I've been struggling 'a bit' with this configuration and any help would be much appreciated.
I'll try to formulate the scenario as precise as possible, also to match potentially similar scenarios for other people facing the same issue
(sorry in advance if that causes this post to be somewhat long).
What I try to achieve:
When the laptop starts up, a boot menu shows and either Linux Mint 18.3 (cinnamon) or Windows 10 pro can be selected.
Preferably Linux Mint would be the default.
If UEFI prevents any kind of selection menu from showing (be it Grub or rEFInd), but both OS'es can still be selected by pressing F12 (showing the boot options),
then that would already be a great first step.
Ideally I would like to have Secure and Fast boot enabled, but if that's technically not possible, I can live with that.
THE SHORT VERSION OF THE ISSUES:
In scenario 1, using the standard installation options, my installation gets stuck at the part where Grub gets installed.
In scenario 2, installing Linux Mint without Grub, I cannot boot back into the successful Mint install, in order to make some Grub or rEFInd menu working.
THE DETAILED EXPLANATION OF THE ISSUES:
My personal background and knowledge level:
- I've worked with and supported all kinds of computers for about 20 years, but mostly Microsoft configs;
- Since recent years I've been fiddling a bit with Ubuntu, both graphical desktop as well as console server configs - think LAMP/XAMPP setups using Virtual Machines, in order to develop WordPress sites;
- I have no experience with Linux Mint so far, but I figured it would be a nice way to introduce Linux to my girlfriend while getting familiar with Mint myself, with a safe way for her to escape to Windows when necessary - hence the dual-boot setup.
- I am comfortable with most basic and general Linux commands, but I am not experienced enough to fix installs when they hang, or tweak GRUB(2) or rEFInd configs in order to make them work.
- The laptop is a LENOVO ideapad 320, bought in the store 3 days ago;
- It's a 64-bit system, has a UEFI BIOS, 1 TB single harddisk and 4 GB of RAM.
Steps I've taken before installing Linux Mint:
- Secure and fast boot are both disabled in the 'BIOS' (can be entered using F2) and F12 gives the options to start from either Windows or DVD, when the live DVD is inserted;
- The laptop came without OS, so I first installed Windows 10 professional on it (64-bit, English), knowing that any Linux installation should come after that, in order to prevent boot issues.
This installation boots and works fine.
- Initially I divided the 1 TB hard disk in 3 sections: ~330 GB for Windows (ntfs), ~330 GB for Linux Mint (unused) and ~330 GB intended to be shared by both OSes (ntfs).
- I downloaded and burned the following file to DVD: linuxmint-18.3-cinnamon-64bit.iso. Ran an integrity test which was fine.
Booted up the laptop using F12 and was able to select the Live DVD and start the installation using the icon on the desktop: so far, so good.
The first problem is that the installation hangs when it gets to the part of installing GRUB2. I've kept it running for a whole night, but to no avail.
I tried the option to automatically install it next to the existing and correctly detected Windows OS, as well as the option to manually partition the volumes, as follows:
50 GB for /
8 GB for swap
the rest (~290 GB) for home
As said, all goes well until it reaches the GRUB2 installation, then it hangs.
I tried installing the Linux bootloader straight to the sda (although I think that's incorrect) as well as onto sda2, where the EFI partition is at
(found some hints here and there, instructing to do so).
If I then abort the installation, reboot the laptop and press F12, I do get to see another option: ubuntu.
However, when choosing that option, all I get to see is a Grub command screen.
Deleting the Linux Mint install, and start all over:
To reset the whole config and start from scratch (countless times so far ), I did the following:
Booted into the Live DVD, started GParted, removed the 3 Linux partitions that I manually created during install and then reboot.
Then followed the instructions as explained in this post at askubuntu.com (the 2nd solution, specifically for UEFI):
This way I could retry some steps from scratch, eventually leading me to the next scenario.
- Run a cmd.exe process with administrator privileges
- Run diskpart
- Type: list disk then sel disk X where X is the drive your boot files reside on
- Type list vol to see all partitions (volumes) on the disk
- Select the EFI volume by typing: sel vol Y where Y is the SYSTEM volume (this is almost always the EFI partition)
- For convenience, assign a drive letter by typing: assign letter=Z: where Z is a free (unused) drive letter
- Type exit to leave disk part
- While still in the cmd prompt, type: Z: and hit enter, where Z was the drive letter you just created.
- Type dir to list directories on this mounted EFI partition
- If you are in the right place, you should see a directory called EFI
- Type cd EFI and then dir to list the child directories inside EFI
- Type rmdir /S ubuntu to delete the ubuntu boot directory
I followed the steps from this helpful post.
The idea behind this approach is to initially skip the Grub part during installation, using the command
Code: Select all
After the Mint install, according to the instructions one should install rEFInd in order to replace the Windows bootloader and the Grub menu - at least, that's my assumption.
I did that using the following commands in a Terminal session (instead of using Gdebi, as per instructions):
Code: Select all
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:rodsmith/refind apt update apt install refind
However, when I arrive at the step to reboot the laptop (3. Shutdown, 4. Boot the computer) it goes straight to Windows.
Also, when I enter the boot menu using F12 during boot, there is no Ubuntu installation. Only the Windows bootloader and booting from DVD are there.
It should be mentioned that the instructions in that post are not meant for a dual-boot config, but I still think that using rEFInd is the preferred route to take.
That assumption is based on the fact that the Mint installation itself at least finishes successfully, but also based on the fact that I've seen some posts stating that certain Windows Updates can mess up Grub.
If anyone can come up with some suggestions as to fix either scenario 1 or 2, resulting in some boot menu for both OS'es, I would be happy to try them out or give more info if needed.