Install from USB to separate EXT3 partition from Windows XP.

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Install from USB to separate EXT3 partition from Windows XP.

Postby J_B on Thu Jan 31, 2013 8:04 am

Hi guys, this is a first time install and totally a newbie question so apologies in advance if I'm being completely stupid or giving too much/little info. The question might seem long so you can skip the first 2 paras, they're only for background info.

I have a older PC that was running XP so slowly I decided to clean up and at the same time try out a few new operating systems. Having rad up on a few I tried out Ubuntu 12.10 but this caused all sorts of problems with my nvidia video card that I wasted a couple of days and still didn't find it too stable for me to use.

My next test was for linux mint. This is got installed with no problems and ran alongside my XP setup without too many issue other than the general lag due to the lack of HD maintenance. I had a small problem where it wouldn't save my screen resolution but nothing I couldn't deal with and probably something I thought to address later once I had my setup completed. This made my mind up that linuxmint was for me and so I began to read up more on this.

Reading through the forums I looked into the partitions and ideal setup and decide to give it a go. I then reformatted my drive of 120gb into partitions of

10gb NTFS for windows XP;
10gb Ext3 for Linux;
10gb NTFS as Temp to move from HD to USB stick;
89gb NTFS as file storage;
Leaving 1gb unformatted yet but to be used as swap during linux install (only 512k RAM).

I then installed XP back on to my PC using the first partition and all seems fine with that, (now that I eventually managed to get the SP3 installed)

The problem I have is with the linux install.

I haven't written a CD or DVD in some time so either my disks are ruined or my DVD-R drive is busted as it won't recognise any media in the drive to write. No problem, I thought, I'll install directly from USB. I have downloaded the ISO (linux mint 14 with MATE desktop) and also the USB universal installer. I have run the USB installer (even formatting my USB drive) and tried to boot from USB but this doesn't happen. I have already changed my boot devide order to have USB-FDD and USB-ZIP first and second with CD-ROM third before HD in last place but the PC still boots directly to windows. I have also disabled the HD boot option but the PC then complains of having to operating disk to run from.

I then tried to install alongside my new windows XP on C:\ in the hope that I could place LM there, then run the install to the correct EXT3 partition and then tidy up afterwards but I ran out of room when extracting the files using the mint4win.exe installler.

My question is, firstly I suppose, What am I doing wrong? Does it really make much difference to performance to have LM on it's own partition? Can someone out there explain to me how to go about installing to this new EXT3 partition from my USB drive?

Many thanks for any help[ in advance.
Your patience is appreciated.
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Re: Install from USB to separate EXT3 partition from Windows

Postby raymerjacque on Thu Jan 31, 2013 8:20 am

You are putting way too much effort into install process.

the quickest easiest way to do this is to use a partition manager in windows to split your main partition into 2, 1 is your current windows as it is and other an unassigned partition which just says "xx mb free space". dont format the free space and dont make a partition out of it, just leave it un assigned free space.

boot off usb into live CD mode and start the install and choose the option "install alongside windows". Linux will automaticly use the free space and make the required partitions and it will assign the correct space values ( it wont use your NTFS partition and it wont overwrite windows or even touch your windows partition ) .... It will also create grub ( the linux boot manager ) and it will automaticly detect windows and add the entry to bootup.

its that simple to do.
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Re: Install from USB to separate EXT3 partition from Windows

Postby J_B on Thu Jan 31, 2013 8:50 am

Cool, that sounds very straight forward thanks but the problem is that it won't boot from the USB.

Would this be the same result if I were to boot into XP, run the mint4win.exe and select "Install alongside windows" option? It was the alongside windows wording that put me off thinking it would install to C:\
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Re: Install from USB to separate EXT3 partition from Windows

Postby raymerjacque on Thu Jan 31, 2013 9:00 am

Nah, it will look for free partitions to use, if it doesnt find them it should then present you with the option to shrink your partition to free up space. It will NEVER install inside your windows folder and make a mess of things.

Ive never used mint4win, i would assume that yes it will just run the setup from inside windows instead of live CD, but better someone who knows to answer that before you do :)
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Re: Install from USB to separate EXT3 partition from Windows

Postby J_B on Thu Jan 31, 2013 9:54 am

From what you say then, the problem then that I have is simply that I cannot get system to boot from USB?

The only options I have from mint4win.exe are "Demo and full installation", "Install Inside Windows" and "Learn more".

"Install Inside windows" is what I was hoping to avoid and, from the description, is a single drive solution.

"Demo and Full instalation" is what I have selected but, on reboot, it ignores my USB drive and boots straight to Windows XP. If I choose the "Help me boot from CD" reboot option it then tries to unpack the ISO to C:\linuxmint where there is not enough space.

I suppose what I am looking for is a winMintInstall.exe, if there is such a thing or some help on why my USB won't boot into Linuxmint.

Here's my process:

I run Universal-USB-Installer-1.9.2.4.exe from my Win XP Desktop - C:\ although I have also tried running from USB

After agreeing to the terms I select the Linux Mint 14 distro - now located on my share Z:\
I then select my USB drive - F:\ (selecting to reformat and allowing 100mb for persistent file)

This leaves me with a system and install on my USB.

I then view the USB files, run F:\mint4win.exe and select the "Demo and Full installation" option using "reboot now" when asked.

During the reboot I check my setup and make sure I have USB boot priority (USB-FDD then USB-ZIP then CDROM) and DISABLE Hard Drive to try force the issue.

The system runs through memory check and complains about no boot disk.

I reboot again, enabling the Hard drive, and it boots straight to Windows XP.

Can anyone see where I'm going wrong with this?

Thanks again.
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Re: Install from USB to separate EXT3 partition from Windows

Postby raymerjacque on Thu Jan 31, 2013 10:11 am

The "USB-FDD then USB-ZIP then CDROM" does not work for booting from usb, i have tried it on older systems and it simply has never worked for me. You could possibly look for a work around on the net to see if there isnt another way to force usb booting on older computers.

I would maybe suggest that you free more space from your windows partition to be able to store the setup files in the c:\linuxmint.

You can always resize the drives later to assign more space to the one or the other, dont be to concerned about leaving "x" mb space for windows.

So i would say assing more space to XP partition and let it unpack to c:\linuxmint and do full installation, atleast that way you can get the installation done. once inside linux you can use gparted and resize the partitions again to assign whatever space you want to where you want it. I think linuxmint only need 5Gb space to run, so keep just that much free for installation.
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Re: Install from USB to separate EXT3 partition from Windows

Postby J_B on Thu Jan 31, 2013 10:41 am

Thanks for this. I've already begun looking around to see what options I may have with my boot problems. If I find a solution I will reply back here for future info.

If I don't then it sounds like I'll have to increase my windows partition, as you say, but was trying to avoid this in case it messes up my nice clean install.

I'll be back, as they say, and let you know.


Thanks.
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Re: Install from USB to separate EXT3 partition from Windows

Postby usbtux on Thu Jan 31, 2013 2:47 pm

J_B wrote:Thanks for this. I've already begun looking around to see what options I may have with my boot problems. If I find a solution I will reply back here for future info.

If I don't then it sounds like I'll have to increase my windows partition, as you say, but was trying to avoid this in case it messes up my nice clean install.

I'll be back, as they say, and let you know.


Thanks.

Try Plop Boot manager on a cd the use that to choose a usb (with mint) install mint...
http://goo.gl/DXKgM LinuxMint tutorials.
Running LinuxMint 17 Cinnamon/KDE/XFCE
http://goo.gl/WFu0u Installing Mint - the screen cast videos.
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Re: Install from USB to separate EXT3 partition from Windows

Postby raymerjacque on Thu Jan 31, 2013 4:45 pm

His CD drive is busted...
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Re: Install from USB to separate EXT3 partition from Windows

Postby J_B on Thu Jan 31, 2013 6:23 pm

Yeah, sorry, CD-RW is busted. CD-ROM is okay though. I have been messing about though with PLOP after reading about it this afternoon and successfully mounted the image and booted from the USB!!!

YeeHaa... but wait!

I figured that after the install the Master Boot Record would be overwritten anyway to allow the dual boot so decided just to go ahead and install there. It gave me the option to boot from USB after running through the BIOS boot, which was great. Job done, I thought.

Install went ahead okay up to a point. I chose to reformat my EXT3 Linux drive as EXT4 and mount this as \. I just ignored all other drives except the C:\ which I selected as /windows, made my 1gb swap partition and then installed.

All was going OK until it complained about a lack of space and crashed the installer!

I had no space either to allow me to read the various drives to see what was happening (it is an 8gb USB pendrive) so I had to reboot to windows.

But, oops, no MBR to boot that with. Moment of panic until I booted from an old windows disk and ran FIXMBR and all was working again.

That's where I am at the mo. I'm leaving it for now and gonna watch a movie with some salty popcorn and and a(nother) beer.

Reckon it's close though. Fingers crossed for tomorrow it will all be sorted and I can report back through the process in case it helps anyone else out there. I have been looking about and although a lot of people are having this same problem, there appears to be no definitive fix list as yet.

Thanks again guys.
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Re: Install from USB to separate EXT3 partition from Windows

Postby raymerjacque on Fri Feb 01, 2013 4:44 am

lol, well thank god for plop :)

just make more space and attempt it again and hopefully all will work ...
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Re: Install from USB to separate EXT3 partition from Windows

Postby J_B on Thu Feb 21, 2013 8:31 am

Yeah, thank god for plop indeed ;0)

However the plop solution turned out to be a bit hit and miss. Would boot on occasion and on others it wouldn't but was definitely a step in the right direction.

In the meantime however I happened to get to be visiting my brother and just burned a DVD to boot from and all went well.

So in the end, no real final solution to the boot from USB issue but I am now happily running my new nadia setup and loving it so far.
Now to get to grips with the linux filesystem and sort out a few wee flies in the ointment. Just about to post about interface issues I have with icons and window elements not displaying properly. ;0)


Many thanks for all the help ;0)
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