Page 1 of 1

switch dual boot to virtual win 7

Posted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 8:59 pm
by krustybaguette
Having pretty much moved to LM11 for 95% of what I do on my laptop I want to make a major change. Here's my current setup:
Win7 dual booted with LM11 and running WinXP Pro as a guest in Virtual Box. I have a second removable hard disk which has another Linux installation (Bodhi) and Windows XP Pro. These latter two will be removed so I can use the 250 GB as added hard disk space.

Hardware is Lenovo X60 with 3GB RAM, 500GB hard disk, second hard disk 250GB. Running 32 bit OSes although I believe my X60 is 64 bit compatible. Starting with 32bit vs. 64bit, I believe I could bump my RAM to 4 GB if I go with 64 bit, but would it be worth it? I know that's somewhat subjective but RAM is pretty cheap so...?

Presently I have a /home partition in my LM11 installation but mostly I save things in a folder in my Win7 NTFS partition. The idea of that was to have certain things accessible from both OSes. It works but is a little cumbersome and with my Win7 usage dwindling I'm thinking of using the entire 500GB for Linux Mint and installing Windows as a guest Virtual OS. I could stick with the current WinXP guest OS, go with Win7 or even Win8.

Can I move all my data to a safe place (that second hard drive which is not being used much), use gparted (from a live USB stick) to get rid of the NTFS partition, then install LM13 over my existing installation? My /home does have some important data on it (mainly my Thunderbird profile, and VBox virtual machine. Once I have LM13 safely installed with /home intact I would then copy the saved data back from the second hard drive to /home and start using /home in its traditional way. My folder which Linux and Windows share is about 126GB which I can probably pare down and my /home is another 27 or so GB.

Would this method a) work and b) require reinstallation of Virtual Box, Wine, etc. or would my existing programs remain? How much of my 500GB should I devote to /home? I'd guess as much as 400GB since it's going to hold all the above data including perhaps a couple of Virtual Machines. / (up to 100GB /swap (4-6GB) /home (rest of disk)

Re: switch dual boot to virtual win 7

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 3:13 pm
by usbtux
Export the virtual box appliances so you can reinstall them on the new mint.
Thunderbird export/ copy the profle out.
Back up your existing data/home LM11
Back up your existing data Win 7
Delete Win 7 by using GParted to delete Win 7 partition
Expand partitions as required for mint again using GParted
Install Mint13 in the partitions you have created.

On my 160Gb install I have
35 Gb root
120 Gb Home
4 Gb swap

So Basically YES :D

Re: switch dual boot to virtual win 7

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:05 pm
by krustybaguette
Thanks for your reply. I guess the lingering question in my mind is/was whether getting rid of the Win7 partition with gparted would leave my grub showing it as a boot option. But when I install LM13 I should get a new grub menu.

Re: switch dual boot to virtual win 7

Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 5:41 am
by usbtux
Yes you'll get a new grub - obviously with no Win

If you just delete the Win7 partition(s) and reclaim the space for (existing) Mint then , in Mint, open a terminal and enter

Code: Select all
sudo update-grub

This will remove the Win 7 entry from the boot menu.