SOLVED: install but no retention of data

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SOLVED: install but no retention of data

Postby rn1 on Sun Nov 03, 2013 3:48 pm

Hi all,

finally made it from the dark side to this great system.

first installed inside windows but decided I wanted a journal friendly format...so uninstalled (olivia).

burned iso file (64bit cinnamon) to a usb drive....was able to boot into it (win 7 64 bit dell m6700) with one time boot selection.

installed using the install icon when the system booted up........rebooted...no GRUB or other menu choice...

all could do was keep the USB drive in...did so...got back to mint 15...made changes to what is obviously an installed system...still no boot choices.......rebooted...and of course, the changes (setting up thunderbird; was set correctly) were gone.

used boot-repair....to no avail..got error messages in terminal about not finding folder, when using the text "boot-repair" said to use.

am in legal business and absolutely cannot afford to lose windows at this stage, but want, immediately to migrate.

am computer literate but still early in the GRUB/linux curve.

what "sure thing" fix am I able to effect such that I can dual boot this machine and be positive I am not losing windows, please?

many thanks all....mint is clearly beautiful and I can't wait to get this down cold.

robert
Last edited by rn1 on Tue Nov 05, 2013 3:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: install but no retention of data

Postby rn1 on Sun Nov 03, 2013 3:54 pm

PS here is url offered by boot-repair:

http://paste.ubuntu.com/6354566/

many thanks, all.
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Re: install but no retention of data

Postby vrkalak on Sun Nov 03, 2013 4:05 pm

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Re: install but no retention of data

Postby rn1 on Sun Nov 03, 2013 4:46 pm

ahhh.

ok...I'll read up....and try.

many thanks.

PS is installing GRUB separately also a solution?
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Re: install but no retention of data

Postby gold_finger on Sun Nov 03, 2013 5:02 pm

rn1 wrote:burned iso file (64bit cinnamon) to a usb drive....was able to boot into it (win 7 64 bit dell m6700) with one time boot selection.

installed using the install icon when the system booted up........rebooted...no GRUB or other menu choice...

all could do was keep the USB drive in...did so...got back to mint 15...made changes to what is obviously an installed system...still no boot choices.......rebooted...and of course, the changes (setting up thunderbird; was set correctly) were gone.


Just to clarify -- are you trying to install to the hard drive on your computer or just trying to make a USB drive with Mint on it to boot into every once and a while?

From your description, it sounds like your trying to do hard drive install, but can't boot into it after done clicking to install the system from the booted-up USB. Is that correct? Or do you just want Mint on the USB and want the ability for the USB to save changes/settings that you've made?
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Re: install but no retention of data

Postby rn1 on Sun Nov 03, 2013 8:24 pm

i have installed it on a drive and would have preferred...would prefer to dual boot it on the machine without using a USB drive.

hence, my having asked about GRUB.

I would welcome your input....

many thanks.
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Re: install but no retention of data

Postby rn1 on Sun Nov 03, 2013 8:29 pm

ps by "drive", I mean on the computer itself....in a native linux formatted partition....

if this persistent usb drive will enable me to boot to that partition and make changes that are persistent from log on to log on...and this presents less of a danger to my ability to still boot to windows, I can do that.

if I have a safe way to dual boot....that's the best of all worlds.

thanks again
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Re: install but no retention of data

Postby gold_finger on Mon Nov 04, 2013 4:20 am

Quick note first:
The persistence file on the USB does not affect anything with regard to your installed hard drive system. It is a means to allow the USB's Mint system to save and re-use settings, documents, etc. -- effectively making it a portable, self-contained computer. What's done with persistence file does not transfer to the hard drive on installs from the USB. So don't worry about making another USB if you are only planning to use it for installing Mint.

rn1 wrote:i have installed it on a drive and would have preferred...would prefer to dual boot it on the machine without using a USB drive.

That's what I thought you meant.

I have no experience installing inside Windows with Mint4Win, so I can't be sure that what I think I'm seeing in your pastebin from Boot Repair is what I think it is. From your 1st post that's what I assume you did first; then changed your mind and went for a real installation. From the pastebin image, it looks like grub is on sda5, rather than the mbr of sda. Also, the partitioning on drive sda4 has me confused -- seems to be formatted with a label I haven't seen before, "W95 Extended". My guess is that this is an extended partition created by Windows, but I don't know. The Linux partition, sda5 is contained in extended sda4 -- which is fine.

My guess is that one of three things happened (or a combination of two things). Somehow, what you thought was a normal install was actually another install inside Windows. Or it's installed as it should be, but Grub boot loader was set up in sda5 rather than the on the MBR of sda. Or, after you uninstalled Mint4Win from Windows, you should have deleted that partition and the Windows formatted extended partition to leave you with empty, unformatted space to install on. I don't know, because I have no knowledge of how the system is left after removing Mint4Win.

Just in case it's actually back on under Windows, have a look and see if that's the case. If it is, remove it again and post back here letting us know that's what happened. I don't think your computer is using UEFI to boot rather than BIOS, but you should confirm this for sure if you don't know yourself. See 2/3rd's down this page to find out how under Windows: http://www.rodsbooks.com/refind/bootmode.html. If computer is not booted using UEFI, your problem should be easily solveable. If it is you should make a new post under the "Installation and Boot" section of the forum with a title along the lines of "UEFI Duel Boot Problem". Someone who knows more about that issue will answer.

Post back with answer to above (is it back under Windows again?) and also let us know if you deleted any partitions after uninstalling from Windows or not?
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Re: install but no retention of data

Postby rn1 on Mon Nov 04, 2013 11:09 am

many thanks, dr. gold_finger,

"Quick note first:
The persistence file on the USB does not affect anything with regard to your installed hard drive system. It is a means to allow the USB's Mint system to save and re-use settings, documents, etc. -- effectively making it a portable, self-contained computer. What's done with persistence file does not transfer to the hard drive on installs from the USB. So don't worry about making another USB if you are only planning to use it for installing Mint."

that was my inference...thanks for confirming.

actually, the more I have thought about this, however....I have need to be extremely security conscious, one of the reasons I am finally leaving windows for linux.......the more I like the idea of having material data on a separate drive...less convenient though it is.

i can live with it if I must.

>>I have no experience installing inside Windows with Mint4Win, so I can't be sure that what I think I'm seeing in your pastebin from Boot Repair is what I think it is. From your 1st post that's what I assume you did first; then changed your mind and went for a real installation.<<

that's exactly right....realized that I was missing something by not having a native linux journal capable format.

>> From the pastebin image, it looks like grub is on sda5, rather than the mbr of sda.<<

ahhh.

Also, the partitioning on drive sda4 has me confused -- seems to be formatted with a label I haven't seen before, "W95 Extended". My guess is that this is an extended partition created by Windows, but I don't know. The Linux partition, sda5 is contained in extended sda4 -- which is fine.<<

this is a dell m6700....a zippy portable workstation which they have some of their own partitions on as the machine comes out of the box......that is probably why. I would not have labeled a partition that way, myself.

>>.....what you thought was a normal install was actually another install inside Windows.<<

I see how this might have been the case but it isn't.

>> Or it's installed as it should be, but Grub boot loader was set up in sda5 rather than the on the MBR of sda. <<

that feels right...don't know why......i selected the partition that I had designated for mint......and it installed there...I was surprised (and even a bit relieved in a way) to see no change in the booting, as I am still worried about windows.....and this machine only has one drive....I keep my "real life" on external USB drives, although if memory serves, none were hooked up at the time...only the stick that I used for the install of the ISO extraction (my DVD is defective and I am waiting for a new one from DELL).

>>Or, after you uninstalled Mint4Win from Windows, you should have deleted that partition and the Windows formatted extended partition to leave you with empty, unformatted space to install on.<<

that is what I did.

>> I don't know, because I have no knowledge of how the system is left after removing Mint4Win.<<

the boot selection disappeared...as it should have....once I uninstalled mint inside windows.

>> I don't think your computer is using UEFI to boot rather than BIOS, but you should confirm this for sure if you don't know yourself. <<

i did not even know about this choice, but found it when troubleshooting and it is set for "legacy boot" as I could not be sure that "secure boot" (what I think you are referring to?) would have cost me.

<the bios even gave a warning to that effect>

>>See 2/3rd's down this page to find out how under Windows: http://www.rodsbooks.com/refind/bootmode.html. If computer is not booted using UEFI, your problem should be easily solveable. If it is you should make a new post under the "Installation and Boot" section of the forum with a title along the lines of "UEFI Duel Boot Problem". Someone who knows more about that issue will answer.<<

as soon as I can get back to it, I am going to read what you suggest and I will report back in.

you've been great and i am grateful.

>>Post back with answer to above (is it back under Windows again?) and also let us know if you deleted any partitions after uninstalling from Windows or not?<<

see above, please.

robert
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Re: install but no retention of data

Postby rn1 on Mon Nov 04, 2013 11:17 am

ps somewhere along the way after i uninstalled windows mint, so to speak, I also resized the partitions.......and I temporarily installed...for a very short period.......olivia/kde.....then decided to go back to mint after a look.........mint seems friendlier and I need that now...whereas down the road I will get further into this kind of thing.

i am also concomitantly reading a couple of linux books.....and am mightily impressed by what i have been missing.
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Re: install but no retention of data

Postby rn1 on Mon Nov 04, 2013 11:42 am

pps:

this looks interesting, doesn't it?:

http://www.pendrivelinux.com/yumi-multi ... b-creator/
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Re: install but no retention of data

Postby gold_finger on Mon Nov 04, 2013 2:44 pm

gold_finger wrote:Also, the partitioning on drive sda4 has me confused -- seems to be formatted with a label I haven't seen before, "W95 Extended". My guess is that this is an extended partition created by Windows, but I don't know. The Linux partition, sda5 is contained in extended sda4 -- which is fine.

rn1 wrote:this is a dell m6700....a zippy portable workstation which they have some of their own partitions on as the machine comes out of the box......that is probably why. I would not have labeled a partition that way, myself.

You wouldn't have, but the installer would have if that's how it works. Again, having no experience with it, I don't know whether this is the case. If anyone else reading this has an installation using Mint4Win, could you post an image of what your partitions look like using either GParted or Windows disk manager; and possibly the output of "sudo fdisk -l" (lowercase "L" and run command without quotes) to see how the extended partition is labeled. Thanks.

rn1,
Re-reading through your initial post, are you saying that you cannot boot into Windows anymore -- with or without live USB? If you can then, even though we're both pretty sure you're not booting with UEFI, do run through the steps noted here to be 100% sure what we're dealing with: http://www.rodsbooks.com/refind/bootmode.html

If you can't boot into Windows, then boot into live USB. Open GParted and take a screenshot of the GParted window showing the structure of your hard drive -- likely /dev/sda -- and post it back here.
Open GParted -- Menu -> Administration -> GParted
Screenshot -- Menu -> Accessories -> Screenshot (Select screenshot of current window with GParted being the only window not minimized on the screen, or make sure it is in the foreground of other windows.)
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Re: install but no retention of data

Postby rn1 on Mon Nov 04, 2013 2:58 pm

i have had no problems booting into windows...at any time....I guess I have been lucky...................sorry if I left that impression.

and until i am completely done with this migration, I cannot afford any, which is why part of me is glad I can apparently effect a desired result with a prepared USB drive rather than attempt, ignorant of such matters as I still am, to insert GRUB code looking for the added convenience of a locally booted machine, if you will.

thanks.
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Re: install but no retention of data

Postby gold_finger on Mon Nov 04, 2013 3:00 pm

One more thing to do and post back while you have it running the live USB. Install the gdisk package to the live environment, then execute command below and copy/paste the output back here.

To install gdisk, open a terminal and enter:
Code: Select all
sudo apt-get install gdisk


Once installed, (it's installed when the prompt returns to the terminal), type the following, hit enter, then copy/paste the output here. (Use the "Code" button in forum interface and paste output between the code blocks.)
Code: Select all
sudo gdisk -l /dev/sda

(That's a lowercase "L" after gdisk.)
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Re: install but no retention of data

Postby rn1 on Mon Nov 04, 2013 3:18 pm

i am not sure what the gdisk package is, but if it has anything to do with email, as I suspect, i am sorry but I cannot do that.

while these are not government machines, ours are restricted as to what they may and may not log into....including no email services that are not already mission critical, etc.
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Re: install but no retention of data

Postby gold_finger on Mon Nov 04, 2013 3:36 pm

gdisk is a partitioning tool. By running it with the "-l" command aimed at your sda drive it will report back the structure and, most importantly, tell whether the disk is formatted as GPT. Running the command referenced does not change anything on the drive -- it just reports back what it sees.
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Re: install but no retention of data

Postby rn1 on Mon Nov 04, 2013 3:43 pm

sorry. i think you mean this?:

http://sourceforge.net/projects/gptfdisk/
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Re: install but no retention of data

Postby gold_finger on Mon Nov 04, 2013 3:53 pm

Yes -- that's what the gdisk package is.
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Re: install but no retention of data

Postby rn1 on Mon Nov 04, 2013 6:00 pm

a search also..fyi..brought up something about googlemail.....

but I understand now.

tnx
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Re: install but no retention of data

Postby rn1 on Mon Nov 04, 2013 11:38 pm

well, gold_finger,

this is getting farther away, I fear.

running usb live does boot into linux, but any change I try to make is still never saved (I have simply been saving a newly created text file to desktop and rebooting.

while in there, I reinstalled mint from an icon on the desktop....made sure it was installed in the root, it is on dev/sda5, and this is in a linux partition.

still no way to boot into it, although if I have the usb drive in, it will again take me to loading the software, but from the usb drive...it does not appear to load the one on the hard drive.

i was hoping to avoid more right now, given how crazy busy i am, but I am still in the same position...no way to make persistent changes to anything on the system on the drive.

if i remove the usb drive, the machine boots into windows normally,

trying different "secure boot" settings, etc., in the bios only resulted in no boot, until i reversed them.

I have your instructions and will whittle away at this, but it is perplexing that even the USB method still does not work.

<sigh>

any other thoughts?

thank you
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