Installing Mint18 dual boot Lenovo T430S

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AndyMH
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Installing Mint18 dual boot Lenovo T430S

Post by AndyMH » Thu Mar 23, 2017 8:21 pm

In a word, almost painless, the pain caused by win7.

I've got a T410S dual boot win 7 with Mint 17.3 Cinnamon, but it's starting to die on me (think overheating = new m/board) so just splashed out and bought a T430S (=1600x900, I5, 8G RAM, 240G SSD). It's refurbished with seller win7 installed. Want dual boot because there is the odd stuff (v little) that I need win for (and not often). So how was installation:
  • Boot up, go through windows activation, product key, yada, yada.

    Immediately go to control panel/admin tools/computer mgmt/storage to find out what's-what on the SSD, as expected win C: has hogged it all with 226G of the available space, there's a recovery partition of nearly 12G at the back of the SSD and a 'system' partition of 350M at the front (what's that doing?). That's three out of four primary partitions if we are using MBR!

    Reboot and go into BIOS, GPT/Legacy is set as both so how will mint handle this?

    Back to win to reduce size of C: to make space for mint, win will only reduce C: from 226G to 115G - unmoveable files, I've got a problem, I don't want it to be more than 65G. Go back to control panel and set page file = 0, recheck on resizing - makes no difference.

    Time for drastic action - reboot off REDO CD and take system images of all partitions on SSD (REDO = my choice for taking system images, easy to use, download off the web).

    REDO CD has gparted on it (as do others such as linux rescue disks), gparted is quite happy to reduce C: down to about 28G. Go ahead with C: at about 65G.

    Reboot, win complains, let it run chkdsk to make it happy, then boots quite happily. Now have large chunk of un-allocated space. Set up a primary partition (NTFS) of about 100G for D: (which will be subsequently be mounted as /home/andy/data so I can share between mint and win).

    Reboot with Mint 18 DVD, install third party software, etc. = yes, install alongside win7 = NO, select something else. Set up 8G swap, and about 27G partitions for / and /home, letting everything to default to primary partitions.

    Mint 18 installs, it takes some time, go out and have cigarette!

    Reboot - flawless, there's the grub menu and into Mint 18 and everything looks like it's working....
What a way to spend a long evening. Installed gparted under mint and it's showing 'system', win C: and the recovery partitions as primary, everything else is sat under an extended partition. Might try setting the BIOS to GPT only and see what happens.

See also "HOW-TO make dual-boot obsolete using kvm VGA passthrough":

viewtopic.php?f=231&t=212692

I've checked the T430 BIOS and it is "VT-d enabled" (set as default). So at some point in the future, I'll have a play with this and see if I can dispense with my dual boot config.

Now starts the longer job, to set up and install all the s/w (mint and win) so that the T430 performs like the T410 (without unexpected shutdowns). It will take me days!

In summary, the T430 is an excellent piece of kit to run mint without hassle (just like its predecessor the T410S and before that a T60) - the problems I had didn't take that long to sort and were all win related. Can't comment on the later Thinkpads, but from my perspective linux and Thinkpads rock!

Posted for anyone else thinking about a T430 under linux.
Homebrew i5-8400+GTX1080 Cinnamon 19, Thinkpad T430 i7-3632 Cinnamon 19, Thinkpad T420 Cinnamon 18.3, Thinkpad T410 Cinnamon 17.3, Thinkpad T60 19.0 Mate

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kmb42vt
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Re: Installing Mint18 dual boot Lenovo T430S

Post by kmb42vt » Sun Nov 12, 2017 1:46 pm

I just bought a refurbished T430S (same specs as yours) with an install of Windows 10 Pro (64-bit). After replacing the 320 GB HDD (bad) with an 120 GB SSD (only planning on running Mint 18.2--no dual boot) I installed Mint 18.2. Cinnamon ended up crashing constantly and Firefox and Thunderbird would crash on start up. After re-seating both memory chips things were a bit more stable although Firefox would still crash occasionally even with a fresh profile.

It turns out I had to go into the BIOS (UEFI), select the "Security" menu and disable "Memory Protection" since having it enabled for an OS that doesn't support this feature (like the virus prone Windows) can cause certain applications to fail to run. Rebooted and all seems to be well.

I'll beat on the machine a bit more before I decide to keep it but I like it so far. I have it set to use the Intel HD4000 integrated graphics rather than the Nvidia 5200M discrete GPU since I really don't require the T430S to do much beyond browsing, email and writing articles and such. Easier on the battery as well. I'm planning to eventually replace our two aging but still viable ThinkPad R61s.

Oh, and I read that when installing a Linux based OS on a "modern" PC that supports GPT you pretty much have to go with MBR for the Linux installation whether dual booting or not. Don't take that as gospel though. The T430S was already set to MBR for some reason so I wanted to get Linux Mint installed and the laptop thoroughly tested (and fixed). Maybe I'll play with GPT later as well.
"Humph. Choice, it is the quintessential Linux delusion, simultaneously the source of it's greatest strength, and it's greatest weakness." (All apologies to The Architect)

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