Installing Windows 8 along with Mint and Ubunto

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Installing Windows 8 along with Mint and Ubunto

Postby ceciliasp on Sat Jan 19, 2013 12:17 pm

Hi.
I have a dual boot Lenovo G550 running Linux Mint 14 Nadia and Ubuntu 12.10, each on a different partition on the same hard disk.
The thing is that I'm moving to an in-campus residence where I'll have Internet connection provided by the school wireless network, so I'll have to register my MAC address and do some fine tuning of my network configuration, but they don't support or assist configuring Linux computers (can you believe that???).
So, I'm considering installing Windows 8 just in case there is any problem at the begining, at least untill I get the thing working fine.
The question is: How do I install Windows on a Linux running machine? Should I make a new partition? (I'm really considering getting rid of Ubuntu) .
What about GRUB ? Will it handle Windows 8?
Thanks for any hint/info/tutorial/documentation you could provide.

Cecilia
Argentina
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Re: Installing Windows 8 along with Mint and Ubunto

Postby AlbertP on Sat Jan 19, 2013 12:28 pm

Grub does certainly handle Windows 8 well, but you would need to reinstall it after the Windows 8 installation. (Unless you use a separate harddisk, an external one for example, for Windows 8)

Reinstalling Grub if necessary, can be done with this tutorial: http://community.linuxmint.com/tutorial/view/245

If you are installing on the same harddisk as Linux, I would recommend creating an NTFS partition using GParted (on the Mint Live DVD) to install Windows 8 on.
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Re: Installing Windows 8 along with Mint and Ubunto

Postby Jerry on Sat Jan 19, 2013 12:56 pm

This is just an alternate idea to what AlbertP has posted. His idea is essentially very good. :)

*First, it does not surprise me that schools dont support linux. It seems that as long as Windows is around, things should be just fine. I know, it's sad, isn't it?
Secondly, back up Nadia to an external HD or CD. The reason for backing up is that when you install Windows 8, it is going to completely overwrite GRUB/MBR such that you won't be able to access/login to Nadia any longer. This is what is really upsetting about Windows.

*Thirdly, if you do intend on getting rid of Ubuntu, then you can install onto the former Ubuntu partition. If that becomes the case, go into Nadia and run gparted. Delete the Ubuntu partition and reformat it to become an NTFS partition and make absolutely sure you recall the partition size of that newly created NTFS partition size because when it comes to installing Windows 8. You want to make sure that Windows 8 recognizes the correct partition size. Not potentially the incorrect partition size that Nadia is located on.

Run the CD for Windows 8 and ensure that Windows 8 recognizes/see's the newly created NTFS partition size. Install onto that partition.

The next thing you need to do is to install a Graphical Boot Manager. GAG is open source, recognizes Linux, Windows, and a host of other operating systems. I have used it before and it works fine.
GAG is here: http://gag.sourceforge.net/download.html. You could use that one or one of your own choosing.

Install the free program onto CD and run set up for GAG. Use it to boot into Nadia and Windows 8. Make sure that you know which sector of the hard drive Nadia is installed on.
If all else fails even after GAG install and you still have Nadia backed up (hopefully you will be wise to do this), re-install Nadia and then back up Nadia from your back up source. Edit Grub as well so that it sees/recognizes the Windows partition. Grub should be working again along with Grub seeing your Windows 8 partition.

Finally, if the above idea is not suitable for you, you might want to Google "how to prevent windows from overwriting grub"
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Re: Installing Windows 8 along with Mint and Ubunto

Postby ceciliasp on Sat Jan 19, 2013 2:04 pm

Thanks Albert and Seal for the quick reply.
So the difference between both answers is that in Seal's opinion I should back up and reinstall Nadia?
My idea is deleting Ubuntu's partition and convert it to NTFS so I can install Windows 8 there, but I was in no way considering reinstalling Mint!. Is Windows that BAD :evil: :evil: ???
Second: Whe you say "backing up" you mean backing up my home directory or anything else? because since I'm switching distros all the time, all my personal information (documents, music, videos, pictures) I keep it on a seperate partition that, I assume, wont be touched by the new installation (I hope!). So what directory should I really back up?

And finally... I hate Windows!
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Re: Installing Windows 8 along with Mint and Ubunto

Postby Jerry on Sat Jan 19, 2013 4:08 pm

If you keep things on a separate partition, then you don't need to back up, of course. This I wasn't aware of since you had not mentioned it earlier.

Regardless. Be aware that if you install Windows 8 on your Ubuntu partition, Windows is going to overwrite GRUB and all you will be left with is the ability to login to Windows only. I doubt that you will have any access directly to Mint via the Windows MBR as GRUB is overwritten. With GRUB as your only boot access to an operating system, you never have that stupid problem. Thank Bill Gates for that.
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Re: Installing Windows 8 along with Mint and Ubunto

Postby AlbertP on Sun Jan 20, 2013 9:17 am

ceciliasp wrote:I was in no way considering reinstalling Mint!. Is Windows that BAD :evil: :evil: ???

Windows is destroying your bootloader indeed, so you don't have a choice but to reinstall Grub (http://community.linuxmint.com/tutorial/view/245) or to reinstall Mint completely.
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Re: Installing Windows 8 along with Mint and Ubunto

Postby ceciliasp on Sun Jan 20, 2013 4:09 pm

Well...after carefully reading all the comments and gathering all the needed files and command lines that could be neeed, I finally took courage and installed windows 8 (previously erasing ubuntu 12.10, sorry cannonical but I got tired of your bugs and freezes).
Everything went smooth and without trouble. Of course that, as you guys said, the grub file was overwritten, but it took just one live cd boot and a few command lines to fix that.
Fortunately, there was no need to reinstall mint, everything was there after fixing GRUB.

I do have to say that the windows installation process is simple and fast. Except for the part where you have to enter the product key ;).
Thank you guys for the help!
I hope this post is usefull to others.

Cecilia

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