I'm a Linux Newbie, wife wants to stay with Windows7

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TRA
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I'm a Linux Newbie, wife wants to stay with Windows7

Post by TRA »

I've been messing around with Mint off of a live DVD for the last week or so, and I love it. I can't wait to do a full install...I am VERY excited. My wife has zero interest in Linux and prefers to stay with Windows 7HE. I consider myself to be fairly computer literate but have never used two OSs side by side on the same machine. Here's the question: Really, how difficult is it to install side by side and how difficult is it really to uninstall Mint should the need arise (we have one machine, and her immediate need for W7HE is more important than my desire to learn Linux, oh well)? Worst case scenario, I'd like to know that Mint is easily unistalled and I can reinstall W7 off of my USB drive.

It seems in searching for a succinct answer to this question, there are a lot of tales of cataclysmic install/uninstall scenarios, panicking users and lost data. I am in a unique situation as our machine is fairly new with nothing installed on it that will be missed if something goes wrong. Am I overthinking this?

Responses, advice and encouraging words are appreciated!
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Rudemeister
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Re: I'm a Linux Newbie, wife wants to stay with Windows7

Post by Rudemeister »

Tell your wife that you wear the pants in the family and you can do any darn thing you like. Oh, and you can't come sleep on my couch either. :wink:

Anyway, back up your drive and then make a Windows Rescue Disk. You can either make some room on the drive you have now to put Mint or if you have the room, just install a second SATA drive and put Mint on that. Then you'll have a dual boot and everybody will be happy. The second option is the easiest and safest.
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Re: I'm a Linux Newbie, wife wants to stay with Windows7

Post by oysterboy »

It's very easy to set up and risk-free, provided you backup all your user data and keep a W7 install disk handy in case of a catastrophic event (which is unlikely).

So once you've backed up your data and feel secure that you could reinstall W7 + user data if something went wrong (highly unlikely, as I said!), it's just a matter of :

- defragmenting your Win drive
- inserting a Linux Mint DVD
- rebooting
- following the step by step instructions. The install wizard will detect Windows and ask if you want to keep it (yes!). The Win partition will have to be resized in order to create space for your Linux partitions (at least 2: / and swap; 3 is recommended : /, swap, and /home).

You will then see the GRUB screen when booting, which allows you choose to boot either Mint or Windows. The default choice (Mint) can be modified if you (or more likely your wife :wink: ) wishes so.

And if you wish to wipe Linux and make it a Windows-only machine (but why would anyone want to do that :wink: ), I guess it's just a matter of running fdisk or something like that in Windows, that is the command that restores the MBR to what Windows expects instead of having GRUB. Then you can reclaim the Linux space using Windows's partition editor, I guess...

Hope this helps!
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Re: I'm a Linux Newbie, wife wants to stay with Windows7

Post by TRA »

Excellent, thanks gents.
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I2k4
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Re: I'm a Linux Newbie, wife wants to stay with Windows7

Post by I2k4 »

It's pretty easy to dual boot with W7 - a straightforward option from Live CD set up process - and my own dual boot with Lubuntu has been great (knock wood).

However, and this is not well explained in official documentation, the GRUB boot loader that provides the choice menu each time overrides the regular Windows boot loader and is something of a bugger to ever get rid of, short of completely wiping your disk and reinstalling Windows. So it's best to be committed to dual booting via GRUB for the life of that machine. Of course there are threads about "ways" to revert back to Windows loader, but it's the usual highly technical headache type stuff and good luck with it.
TRUST BUT VERIFY any advice from anybody, including me. Mint/Ubuntu user since 10.04 LTS. LM20 64 bit XFCE (Dell 1520). Dual booting LM20 XFCE / Win7 (Lenovo desktop and Acer netbook).
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Rudemeister
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Re: I'm a Linux Newbie, wife wants to stay with Windows7

Post by Rudemeister »

I2k4 wrote:However, and this is not well explained in official documentation, the GRUB boot loader that provides the choice menu each time overrides the regular Windows boot loader and is something of a bugger to ever get rid of, short of completely wiping your disk and reinstalling Windows.
It really is easy to fix this with your Windows Rescue disk. Boot with it and enter a terminal session. Then type in "bootrec /FixMbr"

This will take a few seconds to do and it will remove GRUB and restore your Windows only boot.
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oobetimer

Re: I'm a Linux Newbie, wife wants to stay with Windows7

Post by oobetimer »

Rudemeister wrote:
I2k4 wrote:However, and this is not well explained in official documentation, the GRUB boot loader that provides the choice menu each time overrides the regular Windows boot loader and is something of a bugger to ever get rid of, short of completely wiping your disk and reinstalling Windows.
It really is easy to fix this with your Windows Rescue disk. Boot with it and enter a terminal session. Then type in "bootrec /FixMbr"

This will take a few seconds to do and it will remove GRUB and restore your Windows only boot.
An easier and faster way is to use MS-SYS .. :wink:
http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=42&t=108274
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I2k4
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Re: I'm a Linux Newbie, wife wants to stay with Windows7

Post by I2k4 »

Thanks for these last responses - as of now I like and plan to keep the dual boot on my netbook, but certainly could come in handy.
TRUST BUT VERIFY any advice from anybody, including me. Mint/Ubuntu user since 10.04 LTS. LM20 64 bit XFCE (Dell 1520). Dual booting LM20 XFCE / Win7 (Lenovo desktop and Acer netbook).
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