Upgrade Mint version, while not touching Win7 partitions

All Gurus once were Newbies
Forum rules
There are no such things as "stupid" questions. However if you think your question is a bit stupid, then this is the right place for you to post it. Please stick to easy to-the-point questions that you feel people can answer fast. For long and complicated questions prefer the other forums within the support section.
Before you post please read how to get help
VanessaTL
Level 4
Level 4
Posts: 221
Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2012 1:56 pm

Upgrade Mint version, while not touching Win7 partitions

Post by VanessaTL »

My laptop currently has 2 operating systems: Mint 13 and Windows 7.

I would like to upgrade to Mint 17. How can I do that without deleting any of my Windows 7 data / partitions?

Update: Reading this related bug report scares me: https://bugs.launchpad.net/linuxmint/+bug/1325786

User avatar
WharfRat
Level 21
Level 21
Posts: 13827
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2011 8:15 pm

Re: Upgrade Mint version, while not touching Win7 partitions

Post by WharfRat »

VanessaTL wrote:My laptop currently has 2 operating systems: Mint 13 and Windows 7.

I would like to upgrade to Mint 17. How can I do that without deleting any of my Windows 7 data / partitions?

Update: Reading this related bug report scares me: https://bugs.launchpad.net/linuxmint/+bug/1325786
Skimming through that bug report it appears the replace option does format the entire drive. So the option you want to use is 'something else' and select the specific partition and mountpoint.

A backup prior to upgrading is also a prudent step.

There are other ways to transfer a linux installation from one media to another using rsync, but it's a little involved. For instance you can install 17 to a flash drive then rsync it to your current installation's partition. A little manipulation and an update to initrd would also be required.

You're lucky you discovered that bug before you upgraded.

Good luck :wink:
ImageImage

expat_tony
Level 4
Level 4
Posts: 283
Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2014 6:52 pm

Re: Upgrade Mint version, while not touching Win7 partitions

Post by expat_tony »

The best advice is right at the bottom of that link you posted.. Patrick(preilly2) wrote:

When I upgrade I always choose the 'Something else' option during installation, which lets me manually specify the partitions where I want the boot loader and OS installed. I copy my personal data to a storage partition. I do have to set everything up again the way I want it each time I install a new Mint, but I've gotten used to it and it doesn't take long. It's good to start with a clean system, too.

If the release notes on your USB don't refer to the issue they describe in that discussion, assume that replacing 16 with 17 automatically is a VERY RADICAL move, and before you do it, you must either make a full backup of all your disk - including any Windows partitions if you dual-boot - or go for that 'Something else' option instead. If you already know how to use Gparted, you can quickly delete and remake partitions only instead of whole disks. If you don't know, there's plenty of help in the Installation and Boot forum here. Look for thread titles that have SOLVED in them. You could also search in the Tutorials / Howtos forum.
Last edited by expat_tony on Fri Aug 08, 2014 4:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

OrangeShark
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2014 12:06 pm

Re: Upgrade Mint version, while not touching Win7 partitions

Post by OrangeShark »

I recently upgraded Linux Mint 17 from Linux Mint 15 on my desktop which I am also dual booting with Windows 7.
The bug report said it was a mistake in the labeling when it is suppose to clearly say it wipes out the entire drive.
A fix for the labeling was released in v2 of the release according to http://blog.linuxmint.com/?p=2662 . Note, it still erases the entire drive.

What I did to upgrade was to use the 'something else' option which allows you to see all the partitions. You will see the Linux Mint partition which you can reformat and select that as the partition to install Linux Mint 17 on.

VanessaTL
Level 4
Level 4
Posts: 221
Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2012 1:56 pm

Re: Upgrade Mint version, while not touching Win7 partitions

Post by VanessaTL »

What about the boot/grub partition? Do I do something with that partition when I upgrade my Mint?


If someone can give step-by-step instructions (with screenshots if possible), I'd appreciate it. I hate to make the wrong move.

User avatar
WharfRat
Level 21
Level 21
Posts: 13827
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2011 8:15 pm

Re: Upgrade Mint version, while not touching Win7 partitions

Post by WharfRat »

VanessaTL wrote:What about the boot/grub partition? Do I do something with that partition when I upgrade my Mint?


If someone can give step-by-step instructions (with screenshots if possible), I'd appreciate it. I hate to make the wrong move.
Refer to this reply http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.p ... 76#p904461
ImageImage

preilly2
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Aug 08, 2014 8:24 pm

Re: Upgrade Mint version, while not touching Win7 partitions

Post by preilly2 »

Hello VanessaTL,

I haven't any screenshots at the moment, but I'll try to help from memory if I can. First, I boot Linux from a second internal hard drive that I've divided into several partitions including Windows NTFS (for storage), Linux root, and Linux swap file. Your primary HD could of course be partitioned similarly. In my case, I know that my Linux root partition is /dev/sdb5. I choose the 'Something else' option during installation. This brings up a list of hard drives and partitions. If you scroll down and look around, you should find your main Linux partition in the list. I tell the Mint installer to put the boot loader and the new Mint OS on the Linux root partition I was already using for the old Mint---/dev/sdb5 in my case. I always have to fiddle with the partition selections a bit before the choices I want are ready to go. If you manually specify your partitions this way during your Mint installation, it won't mess with your Windows 7 OS at all. I use EasyBCD, a free Windows utility, to make the dual boot setup a little easier. I'm assuming you're already comfortable using either Gparted or a Windows program to partition your hard drive(s)? Hope this helps you get set up safely---please feel free to ask more questions and keep us posted! Best of luck.

expat_tony
Level 4
Level 4
Posts: 283
Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2014 6:52 pm

Re: Upgrade Mint version, while not touching Win7 partitions

Post by expat_tony »

preilly2 wrote:I'm assuming you're already comfortable using either Gparted or a Windows program to partition your hard drive(s)?
It's safest not to touch any Windows partition using Gparted loaded in Mint, and not to touch any Mint partition using the Windows Disk Management. For this upgrade, just leave your Windows partitions as they are.
It would help greatly to have a screenshot from you of what Gparted shows immediately after you run it. Can you open Gparted? And can you put screenshots into your posts?
- If Gparted is not in the Administration section of your Main Menu, download it using the software center. After that, just click on the new menu item and enter your main password; that's enough to show the screens you need. Perhaps you'll need two screens, if your Windows and Mint installs are on different drives (e.g. sda & sdb) , but probably it'll all be on one screen.
- To put that screen in your next post, you then need to find 'Screenshot' in the Accessories section of your Main Menu. Open it.
- Now click once on the Gparted screen you called up, then go back to the Screenshot dialog and click on 'Grab the current window' followed by a click on 'Take screenshot'. The image should be automatically saved to your Pictures folder inside your Home folder. Rename it there, to something simple like 'gparted1'.
- Now return here to where you want to post to us and open up your reply box. Below the text box it says 'Upload attachment'. Click there, and then on 'Browse'. The window that opens should be precisely your Pictures folder. Select the image you want - just made - and click Open'.
- You are sent back here, where you click 'Add the file'
- Nothing happens - apparently - but scroll down, and below your text box you now see 'Place inline'. Click on that, scroll back up, and you'll find the file reference at the very start of your text. You can highlight and move it to the place you want. Done! Submit your post and the advice will roll in.

VanessaTL
Level 4
Level 4
Posts: 221
Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2012 1:56 pm

Screenshots of partitions while running Mint Live USB

Post by VanessaTL »

Hello, everyone.
I put Linux Mint 17 Cinnamon on USB, rebooted the computer, and run Mint Live USB.

Here are screenshots of partitions. Please confirm the next steps I should take.
Attachments
P1030375a.JPG
P1030374a.JPG
P1030372a.JPG

expat_tony
Level 4
Level 4
Posts: 283
Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2014 6:52 pm

Re: Upgrade Mint version, while not touching Win7 partitions

Post by expat_tony »

Hi Vanessa

I'm surprised nobody has jumped in yet. Thanks for the screen shots.
Basically, the next thing you have to do is turn you sda5 partition into 3 partitions
One will be, say 20Gb, for your Mint17 install, and you'll need to call it / , which means root.
Another will be the size of your machine's RAM memory, plus say 2 Gb. Some people recommend more, but they generally have huge hard disks to play with. This will be /swap, and it's type will be linux-swap. It's to help with Suspend and Hibernate operations when you switch off and on.
The last one will be /home, and will include practically all the rest of your free space. That's for all your data, which I suppose is on sda5 now.

The complication (well, it may be a complication), in your case is that normally sda 5 would be assigned as /, and would be made before the other two.
I don't feel qualified enough to avoid errors getting the correct logical order of steps to take here.
But I know a man who does, and I'm going to write him a PM straight away and ask if he can take over. It's daytime where he lives, I'm soon for bed.

Good luck

User avatar
austin.texas
Level 20
Level 20
Posts: 12048
Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2009 3:57 pm
Location: at /home

Re: Upgrade Mint version, while not touching Win7 partitions

Post by austin.texas »

Looking at your last screenshot from GParted, you have sda5 (219.5GB) and sda6 (3.8GB)
sda5 is your Mint 13, no doubt.

First, GParted shows that you have 128.17GB USED in sda5. Do you have that data backed up somewhere? You will need to make a complete backup.
Next, how much ram do you have? sda6 should serve as a swap partition if you only have 2GB of ram. If you have more than 2 GB, it should be larger.
Mint 18.2 Cinnamon, Quad core AMD A8-3870 with Radeon HD Graphics 6550D, 8GB DDR3, Ralink RT2561/RT61 802.11g PCI
Linux Linx 2018

VanessaTL
Level 4
Level 4
Posts: 221
Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2012 1:56 pm

Re: Upgrade Mint version, while not touching Win7 partitions

Post by VanessaTL »

hi, expat_tony, people have helped. It's just that I'm such a scaredy-cat that I posted pics after getting their responses. :) Thank you for PMing your friend. Looking forward to reading your friend's reply here.

Hi, Austin.Texas.
My computer has 4 GB of RAM. How large a swap partition do you recommend?
I plan to move my personal data (photos, etc) to my Windows 7 system first. After I install Mint 17, I plan to move them back to Mint.

User avatar
austin.texas
Level 20
Level 20
Posts: 12048
Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2009 3:57 pm
Location: at /home

Re: Upgrade Mint version, while not touching Win7 partitions

Post by austin.texas »

You should generally have a bit more swap space than your RAM. With 4GB of RAM your swap partition should be slightly more than 4GB.
After you have everything backed up, you can delete both of those partitions (sda5 and sda6) and create new ones the size that you want, before you install. That can be done with gparted on the live Mint DVD.
Also, if you are reconfiguring your partitions, I would suggest that you create a / partition of about 20GB, a swap partition bigger than 4GB, and a /home partition using the rest of the available space. That way, the next time you want to install a new version of Mint, you don't have to copy the personal files back after installation. They will remain in place on the /home partition.
Mint 18.2 Cinnamon, Quad core AMD A8-3870 with Radeon HD Graphics 6550D, 8GB DDR3, Ralink RT2561/RT61 802.11g PCI
Linux Linx 2018

expat_tony
Level 4
Level 4
Posts: 283
Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2014 6:52 pm

Re: Upgrade Mint version, while not touching Win7 partitions

Post by expat_tony »

VanessaTL wrote:It's just that I'm such a scaredy-cat that I posted pics after getting their responses.
.....
I plan to move my personal data (photos, etc) to my Windows 7 system first. After I install Mint 17, I plan to move them back to Mint.
Your windows disk will be sda2, no doubt, though of course Win7 won't call it that. It's nowhere near large enough to take the 128 GiB on sda5 though. You'd fall short by 65+ GiB (over 70 gigabyte). Do you have any external HDDs or high capacity USB sticks handy?
Otherwise you'll have to spend quite a while (I know, I did it) trawling through your data to see what you can lose for good.
So if you get those photos moved to a brand new directory on the Win disk, you can see what's left, and you'll know whether or not you have to go shopping for external drive space.
It took me a long time to pluck up courage to make changes with Gparted, too. It becomes second nature, but in your case, when you're ready, load a fresh Gparted picture here, ask for step-by step instructions and someone will help out.
It would also be very useful if, before you delete Mint 13, you make a list of all the stuff you've changed and added, and also wish to keep configured like that in Mint 17. Don't forget printer drivers & other peripherals you installed. It's surprising how fast you can get your new system the way you want it - a matter of a couple of hours usually, whereas in Windows it would take...erm, it doesn't bear thinking about !

User avatar
gtsfer
Level 7
Level 7
Posts: 1912
Joined: Mon May 27, 2013 9:15 am
Location: Bucks County PA, USA

Re: Upgrade Mint version, while not touching Win7 partitions

Post by gtsfer »

Looking at the last screen shot you posted of Gparted, maybe 5 GB of that 128 GB used on sda5 is the actual operating system files for LM 13. Your original install put everything in "filesystem" which is root (aka "/" to the installer). And your home partition was placed inside of that as well.

That still leaves some 123 GB of actual data that you need to back up first. Austin.texas method of creating a separate /home for a new install has some definite benefits. The first thing you might do as already suggested is see what files you can clean up / maybe even get rid of. An option is to think about is getting a cheap external drive like a USB attached hard disk. I have a WD 500 GB Passport drive that I picked up really cheap some time ago for $47 USD.

Whatever media you use, backing up is the first thing to address. I'm a little curious about the yellow exclamation points that Gparted shows on sda2 (a Windows partition) and sda6 (Linux swap). For sda2 it probably just means it's a little fragmented but I'm not sure why it's showing on sda6.

Since you're going to reinstall the Linux stuff anyway when you're ready, I guess sda6 is nothing to worry about. Just wanted to point these out so everyone will be aware of it.
"There is no gravity, the earth sucks." - Issac Newton @ 75
KDE & Cinnamon 18.1 & Win 10 - ASUS M5A99FX PRO MB, AMD FX-8370 Octo-Core CPU, 16GB RAM, AMD Radeon R7 240

VanessaTL
Level 4
Level 4
Posts: 221
Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2012 1:56 pm

How to implement austin.texas's great suggestion?

Post by VanessaTL »

Hello everyone.

I can store my 124GB of /home/ personal files on my friend's hard drive temporarily. I like gtsfer and Austin.texas's suggestion of creating a separate /home/ partition.
Austin.Texas recommended that I "create a / partition of about 20GB, a swap partition bigger than 4GB, and a /home partition using the rest of the available space."

Could one of you please provide step by step instructions on how to implement this great suggestion?

expat_tony
Level 4
Level 4
Posts: 283
Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2014 6:52 pm

Re: Upgrade Mint version, while not touching Win7 partitions

Post by expat_tony »

Hi Vanessa

I assume the Gparted picture you sent of all your /dev/sda partitions is still basically valid (though the exact used vs. unused size in /sda5 has probably changed by now), and that you already have a bootable DVD or USB with a Mint 17 ISO file on it.
Once you've saved the data on that /sda5 partition to your friend's external HD, you're ready to go.

Now go to this URL : http://itsfoss.com/guide-install-linux- ... t-windows/. I've never seen a better step-by-step guide because everything is pictured along with the verbal instructions, with your required actions highlighted in green. Ignore the "16" in the URL address, it works the same in Mint 17.

To summarise what the tutorial says -
EDIT Important, you must choose the "Something else" option as shown in the picture
- Touch no ntfs (Windows) partitions at all.
- Make free space out of your sda5 partition by highlighting and deleting it as shown. You can do the same with your little sda6 partition. In the example, he gets rid of an Ubuntu install, while you'd be saying bye bye to your Mint 13 and data here. DON'T WORRY, you have it all on that external disk, which you'll be able to read and copy from once Mint 17 is running.
- From that free space, make the / partition first, then swap, then /home, as shown. Write in 20000 (twenty thousand) MB for /, let's say 6000 MB for swap, and let /home use up all the rest, which it should offer you automatically. /home should be close to 200000, which of course is 200 Gb. I would expect the 3 partitions to appear as sda5 ...6 &...7, but the numbers don't really matter.
- Finally - please check that you have /dev/sda as your "Device for bootloader installation" before you click on Install Now. Write no number after the sda - the new Grub menu will decide automatically which partition it wants to use to greet you from in future.
- Follow the rest of the instructions in that tutorial to finish off installing.

- The essential next step (not in the tutorial) will be to update Mint 17 using the blue shield icon on your bottom panel. Try out your internet connection and configure your printer (from Menu > System Settings > Printers) as soon as possible. If you have any issues with these (not unknown, sad to say), there are loads of "Solved" threads on here about those very topics. Read a couple and then decide whether you need to shout for help yourself.
Last edited by expat_tony on Wed Oct 15, 2014 8:45 am, edited 6 times in total.

User avatar
austin.texas
Level 20
Level 20
Posts: 12048
Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2009 3:57 pm
Location: at /home

Re: Upgrade Mint version, while not touching Win7 partitions

Post by austin.texas »

EDIT: I see that expat_tony posted a good guide to creating the new partitions using the installation program, as I was composing this guide to creating the new partitions before installation, using gparted. Either method will work.

You can't change your partitions while they are in use, so you use the gparted program on the live DVD or USB.
After everything you want to save is backed up, boot the DVD and open gparted.
Delete the old partitions - right-click on the partitions (in this case, sda5 and sda6) and choose Delete -
Apply - (the green checkmark on the toolbar)

You will then have unused space (unallocated space) where sda5 and sda6 used to be.
Right-click on the unallocated space, choose New, then pull the right side handle to the left until you have between 16000 and 20000 MB as the new size (16 to 20GB). The number should be divisible by 4 for best results - like this -
partitionScreenshot.png
File system: ext4
Label: LM17

Repeat the process to create a swap partition of a little more than 4GB
File system: linux-swap
Label: swap

Create your data partition with the same procedure using all the remaining unallocated space.
Apply.
Now you can exit the gparted program.

Start the installation program and choose the "Something Else" option.
SomethingElseScreenshot.png
Double-click on your new LM17 partition, (it should still be sda5).
You will get this pop-up window where you choose Format to ext4, Mount point /
installScreenshot.png
installScreenshot.png (14.38 KiB) Viewed 954 times
Same procedure for the swap partition. Double-click on sda6 - Use as: linux-swap, Mount point: swap
Same procedure for the Mint /home partition. Double-click on sda7 - Use as: ext4, Mount point: /home

Leave the default to install the bootloader to sda (at the bottom of the gparted window).
Then Install...
Mint 18.2 Cinnamon, Quad core AMD A8-3870 with Radeon HD Graphics 6550D, 8GB DDR3, Ralink RT2561/RT61 802.11g PCI
Linux Linx 2018

VanessaTL
Level 4
Level 4
Posts: 221
Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2012 1:56 pm

Status Update: Moving files to friend's laptop

Post by VanessaTL »

hello, austin.texas and expat_tony (and all those reading).

Thank you so much for your detailed guides.

I'm currently moving stuff from my laptop to my friend's using 2 SD cards. I estimate the move will be done in 2 days. :)

VanessaTL
Level 4
Level 4
Posts: 221
Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2012 1:56 pm

Now using GParted. Need question answered b4 I can continue

Post by VanessaTL »

austin.texas, expattony, others:

So I've deleted sda5 and sda6. I am now in "Create a new Partition" dialog window. I'm creating the LM17 partition. For the "Create as", there is only one choice: Logical Partition. The 2 other options (Primary Partition and Extended Partition) are grayed out and can't be selected. Just wanna confirm: Do we go ahead and use "Logical Partition"?

For the 2 other partitions (Swap and Home), what should I choose in the Create As dropdown list?

Post Reply

Return to “Newbie Questions”