Installing Mint as dual-boot on old WinXP laptop

Questions about Grub, UEFI,the liveCD and the installer
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Re: Installing Mint as dual-boot on old WinXP laptop

Post by prestonR »

Hi again, shamwari :D

A great tool is the 20Mb SuperGrubDisk2 bootable iso. It works like an emergency grub/osprober and sniffs out all bootable OS on your system, no matter if the Os' bootloader is working or broken. Put it on a stick, boot from it and pick your Mint install.

If you get to a desktop either run

Code: Select all

sudo update-grub
or re-install grub

Code: Select all

sudo grub-install dev/sda
where sda should be the target drive/partition for grub on your machine.

Actually, if you got plenty of usb slots burn SuperGrubDisk2 on one of those tiny drives that don't stick out and just leave it there; if ever a grub update messes up you're covered.

Of course you can try SuperGrubDisk2 even when all's working fine, just see if you can boot from it; it should offer you options to boot either XP or Mint or , by picking the 'boot grub.cfg', hand the boot over to your working grub.

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Re: Installing Mint as dual-boot on old WinXP laptop

Post by mr_raider »

br1anstorm wrote:I don't want to stray off topic or confuse the discussion which I started...... but I have just unearthed a how-to guide on dual booting XP with Linux Ubuntu which I find very interesting.

I have always been a tad nervous about a dual boot where the Linux Grub replaces the Windows MBR. Grub may be a fine bootloader. But if something happens to it (eg because of a Windows update) then you are in trouble and have to worry about repair or rescue.

With Windows 7 and later there is the alternative of installing EasyBCD in Windows, installing the Linux distro and its Grub on their own partition, and then telling EasyBCD where to find Grub. It then offers the choice of OS to boot. Nice and simple.

BUT - EasyBCD doesn't work with WinXP. So I assumed (like I guess most who have commented in this thread) that the only way to dual boot any Linux distro with XP would be to put Grub in place of the Windows XP MBR and rely on Grub to boot both OSs. Probably works fine (99% of the time?).

I just happen to have found this article ... _xp2k.html - which I must have bookmarked years ago - about dual booting WinXP and Ubuntu using the Windows MBR bootloader. It's old (2008), and refers to Ubuntu v8.04. But it has led me to wonder: is that how-to guide, which involves editing bits of the MBR and the boot sector of Linux (!!) still valid and feasible? I'm just curious: could this be done now, with XP and Mint 18.2? Probably more complicated than simply letting Grub do all the booting. But still....maybe serious experts would like to comment on whether this alternative tweak is sensible or stupid?
No. Grub has been replaced by grub2 which is larger and more complex.

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Re: Installing Mint as dual-boot on old WinXP laptop

Post by br1anstorm »

Thanks, prestonR for that tip. Hope I won't ever have to use SuperGrub2Disk for real. But I have downloaded and installed it on a little USB stick - just in case.

Hamba gahle....

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