Dual boot with Vista - how to install to boot drive

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f1charlie
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Dual boot with Vista - how to install to boot drive

Post by f1charlie » Fri May 26, 2017 4:46 am

I investigated 18.1 Mate using a live USB and determined that I could get my printer/scanner working, albeit with a bit of fiddling around! I then decided I would look at installing Mint alongside my Vista installation. My computer has two hard drives in it, however, when I get to the partitioning step, it only shows the second (data) disk and not the boot disk. I understand I have to select the 'something else' step and partition manually, but the guides I've found aren't quite detailed enough for me to carry out the task with confidence - I don't know enough, but I know just enough to get me into trouble! One guide stated not to install to the Windows partition, but to the largest partition, however my largest partition is the Windows partition!
Can anyone point me to an idiot's step-by-step guide or help me with the partitioning process?

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Re: Dual boot with Vista - how to install to boot drive

Post by austin.texas » Fri May 26, 2017 5:38 am

In Mint, open a terminal (ctrl+alt+t) and post the result of the command:

Code: Select all

sudo parted --list
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f1charlie
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Re: Dual boot with Vista - how to install to boot drive

Post by f1charlie » Fri May 26, 2017 1:07 pm

Thanks for replying austin.texas.

As requested:

Code: Select all

Model: ATA SAMSUNG HD103SJ (scsi)
Disk /dev/sda: 1000GB
Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/512B
Partition Table: msdos
Disk Flags: 

Number  Start   End     Size    Type     File system  Flags
 1      32.3kB  362MB   362MB   primary  fat16        diag
 2      362MB   11.1GB  10.7GB  primary  ntfs
 3      11.1GB  1000GB  989GB   primary  ntfs         boot


Model: ATA SAMSUNG HD103SJ (scsi)
Disk /dev/sdb: 1000GB
Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/512B
Partition Table: msdos
Disk Flags: 

Number  Start   End     Size    Type     File system  Flags
 1      1049kB  1000GB  1000GB  primary  ntfs


Model: Kingston DataTraveler 3.0 (scsi)
Disk /dev/sdc: 15.5GB
Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/512B
Partition Table: msdos
Disk Flags: 

Number  Start   End     Size    Type     File system  Flags
 1      1049kB  15.5GB  15.5GB  primary  fat32        boot, lba

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Re: Dual boot with Vista - how to install to boot drive

Post by austin.texas » Fri May 26, 2017 1:48 pm

Your first drive (sda) is completely occupied by Windows, with not free space for Mint. The only way you could install Mint to that drive is to use the Windows Disk Manager to reduce the size of C Drive (or D Drive).
And, of course, the same thing applies to the second hard drive (sdb). You would have to reduce the size of that big partition to provide room for Mint.
Right now you are booting the Windows drive (sda) first, and that is where your Windows bootloader is installed. I believe the best strategy is to leave that drive as it is (preserving the Windows bootloader), and install Mint to the second drive, sdb, after you make room for Mint there.
You would then install Mint's bootloader (Grub) to /dev/sdb, and make sdb the first drive in your BIOS boot order. Grub will list both Windows and Mint, so that you can boot either.
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Re: Dual boot with Vista - how to install to boot drive

Post by kukamuumuka » Fri May 26, 2017 1:58 pm

austin.texas wrote:Your first drive (sda) is completely occupied by Windows, with not free space for Mint. The only way you could install Mint to that drive is to use the Windows Disk Manager to reduce the size of C Drive (or D Drive).
In Vista has no Disk Manager, so the options is to use Gparted, Installer (ubiquity) disk management or thirty part application like AOMEI Partition Assistant in Vista.
http://www.disk-partition.com/

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Re: Dual boot with Vista - how to install to boot drive

Post by f1charlie » Fri May 26, 2017 6:03 pm

Thanks for the replies. I have more free space on the Windows disk (sda) so could I split the Windows partition or is it better to move some data from the second disk to the Windows disk and free up more space there?
Are there advantages/disadvantages to having Mint on a different drive?

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Re: Dual boot with Vista - how to install to boot drive

Post by austin.texas » Fri May 26, 2017 6:40 pm

f1charlie wrote:Are there advantages/disadvantages to having Mint on a different drive?
2 advantages:
First, your Windows bootloader would be preserved as it is.
Second, if your Windows drive decided to retire (fail), or came down with some viral infection, you could still boot an operating system on the other drive.
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Re: Dual boot with Vista - how to install to boot drive

Post by gold_finger » Sat May 27, 2017 12:06 am

@ f1charlie,

If you do end up installing Mint to /dev/sda (the Windows OS drive), you can also make a copy of the MBR and partition table to keep in case of emergency before you install Mint. (If you've got a Vista install disk you can repair MBR with that, so this is unnecessary; but if you don't and you later decide to remove Mint and keep Windows, you'll need to restore boot control to Windows and will need a way to do that.)

You'll need somewhere safe to store the Windows MBR image -- a USB/DVD/CD.

First, defragment Windows drive; then use either program recommended by administrollaattori, or MiniTool Partition Wizard to shrink main partition to make room for Mint install.

When done the shrinking, boot into Windows one time to make sure all is okay.

Then, boot computer with Mint USB/DVD.

After booted up, insert USB/DVD/CD you plan to use to store the MBR image on.

Now open a terminal and enter the following command to make a copy of the MBR and place it on the Desktop (so you can find it easily). NOTE: very important that this command be run exactly as shown! If you type something wrong you could do serious damage. Recommend you copy/paste this vs. trying to type it out.

Code: Select all

sudo dd if=/dev/sda of=/home/mint/Desktop/windows-mbr-backup.image bs=512 count=1
You should see a file called "windows-mbr-backup.image" appear on the desktop shortly after running the command. Copy/Paste that file to your storage USB. (You need to store it somewhere other than on the live Mint USB/DVD you booted from because everything gets erased when you close down the live Mint.)

Now you can install Mint.


If you ever decide to switch computer back to Windows only, you can restore the MBR back to how it was without Mint on computer. To do that:
  1. Boot computer with live Mint USB stick.
  2. Insert USB/DVD/CD that has the saved MBR image file on it.
  3. Find the image file and copy/paste it to the Desktop of live Mint.
  4. Now run this command to copy it from the desktop to the MBR of the hard drive. (Again, very important to run command exactly as shown.)

    Code: Select all

    sudo dd if=/home/mint/Desktop/windows-mbr-backup.image of=/dev/sda bs=512 count=1
  5. Computer should now boot straight into Windows again.
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Re: Dual boot with Vista - how to install to boot drive

Post by Pierre » Sat May 27, 2017 1:31 am

administrollaattori wrote: In Vista has no Disk Manager, so the options is to use Gparted, Installer (ubiquity) disk management
http://www.disk-partition.com/
Yes - - there is:
https://www.lifewire.com/how-to-open-di ... nt-2626080
it's existed since win-xp & is still, surprisingly, the same program, too.

you should use that, in preference to a 3rd part tool.. .. .
Image
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Re: Dual boot with Vista - how to install to boot drive

Post by f1charlie » Sat May 27, 2017 5:38 am

Decisions, decisions! Many thanks for all the replies.

I assume if I install Mint to the non- Windows drive I would have to change the boot order in the BIOS so that the disk containing Mint becomes the boot drive?

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Re: Dual boot with Vista - how to install to boot drive

Post by austin.texas » Sat May 27, 2017 6:08 am

f1charlie wrote:I assume if I install Mint to the non- Windows drive I would have to change the boot order in the BIOS so that the disk containing Mint becomes the boot drive?
Right. I mentioned that in a previous post here.
austin.texas wrote:You would then install Mint's bootloader (Grub) to /dev/sdb, and make sdb the first drive in your BIOS boot order. Grub will list both Windows and Mint, so that you can boot either.
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Re: Dual boot with Vista - how to install to boot drive

Post by f1charlie » Sat May 27, 2017 10:17 am

Apologies - must concentrate!

How does grub know about Windows - does it check all other drives?

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Re: Dual boot with Vista - how to install to boot drive

Post by austin.texas » Sat May 27, 2017 10:34 am

f1charlie wrote:How does grub know about Windows - does it check all other drives?
Grub uses a utility called os-prober to detect other operating systems when Grub is installed during the installation of Mint - and also whenever you update Grub (after Mint is installed).
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Re: Dual boot with Vista - how to install to boot drive

Post by ZakGordon » Tue May 30, 2017 9:08 am

Just in case it helps, here is a link to one of my first posts on this forum, from which i was able to setup my (currently typing this from) dual-boot Vista+Mint system:

viewtopic.php?f=46&t=191970&p=994502#p994502

There may be some info in that to further help you out?
Laptop overheating issues? Check links below:
TLP
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If none of the above fixes the issue, moving from Cinnamon to XFCE will give around -5 to -10 degrees C improvements.

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Re: Dual boot with Vista - how to install to boot drive

Post by f1charlie » Tue May 30, 2017 11:19 am

Thanks ZakGordon. I had come across the two sites you linked to.

I think (when I pluck up courage) is just to go through the default steps in the installer and accept its install to the second drive - the data already on the drive should presumably be unaffected? (I have taken a backup). I assume the installer takes care of setting up all partitions required without having to go into the advanced options?

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Re: Dual boot with Vista - how to install to boot drive

Post by austin.texas » Tue May 30, 2017 11:46 am

f1charlie wrote:I think (when I pluck up courage) is just to go through the default steps in the installer and accept its install to the second drive - the data already on the drive should presumably be unaffected? (I have taken a backup). I assume the installer takes care of setting up all partitions required without having to go into the advanced options?
If you chose "Use entire drive" all the existing partitions will be deleted.
I have to admit that, even though I have installed Mint countless times, I have no experience with installing with any of the options except the "Something Else" option. I always create the partitions I want with the Gparted program, and then use "Something Else" and chose the partitions to install to.
For one thing, the default "Use entire drive" will create one huge partition for Mint, with no separate /home or /data partition. That is definitely not the optimal configuration. There are some very good advantanges to having a separate /home or /data partition.
My general rule: If you have only one linux OS installed, use a separate /home partition. If you are going to dual-boot more than one linux OS, do not use a separate /home partition - instead use a separate /data partition.
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Re: Dual boot with Vista - how to install to boot drive

Post by f1charlie » Tue May 30, 2017 2:16 pm

When selecting the Install Alongside Windows you get to a partitioning page where you can drag the slider to apportion how much disk space you want Linux to have, as detailed here:
https://sites.google.com/site/easylinux ... nt-install
- this is where I came in with my post because it only gave the option of my data drive to install to although the Windows drive actually has more free space!
I don't know what partitions you get if you select the installer default.

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Re: Dual boot with Vista - how to install to boot drive

Post by f1charlie » Thu Jun 01, 2017 5:52 pm

Well, I went ahead and installed Mate to my data drive, sdb. On rebooting I was surprised that it went straight into grub without me changing the disk boot order. In fact when I tried changing the boot order the computer would not boot.
I assume that although I accepted the default installation to my data drive, grub has been installed to the Windows drive?

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Re: Dual boot with Vista - how to install to boot drive

Post by gold_finger » Thu Jun 01, 2017 8:25 pm

f1charlie wrote:I assume that although I accepted the default installation to my data drive, grub has been installed to the Windows drive?
Yes, if you did the "Along side Windows" install option grub will be installed on the first hard drive (/dev/sda -- the Windows drive) even though the system files are on the second drive. It's set to do that because most of the time computers are set to boot from first hard drive. Only using the "Something Else" install option gives you ability to manually direct where to install the boot loader.

Anyway, it's not really a big deal. Just reset Bios to boot from first hard drive and you'll get grub choices to boot either OS.

If you want to you can have Mint install grub to MBR of its drive (/dev/sdb), boot into Windows and have it repair the MBR / restore its boot loader to its drive (/dev/sda), then change boot order to the second HDD. Don't know exact process to repair Windows boot loader, but quick search should find answer to that. It's up to you. Many people just use it the way you have it setup now with grub on MBR of Windows drive.
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Re: Dual boot with Vista - how to install to boot drive

Post by f1charlie » Fri Jun 02, 2017 3:55 am

Thanks gold_finger, I took a copy of the Windows mbr as advised previously, so I could restore from that. If I did that (I probably won't now as it all seems to be working), does Mint automatically install grub on the second drive if I change the boot order or would I have to do something?

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