- New Lenovo Ideapad P500, with Windows 8 pre-installed
- Linux Mint 13, cinnamon, 64-bit, on a USB
- Aiming to install ONLY Mint, not a dual-boot setup
- "I can't even get this thing to boot from CD/DVD/USB! WHAT THE HECK"
If this is exactly your scenario, then this should go exactly the same! If it's slightly different, it will probably be fine, but no guarantees. Maybe do some more research, see if anyone else has your same setup and if theirs worked ok?
- The clicky trackpad buttons always left click. To right click, tap anywhere on the trackpad with two fingers simultaneously.
First of all, I mentioned in my scenario that I have Mint on a USB, not a DVD. I think you should do the same, because part of the setup included enabling "boot from USB." There is no "boot from DVD" option I could find. So, I'll write this guide assuming you have a USB with whichever Mint version you want on it.
Now that that's taken care of, turn off the laptop. Plug in the USB. Don't turn it on yet. Grab a thin object like a pen or spaghetti or something. Now look at the power button, and follow it left and onto the left side of the laptop - you should see a tiny button hanging out, next to a little engraved "n" symbol. THIS IS THE MAGIC BUTTON. This starts up the laptop into its BIOS. Go ahead and push that button!
Now you'll be greeted by a 4-option menu. Choose the second one, which says "BIOS Setup". This should lead you to a nice little screen which, if you've done some computer adventuring in the past, should look familiar and OLD. Push the right arrow key to scroll over to the tab that says "Boot." The first option there should read "Boot Mode," and the default is "UEFI." Push enter to edit this, then down to select "Legacy Support," and push enter again. ("Legacy Support" just means "not Windows 8" to this thing.) A new option should pop up below this one, which says "Boot Priority." Move down and select this one, and change it to "Legacy First." Hah, look at that! You just showed Windows who is the boss. The last step for getting into the Mint USB is changing "USB Boot" to "Enabled." Now push right to the "Exit" tab, and select "Exit Saving Changes."
The laptop should be starting up Mint from the USB now. Eventually you'll get to the desktop, where you can test that everything's working fine. When you're ready, double click on the CD icon on the desktop, "Install Linux Mint." There will be one menu that asks how you want to install it. This guide is assuming that you want to wipe everything off the hard drive and go 100% with Mint. If you want to dual-boot, you should research elsewhere to make sure it's safe and will work, because I have no idea. Once you get past this part, the rest of the installation is straightforward.
Once the installation is done, shut down the laptop. Unplug the USB. Now push that little "n" button on the side again. Select "BIOS Setup" again. Now go back over to the "Boot" tab, select the "USB Boot" option, and change it to "Disabled." This is so you won't accidentally try to boot your laptop from a USB holding a bunch of pictures in the future. It'll just sit there and tell you that you don't have a hard drive or something and that is NOT a scare that you want! After you've changed that setting, go again to the "Exit" tab, select "Exit Saving Changes," and log in to your account. You'll want to install all updates - do this by clicking the little "i" within a shield symbol on the bottom right. Give it your password, then "Install Updates." You may have to do this a few times, since the install is probably kinda old to Mint.
Ok, that should be it! You now have a Lenovo Ideapad P500 / similar laptop with Linux Mint on it. YAY