Dual booting Vista and Linux Mint

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Dual booting Vista and Linux Mint

Postby Knight319 on Wed Feb 13, 2008 12:07 am

Recently, I have taken interest in Linux Mint because of all the good thing's I've been hearing about it. First off, I would just like to point out that it would be used for test purposes as I still prefer Vista to it. I currently have 20 gigs of space left out of an 80 gig hard drive (Yes I know I need to get a bigger one soon).

I made sure my Live CD was working yesterday, but the only issue I had with it is when I tried to boot from it while my USB Flash Drive was still plugged in. It would not boot correctly while the Flash Drive was plugged in so I had to unplug it and voila.

So, could I follow this guide to help me partition and install Linux Mint seeing as it was written for Ubuntu 7.04?
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Re: Dual booting Vista and Linux Mint

Postby Fred on Wed Feb 13, 2008 1:02 am

Knight319,

I had an almost identical situation the other day. If you follow the same course. You should get the same results. :-)

Good luck,

Fred

viewtopic.php?f=90&t=9211
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Re: Dual booting Vista and Linux Mint

Postby Knight319 on Wed Feb 13, 2008 1:55 am

Alright, thanks Fred.

I've looked through some of your posts in the thread and will be following some of them along with the link I posted above. I do have a few questions though. Let's say, I boot into Linux Mint via the Live CD, I hit install and go up into the part about Paritioning, I would click Manual Parition and set a size (Let's say 6-10 gigs). Would I need to make any other partitions along with the 6-10 gig partition? Also, I know ATI drivers are a bit bad for Linux currently, but would I just be able to go onto ATI's site, browse into their Driver section, click Linux x86, click my Graphics card model, download and install without any further steps?

Sorry about all the questions, I'm quite new to Linux.
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Re: Dual booting Vista and Linux Mint

Postby Fred on Wed Feb 13, 2008 10:45 am

Knight319,

First, let me answer your questions:

Yes following my instructions in that thread you would make a swap partition, a / (root) partition, and a /home partition. The swap partition should be twice the amount of your physical ram not to exceed 4 Gig total physical ram plus swap. If you have 1 Gig of ram your swap size would be 2 Gig. If you have 1.5 Gig of ram your swap size would be 2.5 Gig. This isn't a hard, fast rule. Just a rule of thumb.

There is a program in Mint called "Envy," you will find it in the Mint menu. It will download and install the correct driver for you. This is the easiest and safest way to install the ATI drivers.

As far as doing the install by mixing and matching methods, I don't know how that will work out for you. I have not used Windows on a regular basis since Windows 98. :-) I have never even seen Vista, let alone used it. So I can't express an opinion about your intended use of Vista/Windows tools. Having said that, I do know that if you read, study, understand, and follow the instructions in the url I gave you, chances are you will wind up with a working, trouble free, dual boot system.

Good luck and post back if you have further questions.

Fred
Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over and each time expecting a different result.

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Re: Dual booting Vista and Linux Mint

Postby Knight319 on Thu Feb 14, 2008 12:40 am

Thanks again Fred.

These are probaly the last questions I'll have about partitioning the drive, so here goes:

I currently freed up about another 10 gigs of space totalling to about 30 gigs. If I look at that tutorial that went with my first post, I would shrink let's say... 12 gigs. By reading your posts, I would make a 4 gig Swap partition (Seeing as I have 2 gigs of RAM), but I'm confused on how would I make a Swap partition, Root, and Home partitions. With that 12 gigs of space that is unallocated, would I just be able to do these 3 things in the Mint installer?

Sorry about all the questions, I've never had to really deal with anything like this before. I've been a Windows user since the 3.1 days.
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Re: Dual booting Vista and Linux Mint

Postby Fred on Thu Feb 14, 2008 3:02 am

Knight319,

If I understood you correctly you have a total of 12 Gig of space to work with for your linux install after you shrank your Windows partition.

Since you have 2 Gig of ram you would ordinarily make a 2 Gig swap partition, (we don't want to exceed 4 Gig. total, remember?). Because you don't have a lot of disk space to play with, make it 1 Gig. instead. I would then make a 7.5 Gig. / (root) and a 3.5 Gig. /home. That won't give you a lot of space for data, (in Linux all your data goes in /home), but you can move /home to another drive later if you chose to.

Yes, the Gparted partitioning utility is part of the installer routine on the Mint cd. So when you run the install routine from the live cd, you will be asked to make and mount partitions at the appropriate time. There is a how-to referenced in the other thread that will familiarize you on how to create the partitions. The only critical part to remember is Do not format your Windows partition and do not try to shrink it smaller than the amount of space it is actually using plus 20%. As long as you don't do that you can't really do too much damage. If you screw up you can always start over. Go ahead and jump in. You can abort the install before you commit the changes. That way you will actually be able to see the screens you will be working with.

You can always come back and ask questions. I don't mind.

Fred
Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over and each time expecting a different result.

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Re: Dual booting Vista and Linux Mint

Postby Knight319 on Thu Feb 14, 2008 9:25 pm

Hello again Fred.

Well I decided to ignore the partition editor in Vista and moved into the Linux Mint partitioner. I also decided I'll go with 13 gigs of space so I could have the 2 gig swap. But I am completely stumped at this part. Even following your instructions, I'm still stumped. Would I hit edit partition, and edit the New Partition Size area to about 2 gigs for swap, 7.5 gig for Root and 3.5 for Home? Could you help me out a bit? (Screenshot included)
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Re: Dual booting Vista and Linux Mint

Postby Fred on Fri Feb 15, 2008 5:54 am

Knight319,

I certainly am glad you posted that screen shot. It changes things a bit. Microsoft wants to make it as difficult as possible to try something else. lol

You already have 3 partitions on the disk. sda1 is probably some kind of boot loader, sda2 is your Vista install, and sda3 is a Vista recovery partition.

I honestly don't know if it is safe to change the partition number of the recovery partition. I would hate to have you change it, which we would have to do if we set it up the way I had originally intended, and at some later date you need it to restore your Vista install and it didn't work. Not knowing how Vista handles that I hesitate to change it. If you haven't already figured it out, I tend to be rather conservative.

So, what we need to do is get your free space to the end of your partition table, which will leave the first 3 partitions numbered as they are, which is a bit beyond what the installer can do.

If you are willing to stick with it, I will walk you through the process. I like to think I am slow and thorough. Others might say slow and plodding. But we will get there. It really isn't that hard, just new to you.

For now I am going to assume you want to go on. First I want you to download a small Linux live cd called Puppy shard 3.01 iso. You will find it on the Puppy Linux community site. It came out in Nov. I believe. It isn't large, only about 155 MB. Burn it slow to a cd and check the md5 sum. When you are done put it in your drive and reboot. It runs completely in ram and won't touch your hard disk unless you tell it to. You will have to answer a few questions, language, keyboard, etc. Choose xorg when asked and you will get a nice simple Win98 like screen. Right click on the screen and you will get a menu. Under utilities you will see Gparted. Click on it and when the program opens you will see a graphical representation of your disk with the text about each partition in a table below it. Right click on one of the partitions and you will see an entry called resize/move. Choose that and you will see what that does. You pick the size you want and the space before or after the partition. You can poke around and familiarize yourself with the various options and screens. Don't actually commit anything, just look. :-) When you feel comfortable with what you see, close the program without committing anything.

Ok you can remove the cd and log out of Puppy and restart. When it asks you if you want to save the session choose "NO." Log back into Vista.

I always suggest that you defrag your hard drive before you shrink partitions. I think it just gives you a little more safety. Others will tell you it isn't needed, and they are probably right, but it just makes me feel more comfortable and also gives you a faster Vista when it is all over with. There is no iron clad guarantee that you won't loose data when you resize a partition, so anything you have that you absolutely can't afford to loose, back it up. Having said that I can tell you that people do it successfully everyday, but a warning is still in order. Ok go ahead and start the defrag if you wish to do so. It will take a while.

Ok lets decide how much space you are going to liberate from the Vista install. You are currently using 42.7 Gig. If we allow you 8 Gig. more for programs and data that would be 50.7 Gig. You need about 20% head room which would be another 10.1 Gig. for a total of 60.8 Gig. The partition is currently 74.9 Gig less the 60.8 Gig you want to keep gives us approximately 14 Gig. to work with. I wouldn't suggest you take anymore than that out of your Vista install.

With 14 Gig to work with lets see what we can do. How about swap=2 Gig., / (root)=8 Gig, and /home=4 Gig. That should give you plenty of space in /home for you to see if you like Mint. If you later decide to get another drive you can move /home to the new drive, or reinstall the whole installation there for that matter. You will have several options at that point.

I think thats enough for one bite. :-) Post back if this is the way you want to go or if you have other questions. And we can move on from there.

Enjoy, :-)

Fred
Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over and each time expecting a different result.

Democracy is 2 wolves and a lamb voting on the menu. Liberty is an armed lamb protesting the electoral outcome. A Republic negates the need for an armed protest.
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Re: Dual booting Vista and Linux Mint

Postby Knight319 on Fri Feb 15, 2008 11:05 am

Once again, thanks Fred.

I do have a quick question though. I do not have any other blank CD-R's or CD-RW's (Fresh out of these) and the nearest store that sells these CD's is quite a distance away. I do have an extra flash drive though, so would I be able to download and move Puppy Linux into the flash drive and boot from the BIOS (I can already boot from the flash drive since I've done it before) or could I download Gparted and boot it from the USB Flash drive?
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Re: Dual booting Vista and Linux Mint

Postby Fred on Fri Feb 15, 2008 11:11 am

Hummm... good question. Yes, I think I remember seeing several posts about putting Puppy on a usb pendrive. Search their forum site and see what you find.

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Re: Dual booting Vista and Linux Mint

Postby Fred on Fri Feb 15, 2008 12:07 pm

Here is the page for Puppy shard 3.01 iso 155MB version.

http://tmxxine.com/Wikka/wikka.php?wakk ... xxineShard

Here is a link for installing to usb flash, but doesn't help much since it requires you to be running it first.

http://www.pendrivelinux.com/2006/03/25 ... ux-on-usb/

Fred
Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over and each time expecting a different result.

Democracy is 2 wolves and a lamb voting on the menu. Liberty is an armed lamb protesting the electoral outcome. A Republic negates the need for an armed protest.
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Re: Dual booting Vista and Linux Mint

Postby MagnusB on Fri Feb 15, 2008 12:25 pm

You could also .... the recovery partition and burn out recovery DVDs, if you have Vista install CDs/DVD.. However, if you have been using the system for a while, I would recommend recovering from the partition and then make the DVDs from a clean install. Windows get dirty and slow after a few months use...
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Re: Dual booting Vista and Linux Mint

Postby Fred on Fri Feb 15, 2008 1:24 pm

MagnusB,

Any light you can shed on Vista especially would be appreciated. I am in the dark there. What is that on his first partition.

Fred
Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over and each time expecting a different result.

Democracy is 2 wolves and a lamb voting on the menu. Liberty is an armed lamb protesting the electoral outcome. A Republic negates the need for an armed protest.
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Re: Dual booting Vista and Linux Mint

Postby MagnusB on Fri Feb 15, 2008 2:30 pm

I do not know, it might be a hidden partition, I am not sure. Vista does not use a seperate partition for a bootloader, at least not as far as I know. I know some OEM's use a partition which is "bootable" for recovery, meaning you could press FSomething and it will boot into recovery. However, how far this works when you add GRUB to MBR, I am not sure, I am guessing the Vista MBR has something to do with it.
So my guess is that the small FAT partition just contains the boot, the somewhat larger FAT partition contains the recovery data. As I suggested earlier, do a recovery (if not to late) and use the built in recovery application in Vista to make a DVD. This way you could always recover from a DVD (if you have the Vista install DVD). Funnily enough, Vista does not make bootable recovery images, just something to use in conjunction with the install DVD... Go figure... Or you could keep Vista's MBR to boot both linux and Vista, however, this could be tricky...
EDIT:
And I have been meaning to ask you Fred, fan of GTA: Vice City? "My patented definition of madness...."
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Re: Dual booting Vista and Linux Mint

Postby Knight319 on Fri Feb 15, 2008 5:28 pm

Thanks again guys.

I'm not 100% sure what the first partition is, but it may have to do with boot. The third partition is probaly my Dell recovery partition.

I've had Vista installed since about March and the performance has stayed the same until I installed the Service Pack 1 Release Candidate refresh which actually sped up the system greatly.

I will begin downloading the Puppy Linux and read the tutorial. I'm sure I could somehow get it to work.
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Re: Dual booting Vista and Linux Mint

Postby MagnusB on Fri Feb 15, 2008 5:50 pm

IF you overwrite MBR with GRUB, you might loose all possibilities to perform a recovery operation of Vista.. Be warned :) I seem to remember a similar post on a norwegian forum, I think he managed to keep his recovery abilities, could translate the solution for you, if you are interested..
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Re: Dual booting Vista and Linux Mint

Postby Knight319 on Fri Feb 15, 2008 6:45 pm

Well, I think I'll take the risk and go ahead with it.

From Fred's instructions, I could not download Puppy Linux due to me being out of CD-R's and CD-RW. I tried to boot from my flash drive, but could not. I did go ahead and look on the Gparted website. Apparently, I could do something called LiveUSB. Here's the exact steps from it:

LiveUSB
Since 0.3.4-x version, GParted LiveUSB can be created from the iso LiveCD.
So there is no need to download another file !

To use the LiveUSB,

-either download this file in the directory where you have downloaded the iso file,
untar it (tar -xjf set_usb.sh.tar.bz2), become root and run it (sh set_usb.sh),

-either follow these simple instuctions (before 0.3.4-3):

(1) Create a fat16 partition on the usb stick and make sure it's flagged "boot".

(2) Copy from the livecd all the files from isolinux and syslinux directories
and gparted.dat file too, to the usb key.

(3) UMOUNT the usb stick and execute this command:
syslinux -s /dev/sda1
(imagine sda1 is the partition of your usb key ; but it could be something else such as sdb1.

You may find a complete description of the steps to follow at the forum !

-either follow these simple instuctions (since 0.3.4-3):

The second step is a bit different since there is no more isolinux directory !
You need to copy gparted.dat, and both gparted and gparted.igz files from boot/ directory,
and also all the files in syslinux directory, to your usb-key.

Browse releases of the old LiveUSB version here

So would I boot into Linux Mint via the Live CD, do this, then boot into Gparted, make a few partitions, restart, boot into Linux Mint, and go from there?
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Re: Dual booting Vista and Linux Mint

Postby Fred on Sat Feb 16, 2008 12:02 am

Knight319,

Right now I am feeling like a bit of an idiot. How about checking something for me. I don't have a cd of Mint 4 burned right now, I gave it to a friend the other day. Run the live cd and check and see if Gparted is in the menu. If it is open it and see if it has the move/resize option available. That could be the solution right there. I don't know why I didn't think of that. Right there in front of me. My Alzheimers must be acting up again. :-)

MagnusB wrote:

EDIT:
And I have been meaning to ask you Fred, fan of GTA: Vice City? "My patented definition of madness...."


Sorry MagnusB, I don't get it. You need to spell it out a little better for an old man. :-)

Knight319, The process is to shrink the Windows partition as I talked about earlier. then move the sda3 partition back up next to the Windows partition, as it is now. That will put all your free space together at the end of the partition table. Then make the partitions we talked about earlier in that free space.

Then run the install program, format and assign or mount those new partitions.

You can get back to me to clarify parts you don't understand.

Fred
Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over and each time expecting a different result.

Democracy is 2 wolves and a lamb voting on the menu. Liberty is an armed lamb protesting the electoral outcome. A Republic negates the need for an armed protest.
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Re: Dual booting Vista and Linux Mint

Postby Knight319 on Sat Feb 16, 2008 12:35 am

Good evening Fred.

Alright, I booted into Linux Mint and did find Gparted in there. Hmmm, it says I cannot have more than 4 primary partitions, and I don't want to delete the Dell Recovery and boot partitions... So am I out of luck?

Edit: Actually, I tried something, I haven't applied it yet so I need a few answers. I made the 14 gigs of free (Unallocated space) into an Extended partition, and the swap, home, and root partitions as Logical partitions under the Extended partition. Should I apply it, or should I just say forget it?

Screenshot is included.
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Re: Dual booting Vista and Linux Mint

Postby NoClue! on Sat Feb 16, 2008 1:26 am

That was nice of dell to burn up your primary partitions for one stinkin vista install.
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