I am a linux enthusiast from India. I always wanted to try linux but never dared to leave windows since I was very much comfortable working around it. For many other reasons the most important reason I did not switched over to Linux was not being able to successfully install it on the system whenever I tried it earlier.
But finally I am free of windows and using linux for about 3-4 months now. I tried it initially using Wubi + Ubuntu since it was lot easier but as explained in many of the forums; it is lot slower and poor in performance when installed thru Wubi compared to clean install.
So I installed Mint using side by side installation option on my hard disk making a dual boot system with Windows 7 and Linux Mint 8 Helena. Come Mint 9 Isadora and I decided that I will manually partition and install Isadora and not the automated process since I like being in control of my PC and so I searched google and picked up some information from here and some from there to learn the process of manual partition and installation. Now I want to share it with everyone who wants a dual boot system with windows and is a new comer to linux as a little gesture to give back something to the community who have helped me a lot to work around the linux environment....thank you guyz....
Since I have already installed Mint KDE earlier on my PC, I am using virtual box to create this guide. I have not allotted much of the resources to Virtual BOX so please bear with the low graphics mode.
INSTALLATION GUIDE STARTS FROM HERE
First and foremost is to install linux over the windows and not windows over the linux to avoid configuring the grub2 again which I am still not able to comprehend.
Before going further make sure you have back-up of your entire data just in-case something goes wrong since we need to work around the existing partition to install Linux Mint. After the back-up clean up some space or a partition (better option) on your hard-disk, ideally 30 GB of space is enough to start with.
I prefer to allocate the space on my extended logical partition since your windows is sitting on the primary partition. If there is no 30 GB partition on your disk then resize the one that you think you can share for Linux. Use the disk management tool in windows to resize the partition or you can use the free available partition manager by searching it with Google. EAZUSE home edition is a free tool available to edit the partitions.
Once your partition is resized, Identify (30 GB partition) and delete that partition (30 GB : where-in you wish to install Linux Mint) and be very careful with that. As you delete, it will show as free space/unallocated space in your partition manager. Now follow the steps below as we move ahead to install Linux Mint on your PC.
Step 1: Download Mint 9 Isadora iso image from
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Step 2: Download CDBurnerXP (free burning tool) from here
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Burn the CD using CDBurnerXP or any other CD burner of your choice which is available to you. Alternatively you can boot thru the live USB using the tool available from here to download
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Step 3: Plug in Live USB or Live CD (burned ISO image of mint) and re-start your computer. Make sure you re-set the bios to boot from USB or CD, whichever media you are using to install linux mint. Normally one can enter the bios of the computer by tapping F2, Del or Esc keys in your computer when your computer is starting-up, however it may vary from manufacture to manufacture.
Step 4: Once you boot your Live USB or Live CD you will get the screen option given below: Select first option that is “Start Linux Mint”
Step 5: That will start your Live Mint session and you will end up with a screen similar as below:
Step 6: Click the Install Linux Mint icon on the desktop and you will get the screen as posted below. Select the language of your choice and click Forward button on bottom right corner
Step 7: If you are connected to the internet the region and time zone shall be synchronized automatically and if you are not connected then you will have to manually assign the Region and Time Zone. Click Forward after completing the task on the bottom right side of your screen
Step 8: You will be presented with the screen below where-in you are required to select the keyboard layout. Choose the layout you are using and if you are not sure about layout, choose the default layout that is USA as shown on the screen. Once done click the Forward button
Step 9: This is one of the most important selection you will have to make. Since I have used the Virtual Box, I have the disk which is totally clean but you will get four options while installing on your PC. Ignore all others and select the option “Specify partitions manually (advanced)” and proceed with Forward button
Step 10: Remember the partition we deleted earlier. Ignore all other partition visible here and high-light the partition showing the Device label as “free space” as pasted in below screen shot. If you have deleted a 30 GB partition as mentioned above your free space displayed would be 30 GB while I have used around 21 GB of space on Virtual Box.
Step 11: Click the add button once you high-light or select the free space. Follow on screen options of Type for the new partition which is Logical and size is 256 MB only which will be specifically used for your /boot details. Ideally 256 MB for boot is suffice keeping in mind the kernel upgrades too. Select all other options as given in below screen and hit “OK” button
Step 12: Next is your Swap area which is more like pagefile.sys on your Windows machine. Follow on screen options other than the size of partition which should be double your RAM size ideally. I am using 2 GB of RAM hence my Swap Area is 4000 MB. REMEMBER AND MAKE SURE THERE IS NO MOUNT POINT FOR THIS PARTITION.. Proceed with clicking "OK" button
Step 13: Next is setting up “/” partition. This is often referred as “root” partition too. On this partition your Linux system files shall be installed. I have allocated 10 GB but if possible (if we have spare of total 30 GB and more) one should at-least allocate a space of 15 GB to this partition since we are also going to add new programmes and applications to Linux once it is up and working. Follow the on-screen picture precisely except the size of partition. Hit the "OK" button.
Step 14: Last partition is your /home partition which is more like My Documents folder on your Windows PC. Allocate the remaining space on your disk to this one and follow the screen shot precisely except for the size of the partition. Click "OK" button
Step 15: You will end up with Following screen, Since I am on virtual box with single disk there are no other partitions visible but you will be having the window displaying your windows partitions and those that we created rite now. Just click the Forward button
Step 16: Fill the details of user account and password. Remember the password since that will work as root password for your Linux which you shall eventually understand. Hit the Forward button once done
Step 17: Next screen is pasted below. Hit the “Install” button on the bottom right corner and you are pretty much done installing your Linux Mint
Step 18: Sit back and relax as Linux is being installed. Take a sip on your Soda but come back quickly since Linux does not take more than 10 minutes to install on a normal PC
Step 19: As the installation finishes, shut down the PC, remove the Live USB or CD and re-start the PC. Remember to change your boot order to HDD (disk drive). You will end up with dual boot option. Select Linux Mint and bang you are there. Enjoy the freedom. The final screen shot of the desktop is given below
END OF TUTORIAL