Help with first installation, please!

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davidrichards27
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Help with first installation, please!

Post by davidrichards27 »

Hi guys,

I am new here and new to the world of linux!

I am very nervous about installing and running for the first time as I have been with Windose(!) for years now, but my old PC is dying under XP!

If I give my scenario, I wonder if anyone can please give some some idiot proof steps to help me?

My PC has one hard drive, partitioned in two - C drive has windows and D drive is for documents (both partitions are NTFS format)

My CD drive is U/s, so I would be installing from a USB Flash Drive.

What I don't understand is how to install Mint Cinnamon alongside Windows so I can dual boot, until I am fully confident with Mint and then I guess I can lose windows.

I am sorry if this is really simple and stupid question, but I really want to get over to Linux, but don;t know how to do it with my PC as it is at the moment.

Any help, gratefully received!

Thanks a lot
David
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Re: Help with first installation, please!

Post by Shryp »

By default, the Mint install will erase the entire drive and create new partitions so be careful there.

The good news is if you download it and make your DVD or USB image, the installer actually runs a full Mint setup off of that. So you can plug in your DVD/USB and boot your computer off of that and not touch your hard drive at all. I ran my live DVD for a week before I decided to touch the hard drive. As long as you are not clicking the install link on the dvd you boot from or doing something stupid like browsing to your windows files and manually deleting them you will be safe.
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gold_finger
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Re: Help with first installation, please!

Post by gold_finger »

davidrichards27 wrote:What I don't understand is how to install Mint Cinnamon alongside Windows so I can dual boot, until I am fully confident with Mint and then I guess I can lose windows.
Since computer sounds like it might be a bit older, boot with Cinnamon USB and make sure everything works properly. (It will run slower than if installed to HDD -- that is normal.) Open Firefox browser, open LibreOffice, etc. and make sure all seems to work correctly. If Cinnamon version has video/display related issues it might be a little too much for machine to handle. In that case using either the Xfce or Mate versions of Mint may be better -- they normally run better on older machines.

To install alongside Windows, best bet is to do some things in Windows to prepare for the Mint install.
  • Always a good idea to make backup copies of important files before messing with installs and/or partitioning. Problems are rare, but if they happen you'll be glad you made backups.
  • Use Windows disk management (or other tool) to defragment the partition that has the most free space in it ("C: drive" or "D: drive").
  • After defrag is done, use MiniTool Partition Wizard to shrink that partition to make room for the Mint installation.
    • This process could take a while.
    • Shrink by at least 20-25GB; more if you have the space.
    • Leave the resulting unpartitioned space as is -- do not create any new partitions in it.
  • Reboot computer into Windows to make sure it still works and to let it make any necessary adjustments to the new partition size.

Once above is done, boot with Mint USB and run the installer from icon on the desktop once it's up and running. The installer will offer a few install choices, one of which will be to install "Alongside" Windows. Pick that and it will see and use the free/unpartitioned space you created above. It will automatically make the partitions it needs from there and install to them. Mint's boot loader will be installed to the MBR (master boot record) of the drive and you'll have the choice to boot into either Windows or Mint after install is complete and you reboot computer.
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davidrichards27
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Re: Help with first installation, please!

Post by davidrichards27 »

Thanks for a comprehensive answer.
I have one issue when trying to run Cinnamon, and that is when the background image appears on loading, the screen freezes, goes blank and then a message appears telling me Cinnamon has crashed and do I want to restart Cinnamon.

Does this mean that my pc needs to run a 'liter' version? If so, what would be recommended as I really like the Mint interface etc.

All the rest works well, Firefox is substantially faster than when I was using it in Windows.

Thanks guys and please let me know the best version to install.

Cheers
David
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duneelliot
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Re: Help with first installation, please!

Post by duneelliot »

davidrichards27 wrote:Thanks for a comprehensive answer.
I have one issue when trying to run Cinnamon, and that is when the background image appears on loading, the screen freezes, goes blank and then a message appears telling me Cinnamon has crashed and do I want to restart Cinnamon.

Does this mean that my pc needs to run a 'liter' version? If so, what would be recommended as I really like the Mint interface etc.

All the rest works well, Firefox is substantially faster than when I was using it in Windows.

Thanks guys and please let me know the best version to install.

Cheers
David
Sounds like Cinnamon might be too much for your machine. Specs would be helpful, but maybe Mate or XFCE in Mint would be a better choice you. Try them both by downloading the ISOs for the Live USB and see which works the most consistently and fluidly with your computer.
Spend a few weeks working with the Live USB. No, you can't save any changes or bookmarks but it will give you an idea of how it works for you and to get comfortable with it.
While dual-booting isn't rocket science, it also might be safer to get some help doing it. We had one guy last week that inadvertently installed Linux Mint over Windows 10 and we had a God-awful time getting his Windows back. If you are tech-savvy you are probably safe to try it; back up your files to another hard-drive or USB and look for step-by-step COMPREHENSIVE instructions online. You can access your Data D partition from Linux so you don't actually need much space to install...maybe 20-30GB new partition for the install and extra programs you may download to try.
davidrichards27
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Re: Help with first installation, please!

Post by davidrichards27 »

Sorry, should have put the specs!
Intel celeron 2.2 processor with 2Gb or ram...please don't mock it, it's all I can afford at the moment...

...so if this gives anyone any different ideas about the best Linux to install, please feel more than free to make some suggestions..

Thanks again
David
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daveinuk
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Re: Help with first installation, please!

Post by daveinuk »

I would try the MATE and/or XFCE vesions out on your machine as detailed by the posters above, you have good straightforward instructions to follow so it's just a matter of which version suits your machine best and which desktop environment you like the look of. This is the best thing about running the OS ' live ' from the USB and not installing it, you get to try as many as you like out without affecting your machine as it is, when you find one you like, partition and install as above and good luck.

p.s your spec's are fine btw, you'll find the right version will fly on that hardware, I have several laptops with roughly the same spec's with MATE and XFCE on.
davidrichards27
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Re: Help with first installation, please!

Post by davidrichards27 »

Thanks a lot Dave.
That is what I am looking for, an installation which will fly.
When I was running Cinnamon via USB as a live version, it did seem to be hammering my CPU usage.
Would this change with either MATE or another version?
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duneelliot
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Re: Help with first installation, please!

Post by duneelliot »

davidrichards27 wrote:Thanks a lot Dave.
That is what I am looking for, an installation which will fly.
When I was running Cinnamon via USB as a live version, it did seem to be hammering my CPU usage.
Would this change with either MATE or another version?
Yes; XFCE and Mate are lighter versions...meaning they need less RAM, Memory and HDD space. XFCE is the lightest of the two.
davidrichards27
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Re: Help with first installation, please!

Post by davidrichards27 »

Do MATE and XFCE have the same apps as Cinnamon ie Thunderbird / Firefox and office? As the range of apps etc with Cinnamon is excellent.
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duneelliot
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Re: Help with first installation, please!

Post by duneelliot »

davidrichards27 wrote:Do MATE and XFCE have the same apps as Cinnamon ie Thunderbird / Firefox and office? As the range of apps etc with Cinnamon is excellent.
I believe they do...and even if they don't include it in the initial install (which I would be REALLY surprised if they didn't) you can get and install them both, and anything else in Cinnamon from the Software Manager.
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Re: Help with first installation, please!

Post by jimallyn »

davidrichards27 wrote:Do MATE and XFCE have the same apps as Cinnamon ie Thunderbird / Firefox and office?
All versions of Mint come with Thunderbird, Firefox, and LibreOffice. Some applications are different, like they use different default file managers, DVD burning applications, and some others like that. But nearly everything from the other desktop environments can be installed. For example, I use Cinnamon, but I think KDE's DVD burner, k3b, is the best burner available, so I have installed it.
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Re: Help with first installation, please!

Post by daveinuk »

And don't forget, whatever programs you might like to try are already available, tested, and deemed safe by the developers, from the software center which is in ALL editions of mint, as well as synaptic package manager, these two places are where you get your programs from, this is not windows, it is not recommended to just surf around and install on the fly unless you absolutely know what you're installing. Everything in the above places is 'rubber stamped' by the good people doing the work, and will receive updates along with your system when they are available. There's lots to learn, so read plenty and try things out/test and make sure you're happy before going ahead, loads of great info on here about installs and partitioning etc but feel free to ask if you struggle to find answers, and most of all, have fun :wink:

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davidrichards27
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Re: Help with first installation, please!

Post by davidrichards27 »

I am running MATE in my PC with the following specs - CPU Intel Celeron 2.0 Northwood 0.13um Technology RAM
2.00GB DDR @ 168MHz (2.5-4-4-7)
I am using an install on my USB drive, and it does seem ok, just one problem and that is that when I am using Firefox, my CPU usage sometime stays well about 70-80-90%....is this normal, or is just because I am using it on the USB and not installed fully?
This seems the best option for me as the xfce would not even boot!

Thanks again guys!

David
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duneelliot
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Re: Help with first installation, please!

Post by duneelliot »

davidrichards27 wrote:I am running MATE in my PC with the following specs - CPU Intel Celeron 2.0 Northwood 0.13um Technology RAM
2.00GB DDR @ 168MHz (2.5-4-4-7)
I am using an install on my USB drive, and it does seem ok, just one problem and that is that when I am using Firefox, my CPU usage sometime stays well about 70-80-90%....is this normal, or is just because I am using it on the USB and not installed fully?
This seems the best option for me as the xfce would not even boot!

Thanks again guys!

David
Still seems high. You may have got an incorrect download of XFCE (which is why they provide Checksums). Maybe try the download again...and check whether you downloaded the correct 32 or 64 bit version for your system.
davidrichards27
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Re: Help with first installation, please!

Post by davidrichards27 »

I will double check, what does the checksum do/mean?
At the moment, I have been trying to install from the USB and chose install alongside windows 7, even though this is not on my system?
The installer is hanging at the screen to set the partition sizes. I can set them, but the install button is greyed out???

I am getting lost now!
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duneelliot
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Re: Help with first installation, please!

Post by duneelliot »

davidrichards27 wrote:I will double check, what does the checksum do/mean?
At the moment, I have been trying to install from the USB and chose install alongside windows 7, even though this is not on my system?
The installer is hanging at the screen to set the partition sizes. I can set them, but the install button is greyed out???

I am getting lost now!
Checksums/ MD5 Sums are what you use to check the integrity of the download. Here's a link that explains it a little better than I can: http://www.codejacked.com/using-md5sum- ... ded-files/

As far as the install goes, I have never chosen the option to install alongside Windows...I have done "Use Entire Disk" or "Something Else" which is the last choice. I tend to use GParted to set up partitions and formats before I install...I just find it safer.
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Re: Help with first installation, please!

Post by gold_finger »

davidrichards27 wrote:The installer is hanging at the screen to set the partition sizes. I can set them, but the install button is greyed out???
Did you follow instructions in my post to first defrag Windows partition(s), then shrink one to make space for Mint before trying to install?

Or did you not do that and are relying on the Mint installer to shrink a Windows partition for you?

Much less chance of something getting broken in Windows if you do the defrag and shrinking from there first.


If you did defrag and shrink before attempting install and you had problems installing after that, stop trying to install and post a screenshot of your hard drive partitions for us to look at first.
  • Boot with Mint disc
  • Go to Menu -> Adminstration (or System) -> GParted (or Partition Drives) to open the GParted program.
  • It will display the partitions on your hard drive in the window. Take a screenshot of that by either hitting your <PrtScn> key or go to Menu -> Accessories -> Screenshot.
  • Follow the directions here to post that screenshot back here to the forum.
P.s.
davidrichards27 wrote:xfce would not even boot!
There shouldn't have been any problem with Xfce. Definitely check that md5sum of ISO file you downloaded matches that shown on download page. (Or maybe you just got a bad burn to DVD/USB?)
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davidrichards27
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Re: Help with first installation, please!

Post by davidrichards27 »

Here is a screengrab of my hard drive!

If you can give me any advice, I would be really grateful - maybe a step by step guide?
Attachments
Screen shot of hard drive
Screen shot of hard drive
davidrichards27
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Re: Help with first installation, please!

Post by davidrichards27 »

Sorry, wrong screenshot!
Try this one
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Screenshot--dev-sda - GParted.png
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