[SOLVED]Mint Install Broke Windows

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[SOLVED]Mint Install Broke Windows

Postby vandalheart on Sat Mar 23, 2013 7:00 pm

I have preserved my original, lengthy post but for convenience sake I decided to add it to my first post.

After some digging around, and good advice from the people who responded to my thread, I simply made sure to free up space via windows, and at the same time took the liberty of creating various partitions for swap space an so forth. the link that helped me is as follows

http://abeykoon.blogspot.com/2013/01/se ... -dual.html

not so difficult, one has to ensure to install grub to the 14gb / directory during the install phase.

after this(not mentioned in the article) you need to boot mint somehow. the Master Boot Record does not detect it automatically. a small program sorts this out nicely via windows. almost forgot to add the link

http://www.softpedia.com/get/System/OS- ... yBCD.shtml


Thanks and Enjoy, peeps
I apologize if this has been raised before

Today I decided to install Mint on my Tosh Satellite c660 laptop, but for various reasons I wanted to hold on to as much of my windows as I could. I am not a total noob, I have been using linux for a few years now.

I started with Ubuntu, but as with many other people, this became too heavy and strained as time passed. my poor old system(this was an old laptop ofcourse) could not keep up, and I wanted something with a decent set of out of the box features. MATE mint 13 appealed to me.

I downloaded mint 32 bit after much consideration(the internet is rather limited where I am, 700mb for the ISO is quite a plunge) and was impressed with how much lighter the aging system felt after a fresh install. I had wiped my dual boot XP and Buntu 11 for Maya.

I have had my lappy since December and am quite happy with it. a modest intel dual core 2.2 with 2gb ram and 1gb gpu, came standard with Win 7.

Concerned about the warranty, I continued to use it exclusively as a 7 machine, but today I decided not to care and dug out my mint live USB, excited to be free of proprietary software once more. well not entirely, mostly for gaming reasons, I was going to hold on to my 7. (Im more of a console gamer tbh, but still)

The installation was quick and smooth, everything worked unlike before where there were a few drivers and ish that I had to hunt down, and I was eager to test some of the programs that had either strained my old laptop or not worked at all.

All was awesome until I decided to reboot into windows, and boom it hits me with a blue flash and reboots. My worst nightmare, broken windows :(
from past experience, windows startup recovery(which was my only option from windows side) bombed grub in the restoration process and made my old PC entirely unbootable, and I cancelled this to boot back into mint.

Currently I am backing up the windows partition which is still accessible and intact, before I do anything. I dont understand why windows 7 can boot in recovery mode and completely fail to recognize a partition. Is it possible that in the installation process (which seemingly wasnt so smooth) broke the windows partition instead of resizing it? has anyone else had this experience?

is there possibly some utility that allows me to "normalize" the partitions so that it doesnt seem "broken" to windows7?

in the startup repair it listed the volume as 0mb. im not too worried about re installing mint but I would rather not re install windows as I dont have a disk.
Could I get it to remove mint and restore the partition to original? and then edit it from within windows so that any changes do not affect it when I re install. I should have thought about that, but I didnt expect it to bust my windows.

thanks in advance, im stumped.

VH
Last edited by vandalheart on Mon Apr 08, 2013 8:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mint Install Broke Windows

Postby Pierre on Sun Mar 24, 2013 3:45 am

when dealing with any Windows that was released after win_xp,
there is a catch, in that the partition-er within the installer,
- should *not* be used to re-size the windows partitions.
- use the windows 'inbuilt' "disk manager" - instead.

if you don't do this, then windows can often crash,
as it has some 'non-movable' files that are located towards the end of that partition.

- within the windows control panel, search for "disk management"
- use that before attempting to install any 'nix O/S.

this issue did not exist, under win_xp & the 'nix installers partition-er would work just fine.

did you ever make the 'windows7 repair disk?.
- used to recover from a win7 crash. but not supplied by default with your new PC.
- if not, they are usually sold on Ebay & other places.
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Re: Mint Install Broke Windows

Postby vandalheart on Sun Mar 24, 2013 5:37 am

Pierre wrote:when dealing with any Windows that was released after win_xp,
there is a catch, in that the partition-er within the installer,
- should *not* be used to re-size the windows partitions.
- use the windows 'inbuilt' "disk manager" - instead.

if you don't do this, then windows can often crash,
as it has some 'non-movable' files that are located towards the end of that partition.

- within the windows control panel, search for "disk management"
- use that before attempting to install any 'nix O/S.

this issue did not exist, under win_xp & the 'nix installers partition-er would work just fine.

did you ever make the 'windows7 repair disk?.
- used to recover from a win7 crash. but not supplied by default with your new PC.
- if not, they are usually sold on Ebay & other places.


Oh, fuzz. I am surprised a modern Linux wouldn't have worked around that by now! I was a bit reckless and made no attempt at backing up.I didn't foresee this rather annoying predicament, although it hardly surprises me.

Are these 'unmovable' files still on the drive? I know it might be a long shot since by unmovable i surmise you mean they were not moved, simply overwritten.

What is the nature of the files? Since its a relatively fresh and largely unused drive, is test disk or another such utility able to recover the partition?

I was hoping Linux had a solution to this, win 7 has been around for a while. But then there's always the politics and MS probably all kinds of patents for sharing this.

I recall a fellow Linux user telling me about this, but he was using suse so
I didn't pay much attention to this.

Thank you for your help, it make sense somewhat at least. Hoping it can be fixed :-)
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dual boot disaster- the tale of a toasted system

Postby vandalheart on Sun Mar 24, 2013 3:39 pm

My experience with mint has thus far been lacklustre, it has proven to be a lot more unstable than I had anticipated. I chose mint because it was lightweight compared to the all too familiar and clunky Ubuntu, and as a derivative thereof I expected similar stability and user friendliness.

My first and foremost gripe with this otherwise impressive OS is the fact that you have to modify your partition from within post xp windows before you install. I did not realize this, as the install process lulls you into a false sense of security with its simple partition resizing slider thing.

IMHO, win vista and 7 have been out for ages so surely the folks that release these "user friendly" distros would have worked around installs destroying the partition table in windows. This should be an urgent endeavor. Or at least warn a brother before he resizes a partition for a dual boot. All the data is still present(backing up as I write this) but windows can only boot into startup repair, and fails to recognize that there is in fact a 400 GB partition(it lists its capacity as 0mb)

What's more is, windows seems to have reclaimed all the available space on the mint partition and now I can't make any changes to the system, even modifying a .conf spits out a 'device is full" error and it fails to save any changes.

The most annoying thing about this situation perhaps is that while I am backing up my precious data, the screen blanks every 5 minutes and there is no way to change this, even if I set the screen to never switch off. This effectively pauses the backup so I have to sit and hit a key or move a mouse every 5 minutes. This has ruined my mint experience.

Lastly, what's up with the virtual box thing? I tried to change my display manager to lightdm as the stock MDM is tedious, and it seems mint is running within a virtual machine of sorts(weird cos I installed to disk) which won't start MDM as it is not the default within mint, yet it seems to be the only DM th virtual box will use. I have to run MDM -all in tty to access an unusable system.

If mint is this bad, why is everyone so excited about it? Some things are downright sloppy even if the ui is polished.

Starting to think this OS is for windows users who are afraid to open a terminal, and can live with the rubbish called MDM.
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Re: Why is Mate & Cinnamon not catching on...

Postby vandalheart on Sun Mar 24, 2013 5:16 pm

Here's the short answer : cinnamon and MATE arent catching on cuz they on the Mint.

Long answer

I think there is something properly and ridiculously wrong with Mint and all other Linux distros. Trivial problems are a a wall against productivity.

For those of you who are using mint on a single machine, I'm sure that's easy enough.

This is my opinion, but to gain credibility as a usable system it is necessary to truly compete.

Open source by nature seems almost half hearted at time. No doubt there are those who put their heart and soul into the development, but is it really a true alternative? I have avidly supported and preached open source, but have never been able to replace it entirely.

Half of you are probably reading this on iphones or androids(I am, admittedly) on your way to jobs, sitting behind macs and windows machines, to go home and play on your Xbox or Sony.

If Cinnamon was on iOS it would be hailed as a revolution, particularly as a touch interface. Apples success can probably be nailed down to the fact that all apples are standard so software compatibility is universal, and easily developed.

Open source is so diverse in software and hardware that its almost impossible for everything to work, all the time. That's why there re these endless forums on the topic. Hardware manufacturers and game companies also find and it easier and more profitable to develop stuff for these standard systems. Probably most of us hold on to proprietary software for the sole purpose of a more productive used experience, while paying the price in conformity.

Love cinnamon. Love MATE, don't love mint.
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Re: Mint Install Broke Windows

Postby vandalheart on Sun Mar 24, 2013 6:30 pm

Just an update,

I attempted to use test disk to no avail. Since I could not think of or find an alternative, after backing up I opted to try the Toshiba recovery software to restore my machine to factory settings. At least I backed everything up, I can deal with a fresh install of 7.

I will be sure to use recovery disks and make sure to repartition from windows on my next attempt.it seems there is no magic bullet for this one.

Thanks for the help, hope nobody else runs into this problem
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Re: dual boot disaster- the tale of a toasted system

Postby toomanyquestions on Sun Mar 24, 2013 9:55 pm

Given the troubles you described, I hope you have a Windows system disk!? That said, I'm surely not the person to answer your technical questions in any depth. ...When last I installed Mint I was asked how I wanted to partition the disk - utilize the whole disk, install side-by-side (w/windows), or something else. I always choose the last option so I can resize the partitions at will (naturally Windows must have a decent amount of free space one can "steal" from the backend of the hard disk). I wouldn't recommend side-by-side - I tried it once and it didn't work well. Best of Luck.
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Re: Mint Install Broke Windows

Postby lexon on Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:58 pm

Kind of the same thing happened to me. A six month or so old laptop with W7. I decided to do the dual boot with Mint 14, Mate, 32 bit. Worked ok for about two months. At boot time, select Mint or Windows. One day, no choice and Mint boots up. No idea where Windows is. No go with restore disc. Go figure.
I had let Mint select what to do at the install.
I have all my files on a external drive so not worried about that. I needed Windows for Real Player to download and convert videos to MP3 as Linux cannot do that out of the box like Windows can.
I still have a older Vista laptop that can do that so not a total loss.
At least good security and no bloatware with Linux which is probably its owly redeeming value for a non techie.

Rich
Lindows, Linspire, Freespire, Ubuntu, Mint 15 Cinnamon, Mint 16 XFCE
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Re: Mint Install Broke Windows

Postby vandalheart on Tue Mar 26, 2013 9:40 pm

I have managed to restore my machine to its factory state, kinda sweet to have a fresh start.
I was lucky just to rescue the OS, I've had my share of lost partitions..

Thing is, I have a machine with only mint on it and it does alright. Just lacks the power.. (Single core 1.6, 1gb ram) works just fine for most things, but struggles when multitasking.

Some background, I have avidly supported OpenSource since I ventured into ubuntu. The biggest attraction was the multimedia, particularly digital recording software (free, yay)

if not for Ardour, Jack, Patchage, Hydrogen, to name but a few, I would not have accomplished my first solo work.

I hope to one day start a business by recording local artists on the cheap. Processing power=latency, latency = good sound therefore processing power = good sound.

As for changing movies into mp3s, have you tried transmageddon? There's another one called winFF(I think) or you could possibru do it via command line using lame(inbox if you need help, done it plenty, easy peasy).

Back to business, I will attempt a repartition Windows side, and free up what I need, then I will try install Mint once more. Should work,
Will report back.

It is clear that Windows doesn't like sharing its toys. Mint would do well to inform would-be users of this snag, I fear for the newbie.
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Re: Mint Install Broke Windows

Postby wayne128 on Tue Mar 26, 2013 11:43 pm

Read your long posts..
Felt I should write something..

vandalheart wrote: I wanted to hold on to as much of my windows as I could.

The more I used Linux, the more I would still keep Win7 :mrgreen:
excited to be free of proprietary software once more.
hmmm...not all are free.
All was awesome until I decided to reboot into windows, and boom it hits me with a blue flash and reboots. My worst nightmare, broken windows :(

Well. no surprise.
And thb, this would not be the first round.
However I use some simple thing so that around 10 machine I supported would stay sane for those users... :mrgreen:
from past experience, windows startup recovery(which was my only option from windows side) bombed grub in the restoration process and made my old PC entirely unbootable, and I cancelled this to boot back into mint.

and from my experience, win7 will repair itself and make itself bootable, almost most of the time.
I dont understand why windows 7 can boot in recovery mode and completely fail to recognize a partition.

I keep thing simple so that if win7 choose to recover, or repair, it can be more safe to make itself bootable as well as retain all Linux OSes to be bootable as well :mrgreen:

is there possibly some utility that allows me to "normalize" the partitions so that it doesnt seem "broken" to windows7?

just simple partitioning... usually on linux it would be gparted.
im not too worried about re installing mint but I would rather not re install windows as I dont have a disk.

and I dont even worry about reinstall win7, its iso are available in MS site. and some other site.
I have enough win7 iso so if I need it to repair someone else computer, I can use MS application to make a CD or just make USB stick, but the computer must be able to boot from USB.

Could I get it to remove mint and restore the partition to original?

just need to understand one important point:
the basic is to have a simple partition scheme, where I can enjoy all free Linux OSes and retain WinXP/7, coexit happily, not interfering each other.

Then, each time you want to clean up partitioning of hard disk, just remember, any partition editor, whether it is Linux (gparted, parted, fdisk.....etc) or Windows third party software, win7 native disk management tool, etc, just read to see which one guaranteed that it WILL WORK without risk.... to me, I remember only the risk of making partition unbootable and cause data lost.
So my learned solution is : back up
I backup OS as well as data outside the computer hard disk..

to restore a 10G Linux OS, it is about 2-3 minutes. not too bad
to restore a 100G Win7 partition, well, it takes much longer due to the huge size.

but I didnt expect it to bust my windows.

seriously, just learn the trick on boot loader.. and it should gain some sanity..

however, something new, Win8/secured boot, will trip a lot more. I am staying away :evil:
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Re: Mint Install Broke Windows

Postby wayne128 on Tue Mar 26, 2013 11:45 pm

vandalheart wrote:
It is clear that Windows doesn't like sharing its toys. Mint would do well to inform would-be users of this snag, I fear for the newbie.



Luckily it is not true to me for all WinXP/vista/7 for my multiboot machines and those I supported, but I cannot say it for Win8 ( read enough and scare me a lot, lol)
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