Alright, dumb questions time:
pbear wrote: ↑
Thu Sep 12, 2019 11:52 am
, the better I understand the problem the more I think you would be better off trying a different tack. As I see it, there are three options:
1. Clear sdb and start fresh. Given its size, it will have to stay GPT. Happily, there is a way to install to GPT on a BIOS system but I don't think there is a clear and safe path with the current partition scheme. Note this will entail putting the bootloader on sdb, so that will have to be the first drive in BIOS boot order (easily done). sda will keep its Windows bootloader, so it'll still be there if you later decide to unwind the Mint installation. After installing Mint, you would of course restore the Z: partition to sdb, just placing it after Mint rather than before.
I'm sorry, I'm having difficulties understanding. You say "Clear sdb" as in, "format the whole device" (not possible at the moment because I lack any other storage device to transfer my files to), "delete the partitions where Linux is installed" or "delete the Win 7 system reserved partition"?
As long as it doesn't entail the first scenario, I'm ready and willing to carry out the deed.
2. As suggested above, install a third HDD/SSD and put Mint there. As mentioned, this can be small because you can use either sda or sdb for data.
Sadly, I'm dirt poor. Otherwise I would gladly go down this path.
3. Full install to USB drive
I'll keep this as a reserve solution if everything else fails.
Spearmint2 wrote: ↑
Thu Sep 12, 2019 3:55 pm
My approach would be unplug data cable to /dev/sda drive, then install 64 bit version mint to /dev/sdb drive. Reboot to it, then run update-grub, where it will see and add the windows drive into GRUB bootloader too.
So, if I understand, this would basically avoid getting the Win 7 drive involved (and potentially screwed) with the whole installation process of Linux, integrating them later. Does this involves the steps mentioned above by pbear ("clear SDB and start fresh") or is its own thing? Also, wouldn't be the same (your post implies that, obviously, it isn't the same, but I would like to know why) to just install Linux bootloader directly on /sdb/ and then move /sdb/ up on the boot order?
Just a little off-track comment: I did try changing the boot order (not the bootloader install location) at one point before coming to the forums, and, strangely, if sdb was placed first it seemed to recognize that there was an OS installed in the device, but it always got stuck perpetually at the "Loading Operating System" message, as opposed to sending me into GRUB rescue mode.
Sorry if the answer to this questions feels obvious to you, but I want to have a quite clear picture of what I'm about to do.
Anyway, tomorrow I begin a 48-hour long work shift and I won't be capable of attempting anything until Sunday night/Monday morning, so don't think I've quit Linux just yet if I don't report back before then.