No dual boot choice Win7/ Mint 17.2

Questions about Grub, UEFI,the liveCD and the installer
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ort
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No dual boot choice Win7/ Mint 17.2

Post by ort »

I am a newbie to Linux. Have tried a couple of times over the years to get a copy of Linux up and running and have failed miserably. I see on the forums that everyone is having problems with win 8 (doesnt surprise me. I have 2 copies of that POS that I will give away). My problem is with Win 7 64 bit. I burned a copy of Mint 17.2 64 bit and got it to load onto my machine. I then installed it to my ssd next to Win 7. I selected the option to install beside Win 7 / dual boot. I hit install and an option screen popped up offering to allow me to adjust the partition on my ssd with a slider affair. I slid it slightly to the right which gave Widows a few more extra gigs to 176 gb. This left 51 gb for the Mint install. I hit continue and it said that the changes would be written to the disk and I hit continue again and it wrote the changes then installed Mint. It then said Mint installation was a success and told me to restart. I took the DVD out of the drive and re-booted. A message came up saying one of my disks needed to be checked (didnt say which one) and then it proceeded to check the disk. When it was done it booted into Windows. I re-booted again and it will not offer to boot into Mint. It just boots into Windows as if Mint had never been installed. Any Ideas? :D
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Cobber
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Re: No dual boot choice Win7/ Mint 17.2

Post by Cobber »

Hi Ort,

Welcome to the forum.

I'm sure someone with knowledge (not me) will help you soon.

If Mint is still on your drive, it should probably only be a matter of putting Grub in the right place so the BIOS or Bootloader can see it. That is normally what goes wrong during installation, the computer doesn't know where Grub ended up.
PC: Dual HDD: Mint 18.2 64-Bit KDE / Windows7 Professional
HP Dv7 Laptop Dual HDD: MX Linux / Windows 7 Home
Lenovo x230 Laptop Dual boot: Mint 18.1 64-Bit KDE / Windows7 Professional
ort
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Re: No dual boot choice Win7/ Mint 17.2

Post by ort »

Hey Cobber,
That sure sounds reasonable! Like I said I'm a real dork when it comes to Linux and I dont really even know exactly what grub is but I'm learning. Think I will do some searches for it with windows. Thanks for the speedy and hope to hear from all you non-dorks soon. :D
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Re: No dual boot choice Win7/ Mint 17.2

Post by Cobber »

One of the things you will learn is Linux can see Windows files, but Windows can't see Linux files.

You could search the forum for posts on repairing Grub, but I don't want to give you advice that could wreck your system.

It is best to wait until someone who knows what they are talking about answers you. I am only learning myself, and the one thing I have learned is to wait for expert advice. The forum has members that will understand your situation and will know exactly what to do.
PC: Dual HDD: Mint 18.2 64-Bit KDE / Windows7 Professional
HP Dv7 Laptop Dual HDD: MX Linux / Windows 7 Home
Lenovo x230 Laptop Dual boot: Mint 18.1 64-Bit KDE / Windows7 Professional
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Re: No dual boot choice Win7/ Mint 17.2

Post by Cobber »

Sorry no one has answered you yet. There is always the time zone problem.

You may want to look at this.

Just boot up with your Mint DVD and follow the instructions to install the Boot Repair program via the net.

You can then go to the advanced options, select which program to default to (Mint) and where to install Grub (most likley sda).

Remove the DVD and when you reboot, you should get a screen that allows you to choose to continue to Mint or select Windows.

Hopefully I have given you good advice.
PC: Dual HDD: Mint 18.2 64-Bit KDE / Windows7 Professional
HP Dv7 Laptop Dual HDD: MX Linux / Windows 7 Home
Lenovo x230 Laptop Dual boot: Mint 18.1 64-Bit KDE / Windows7 Professional
ort
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Re: No dual boot choice Win7/ Mint 17.2

Post by ort »

Hi Cobber
Since I spoke to you last things have gotten ,shall we say, weirder. I tried searching for Grub with the windows search function and as you pointed out it saw nothing. This did however get me into search mode and one of the places I searched on my own was Disk Management in Windows. I found that Disk C (where my Windows resides) had in fact been partitioned even further. When I started this affair Disk C only had the partition required to install Windows. It now has 2 extra partitions. They are of a combined total size close to what I selected with the slider device when I "installed" Mint. Heres where it gets strange. These 2 partitions are un-named. Where you would expect to see some drive letter designations there are only dashes. All of the other partitions on my computer show an NTFS file system. These new partitions have NO file systems (Un-formatted). They are also empty. Not a single bit of info in either one. Guess thats why Grub refuses to offer to boot into Mint. Even tho it indicated that installation was successful and told me to remove the DVD and re-boot, it hadnt installed anything.
This is an ongoing investigation with me and as I write I looked at a computer that is set up identically to the computer in question prior to the "installation" of Mint. Its C drive has 2 partitions. The first is labeled "system reserved" and under status it says "Healthy (system,active,primary partition)". The second partition on C says "C:" and under status it says "Healthy (Boot, Page File, Crash Dump,Primary Partition)". The C Drive on the computer in question now shows 3 partitions. The first is labeled "C:" and under status it says "Healthy (System, Boot, Page File, Active, Crash Dump, Primary Partition)". The second and third Partitions are un-labeled, have no file system and under status say "Healthy (Primary Partition)". It appears that when I moved that slider deal-ly during the installation of Mint it combined the "System Reserved" partition and the "C:" partition into one and then started to create a couple of new partitions that it never completed. Now for the scary part. When I booted up Windows this morning the boot process froze about 3/4 of the way thru. I shut it off and re-booted and everything was fine. It has never done that in 2 years of service. Any thoughts?
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Re: No dual boot choice Win7/ Mint 17.2

Post by Cobber »

Hi Ort,

What you are seeing under Disk Management is normal. Windows does not understand the two Linux partitions, so assigns no drive letters and shows them as empty. Even though Mint has installed files in those partitions, Windows thinks they are not there.

Linux doesn't use drive letters. If you have only one drive, it will call it sda. Partitions you make on that drive in Linux show as sda/sda1, sda/sda2, etc. When asked where to install Grub, you should have selected sda or sda1, depending on what options it offered you. I think this is the step you missed.

I was concerned when you initially said you used a "slider" to change the partition size of Windows. It does appear that caused the hidden system partition and the Windows partitions to merge into one.

You have not said which version of Mint you installed. Was it Cinnamon, Mate, KDE etc? The main concern is how your Windows system is now working. Is it booting up correctly every time, or is it giving you problems? I do not know how you can "unmerge" the two partitions, but it may or may not be necessary. If Windows is behaving, you may get away with leaving them merged and using the Boot Repair program I told you about to repair Grub.

It would be perfect if you had a backup image of your Windows system so you can go back to where you were before installing Mint, which would give you back the two partitions.

Until someone can offer you more informed information, I suggest you do the Boot Repair. This will pass control of both Mint and Windows to Grub, and your problems may be solved.

Ideally, you should prepare your partitions for Linux before you install it. Inside Windows you would shrink the Windows partition by around 50GB to create unused space for the Linux installation. You would then use say 45GB for the Root partition (sda/sda1 - shown as mount point "/") and the other 5GB for a Swap partition (sda/sda2 - shown as "linux swap"). You tell Mint to install using your current partition system and set it up as I explained. In other words, do not install using the automatic method.

So, first things first, try the Boot Repair and see what happens.
PC: Dual HDD: Mint 18.2 64-Bit KDE / Windows7 Professional
HP Dv7 Laptop Dual HDD: MX Linux / Windows 7 Home
Lenovo x230 Laptop Dual boot: Mint 18.1 64-Bit KDE / Windows7 Professional
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Re: No dual boot choice Win7/ Mint 17.2

Post by wangjih »

hello,
quote:
ort
With windows-disk_management ....I see no drive letter ......no data.....
/quote
then since windows now works again ,the best suggestion is "keep the whole as is ,use windows normally
then from time to time you want to play with linux,use your linuxmint dvd as live_linux : "
it does have all the capabilities of an installed linux
some day ,you feel better understanding the way disk naming,partitioning ....linux vs windows then come back here
your problem will be easily solved !
ort
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Re: No dual boot choice Win7/ Mint 17.2

Post by ort »

Cobber and Wangjih,
Thanks for the replies. I can tell that I have to see things a little differently as Windows sometime does not see at all. A new concept for me. I assumed that Windows would detect anything on a partition and report it. It may not know who it is or what it is doing but it knows something is there. If that is not the case then my education is beginning in earnest. Luckily Windows seems to be behaving. Had the one aborted boot and its been fine since. I could not understand why Cobber was pushing a boot repair when it was obvious that nothing was there but that does not really seem to be the case so I will start down the boot repair road tomorrow. The Windows partitions do seem to have merged. The two new partitions are not labeled by Windows at all. The larger one is 35GB and the smaller 15GB. Since Cobber mentioned sda1 and sda2 I'm pretty sure I saw those labels when the install program said it was going to write the new partitions to the disk. I of course gave that whole thing the bums rush and clicked continue not realizing the possible importance of what was about to happen. I think I will make an image of Windows before I do anything else with Linux. I'll keep you posted.
Ort
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Re: No dual boot choice Win7/ Mint 17.2

Post by DSpencer »

I don't think that you specified how your drive is set up (GPT or MBR and if you have the so-called 'ESP', EFI System Partition, on the drive), and especially whether you are booting UEFI mode or Legacy (or its equivalent) mode. I have not worked with SSDs so I don't have specific knowledge of that but I assume if the machine came with Win8 the drive is (or was originally) formatted to GPT and has that EFI partition. Windows normally marks the ESP as hidden.
If you've installed Windows 7 on a machine that came with Win8 you could still be in UEFI mode (set in the firmware, accessible at boot) but then you would have to have the special FAT32 (MSDOS) partition (usually about 200 MB and at the beginning of the drive). As well, if you have installed Win7 then the UEFI must not be set for 'SecureBoot' (also configurable, if it can be disconnected from UEFI mode, in the firmware settings you get to at boot) because Win7 (and LM 17.2) is not SecureBoot compatible. You can still boot using EFI even if the firmware is set as legacy, but you must have that EFI partition.
In fact to install LM 17.2 your firmware in fact must be set to UEFI mode (but with SecureBoot disabled) if your computer has UEFI firmware (and it came with Win8 so it must) because LM 17.2 demands that.
First of all, Windows does not know anything about any file systems other than MSDOS (so FAT16 and FAT32) and NTFS (for Windows NT and all of its derivatives, including Win2000, WinXP, Vista, and WIn7). At least the MacOS knows about DOS and NTFS, but only linux (either by default or with some free add-ons) can access just about any file system (except as I recall the BSD setup as in Solaris and the various current BSD-based distros).
Some replies have mentioned things like being sure to install the boot software to '/dev/sda' (with EFI you would normally select '/dev/sda1' because the EFI partition is traditionally the first (or maybe second if you have a Windows system rescue partition). You usually have the option of installing grub to the partition that where the root of linux is installed but that is usually unwise (and I'm sure would not work for you).
My experience has been that linux distributions in general have a lot of trouble getting dual booting working with (U)EFI computers (and essentially every computer for the last few years has had UEFI firmware rather than the old, original BIOS firmware). Although the LM 17.2 installer DVD is also a LiveCD I myself use and always recommend the Knoppix LiveCD for trying to analyze and sort out problems with linux (and indeed often even Windows) installations. Typically you boot to Knoppix, open up a shell (terminal), type 'su' to get elevated privileges, then open 'gparted' to see what your drive(s) look like. That EFI partition is a mysterious place but it will have a single subdirectory named "EFI" and that will typically have 3 subdirectories after you install linux. One will be 'BOOT' [remember that DOS is not case sensitive so filenames can vary, but when accessed through linux you have to observe case], one will be 'Microsoft' and one will be the name of your linux, I assume for LM 'mint'. The mess is caused by the fact that with UEFI firmware the firmware itself has a file burned into it which specifies the boot file; in my case it is "EFI\Microsoft\Boot\bootmgfw.efi" and that will always boot Windows and you will never see the linux boot loader (say grub). I took a more complicated route to solve the mess (I am not suggesting you try this specifically) by hiding that file (I add "hide." to the front of the name) and then when you reboot you should see the linux boot loader. At least if you can get booted into LM you will have better luck finding some path to getting proper dual-booting working.
ort
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Re: No dual boot choice Win7/ Mint 17.2

Post by ort »

Dspencer,
Thanks for your obviously well thought out reply. First let me explain more clearly who you are speaking to. I started in with computers on the very day that Win 95 was released to the public. I knew absolutely nothing of computers but I saw all the excitement over Win 95 (literally a party atmosphere at the local Fred Meyer store on release day) and knew I had to get in on the action. From that point I learned how to manipulate an OS (Windows) fairly well but to this day I really don't understand what or how that OS manipulates what it does to achieve the end results displayed on my monitor. I remained happy as I progressed thru the various iterations of Windows until 8. Like most folks I was like "confused". I had put 8 on an older computer I had in a last ditch effort to keep from updating to a newer computer. That was the last straw. I built up a new computer a couple of years ago and installed Win 7. The point of all this verbose BS is that the computer that I am attempting to get dual boot capabilities on has only had Win 7 on it from its inception. A sub-point is the fact that beyond the manipulation of the GUI I'm pretty ignorant. As previously stated I have tried several times to get Linux up and running. Initially, I didn't stand a chance. It was the early days of Linux which meant only brainiacs need attempt...not me. The other day I ran across Mint on the web. It was presented in such a way that it looked so simple even I could do it. It sort of looked like a commercial offering out of the evil empire. I gave it a shot and here I am. Linux still seems to be for brainier folks then me but it is now nicely displayed.
In the bios of the computer in question I see no choices for "UEFI mode or Legacy" or for that matter any reference to "secure boot". Now I vaguely understand that the bios is not part of Windows but is inherent in the chips themselves so should I be looking within Windows itself for those settings?
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Re: No dual boot choice Win7/ Mint 17.2

Post by Cobber »

Hi Ort,

Glad you finally got Mint working with Boot Repair. As I have said, you will notice Mint can see Windows files, but Windows is too dumb to see Linux files.

Your system uses a simple BIOS, so you do not have to worry about (or look for) anything concerning EFI or UEFI, as DSpencer suggested.

Enjoy your Mint installation, and please ask for help from the forum if you get stuck. We were all newbies when we installed Linux, and it takes a while to get used to it. The main thing is don't fiddle with any system settings you don't understand, or you may break your installation and have to do it all again.
PC: Dual HDD: Mint 18.2 64-Bit KDE / Windows7 Professional
HP Dv7 Laptop Dual HDD: MX Linux / Windows 7 Home
Lenovo x230 Laptop Dual boot: Mint 18.1 64-Bit KDE / Windows7 Professional
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Re: No dual boot choice Win7/ Mint 17.2

Post by shimself »

I'm certainly enjoying the speed over win7 - it was out of frustration at all the hanging on a win7 clean install modern laptop that I came here. It's also because practically all my keyboard habits just work! Thank you. (I should confess that I was actually a product manager for a unix outfit 30 years ago but it's not helping me much)
Anyway
Dual Boot
When the machine boots I expected that it would default to same-os-as-last-time
But actually it defaults to Mint and it doesn't give me long to change the selection

Is there a way?

Thanks

Steve

PS dual boot - - because I haven't got my head round everything yet - sugarsync not yet working, a flash issue for my daughter (moveistarplanet) etc
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Re: No dual boot choice Win7/ Mint 17.2

Post by DC80 »

I don't want to poke anything or bear but if you want a dual boot you can also try easyBCD from NeoSmart.

I say this because I had this problem. I wanted to install an update of Windows 7 which did not work. After some long research I found out that one of the updates needs the bootloader of windows to come first (something with SHA hashes). If it is not, like GRUB comes first then the update won't install.

So by using easyBCD you can run a dual boot between Windows and Linux.
"The future is predeterment by those who shape it"
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Re: No dual boot choice Win7/ Mint 17.2

Post by srs5694 »

shimself wrote:When the machine boots I expected that it would default to same-os-as-last-time
But actually it defaults to Mint and it doesn't give me long to change the selection

Is there a way?
I've never done this with GRUB 2, but my understanding is that it is possible by putting the following in /etc/default/grub:

Code: Select all

GRUB_DEFAULT=saved
GRUB_SAVEDEFAULT=true
You must then type "sudo update-grub" to implement the change.

Of course, this assumes you're using GRUB 2, which is the default boot loader for recent versions of Mint.
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Re: No dual boot choice Win7/ Mint 17.2

Post by shimself »

Pardon my ignorance. I can make sense of that but I can get to edit grub


grub properties
You are not the owner so you cannot change these permissions


I am logged in as the first user with admin permissions so i don't know what to do

Thanks

Steve
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Re: No dual boot choice Win7/ Mint 17.2

Post by srs5694 »

To edit most system files, including just about everything under /etc, you must be root. On Mint, you do this (temporarily) by typing "sudo" before the command you want to execute, as in:

Code: Select all

sudo nano /etc/default/grub
This launches the "nano" editor on the file. You can use another editor if you like, of course. If you use a GUI editor, using "gksudo" rather than "sudo" may be preferable, but you may need to first install the "gksu" package:

Code: Select all

sudo apt-get install gksu
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Re: No dual boot choice Win7/ Mint 17.2

Post by shimself »

Thanks again for the help. but..

ok done that - no effect
as a test I unremmed a beep - which doesn't sound, so it seems like grub isn't executed??

/boot/grub/grub.cfg is timestamped correctly so the compilation kinda thing update has done its stuff
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