: What are all of my options as far as installing Mint 8 x64?

Postby rich_roast on Sun Jan 03, 2010 6:15 am

I'm not sure about grub2 but certainly it was possible before to set grub's menu timer to just one second (less? - will timeout accept a value smaller than 1?); this would in effect make windows boot (if it's the default option in menu.list) without you (really) seeing grub unless you hold down, say, cursor down key to change options while the computer begins booting (interacting with grub's menu causes the timeout to stop). Grub can't handle what you outline in option 1 exactly, though, afaik.

Option 2 is beyond me, I dunno one way or another, since I don't really know what you mean by changing main boot drive, unless you mean defining that in the BIOS options before booting, in which case that'll work fine.

I'd actually recommend option 3 or, if you're really serious about barely using mint, ditching installing it altogether in preference for a live-USB or CD. Puppy Linux is also a good distro for this approach, as it will write settings and data to your ntfs drive natively thereby saving on boot time.

Actually to be brutally honest I'd recommend ditching Windows but that's not my call.
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Re: What are all of my options as far as installing Mint 8 x64?

Postby gn2 on Sun Jan 03, 2010 7:17 am

yournameinink wrote:The whole HDD, partitioning, and booting is the only thing that has been keeping me from Mint. I use Mint as more of something to play around in, learn from, and show off to my friends occasionally; and less of a main OS to handle my media. This is why I want to keep it as far, tucked away as possible, and want to make sure I wont have a problem with completely getting rid of it and getting all of that used space back if that time ever arrives. Please help me, this is crucially needed information for me to get back on the amazing Linux Mint! :D


Taking the above into account, I would suggest either using a persistent flash drive installation of Mint, or a Virtual Machine.
My recommendation would be the flash drive option.

http://www.pendrivelinux.com/install-li ... n-windows/

If you want to learn about setting up and removing dual-boots, I suggest reading this website. All of it.
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Re: What are all of my options as far as installing Mint 8 x64?

Postby yournameinink on Sun Jan 03, 2010 6:23 pm

I'm not sure about grub2 but certainly it was possible before to set grub's menu timer to just one second (less? - will timeout accept a value smaller than 1?); this would in effect make windows boot (if it's the default option in menu.list) without you (really) seeing grub unless you hold down, say, cursor down key to change options while the computer begins booting (interacting with grub's menu causes the timeout to stop). Grub can't handle what you outline in option 1 exactly, though, afaik.


That seems like a pretty smart way to pull that off. hmm. =D

Option 2 is beyond me, I dunno one way or another, since I don't really know what you mean by changing main boot drive, unless you mean defining that in the BIOS options before booting, in which case that'll work fine.


Yes, I mean to install it to my media drive (which is not set as the boot drive) and whenever I want to use Mint just go in and change my boot sequence to that drive, and whenever I want to use Windows change it back. Would that cause problems or conflicts of any sort?

I'd actually recommend option 3 or, if you're really serious about barely using mint, ditching installing it altogether in preference for a live-USB or CD. Puppy Linux is also a good distro for this approach, as it will write settings and data to your ntfs drive natively thereby saving on boot time.


I don't really understand the point of a Live CD. Its like running a fresh OS every time you boot from it and you can't do any of the snazzy graphics things. hah. Plus it's really slow. Now if I did do the external drive option, would it only run grub when I have the drive plugged in? Or does grub install on the boot drive?

Actually to be brutally honest I'd recommend ditching Windows but that's not my call.


That would definitely be awesome. I am just obviously not enough into Linux to make the switch just yet. Plus my computer experience very much relies on the software I have installed on Window 7 such as Sony Vegas 9, Cubase 5, Adobe Master Collection CS4, VidBlaster, and all of the plug-ins for each program. From what I understand, it would be a pain to use all of this software successfully on Linux via wine. I have never really had much success with wine when I tried installing my Adobe bundle on there back when I had Mint 6. Maybe I am doing something wrong. hmm.

Thanks for the quick reply! :D
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Re: What are all of my options as far as installing Mint 8 x64?

Postby yournameinink on Sun Jan 03, 2010 6:29 pm

Taking the above into account, I would suggest either using a persistent flash drive installation of Mint, or a Virtual Machine.
My recommendation would be the flash drive option.

http://www.pendrivelinux.com/install-li ... n-windows/

If you want to learn about setting up and removing dual-boots, I suggest reading this website. All of it.


I will check that link out for sure. I tried the Virtual Machine, and much like the Live CD it got rid of all of the Compiz effects that I love showing off haha.

And like I asked the last person, I have a few questions. Will the flash drive option allow the Compiz effects, and will it only run Grub when the drive is plugged in on boot? Do you save any changes directly to the flash drive, or does it allow you to use other drives in the system? Is there anything that will be disabled when using the USB version? Also, is it possible to use this with the 64 bit version of Mint 8?

thank you! :D
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Re: What are all of my options as far as installing Mint 8 x64?

Postby gn2 on Sun Jan 03, 2010 8:00 pm

Will the flash drive option allow the Compiz effects,

Yes

and will it only run Grub when the drive is plugged in on boot?

Yes

Do you save any changes directly to the flash drive

Yes if you want

or does it allow you to use other drives in the system?

Yes

Is there anything that will be disabled when using the USB version?

No

Also, is it possible to use this with the 64 bit version of Mint 8?

Yes

thank you!

No problem :)
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Re: What are all of my options as far as installing Mint 8 x64?

Postby yournameinink on Sun Jan 03, 2010 9:08 pm

AMAZING! That is exactly what I am looking for! Just 2 more questions to clear this up completely for me:

Is the installation onto a flash drive the same as an external HDD?

Will it be possible to boot from this flash drive on any PC?


This might be the beginning of a long lasting friendship with Linux for me. =D

Thank you so much again. I have missed Mint so much. I am extremely excited to be giving Helena a shot after a long time with Felicia. :mrgreen:
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Re: What are all of my options as far as installing Mint 8 x64?

Postby breaker on Mon Jan 04, 2010 2:46 am

The installation to the external removable hard drive is not the same as a normal install. If you use a pen drive, you can use the pen drive instructions. If you use a hard drive (or a pen drive), you must use some advanced settings in the installer and tell it where to put the boot loader (grub). You should be sure which drive is which when you use the installer, pick your external drive, use the advanced button later in the install to pick where you put the bootloader (the mbr of your external drive).

You might want to back up your primary master hard drive mbr first in case you screw up and accidentally write over it. You can use the windows program HDHacker to do so.

Back up your data, as always, before trying anything.
rtfm - read the fine manual...
Boot info script: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1291280
grub2 https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Grub2
PC-BIOS based booting, mbr, boot records; http://thestarman.pcministry.com/
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Re: What are all of my options as far as installing Mint 8 x64?

Postby gn2 on Mon Jan 04, 2010 3:49 am

Is the installation onto a flash drive the same as an external HDD?

No, it's better than using an external HDD.
External HDDs don't always make good boot devices, they don't always spin up in time to be recognised by the BIOS.
No such problem with a flash.
You can either do a full installation to a flash drive if it's big enough or use the more common method of creating a "persistent" Live USB.
I would suggest using PCLinuxOS as a Live USB, last time I used it (about two years ago) there was a "copy to RAM" option which loads the whole OS into RAM and runs at remarkably good speed and it offers you the option of saving changes made back to the flash drive at shut-down.
AFAIK it's still like that.

Will it be possible to boot from this flash drive on any PC?

Yes, providing the PC can boot from USB, not all can.
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