Installing Linux Mint on a Vista Machine (1st time)

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Installing Linux Mint on a Vista Machine (1st time)

Postby dave on Tue Jul 17, 2007 9:38 pm

Hello, I have a new Dell Optiplex GX750 with Vista installed.

In Vista, I shrunk the main OS partition so I have 32 GB unused space.

While in the 'install' process I picked Manual setup for partitioning.

What it reports now is:

DEVICE TYPE MOUNT POINT SIZE
/dev/sda1 fat16 /media/sda1 49mb
/dev/sda2 ntfs /media/sda2 2147mb
/dev/sda3 ntfs /media/sda3 213440bm
free space 34360mb

I'd like to have a 4gb boot/linux mint partition, a 4gb swap partition and the rest of the free space as a /home partition.

Is there a way to set this up without hurting my Vista setup?

Thanks in advance,

-- Dave
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Postby Boo on Wed Jul 18, 2007 2:43 am

yes easy i have done it too.
you got to the right area manual partition.
so create the 3 partitions as logical ones and set their mount points.

if you dont want the windows partitions mounted at all leave them for now and after you boot into mint for the first time comment them out in the /etc/fstab file, unmount them or reboot. this will stop mintdisk mounting them.

that is it.

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Postby dave on Wed Jul 18, 2007 11:11 pm

Boo wrote:yes easy [snip] so create the 3 partitions as logical ones and set their mount points.

It is? :cry: I'm having a hard time of it. :roll: I was trying to use the partition software included in the 'install' process and I had several problems:
  1. How do you build more than one partition? Is it possible with the partitioning software included in the 'install' of Linux Mint, or do I use Vista Disk manager first?
  2. What's a Meda point? The WIKI mentions "/","/home", and "swap"... yet the partitioning software said that all names had to start with a "/". (no "/" for swap?)
  3. What should I actually name my media points? (or does it even matter?)
  4. Is it possible to complete the Linux Mint install without having to reinstall Vista?

I've looked over the Wiki, did a Google search, and searched the forums here before asking my questions. If this is already covered somewhere, then I missed it.

I apologize if I'm asking really stupid questions... I'm OK with windows, but this is my first attempt at installing Linux. My Unix/Linux experience is just a few commands on Unix V (or was it IV)... When Lucent Tech. just took it over... I got all the basic directory commands down and how to show and kill processes. Even that was over 10 years ago.

Thanks for your time,

-- Dave
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Postby Boo on Thu Jul 19, 2007 1:03 am

1. you only need to use the install partitioner.
2. the installer partitioner finds all your partitions and assumes that you will want to look in them when you are using linux so it mounts those partitions at /media/<partition-name>. so the installer found your 3 windows partitions and has called their mount points /media/sda1, /media/sda2 and /media/sda3.
2.a. swap does not have a mount point, it is just formatted as swap. (swap is like a raw filesystem that only the kernel ever accesses).
3. just leave the media points as they are.
4. no vista reinstall needed, it is preferable to have it installed before installing linux.

on to the partitioning
once installing go to prepare disk space --> manual
leave the 3 /media/sda? alone.
select the free space line.
click new partition
choose logical partition button
partition size --> 4000
use as --> swap
OK
select the free space line.
click new partition
choose logical partition button
partition size --> 4000
use as --> ext3
mount point --> /
OK
select the free space line.
click new partition
choose logical partition button
partition size --> leave this as it should be the rest of the disk.
use as --> ext3
mount point --> /home
OK
forward
accept the rest of the defaults.
reboot once finished and take out the CD.

when the system boots now it will automatically boot to Linux.
if you want to boot to windows you will have to press a key at the grub boot screen (text screen) and use the arrow down to choose the vista/windows line and press enter.

Good luck.

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Postby dave on Fri Jul 20, 2007 4:05 pm

** Update **

I get what to do now.... I've decided to install Linux on my machine instead of the new one my dad will use.

I've tried to install Linux Mint twice now on this machine, but the install process seems to freeze up doing CD reads. Will try again later.

Thanks for all your help.

-- Dave
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