I think i formatted my entire hard drive to Linux wiped win10

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fleckism
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I think i formatted my entire hard drive to Linux wiped win10

Post by fleckism » Sun Feb 28, 2016 1:40 pm

Please help new Dell xps13 9350. Is there a way for me to repatriation the drive and reinstall windows, I believe I already have windows on a flash drive. I know I will have to get my key from Dell. Last time I did this a a couple years ago I don't remember it being such a hassle.

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Re: I think i formatted my entire hard drive to Linux wiped win10

Post by Moem » Sun Feb 28, 2016 2:12 pm

Sure, that's possible. Which part do you need help with?
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If your issue is solved, kindly indicate that by editing the first post in the topic, and adding [SOLVED] to the title. Thanks!

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Re: I think i formatted my entire hard drive to Linux wiped win10

Post by MintBean » Sun Feb 28, 2016 2:14 pm

When I read the title, my knee-jerk response was 'congratulations!' :wink:

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Re: I think i formatted my entire hard drive to Linux wiped win10

Post by fleckism » Sun Feb 28, 2016 3:18 pm

lol, thanks, I shouldn't have tried to do it with two young kids running around me. I think the first logical step would be to partition my hard drive, so I can install windows on it? It that seems like the first thing how do I go about doing it? I've given up on trying to do things on my own after screwing up so bad in the first place.

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Re: I think i formatted my entire hard drive to Linux wiped win10

Post by Neil Edmond » Sun Feb 28, 2016 5:33 pm

The Windows installation media will partition the hard drive, format for Windows, and build boot partitions and everything else needed to install Windows. Just note: Windows will take over the entire hard drive, so back up any data you want saved,then install Mint again after Windows.

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Re: I think i formatted my entire hard drive to Linux wiped win10

Post by postie974 » Sun Feb 28, 2016 5:51 pm

I think the first logical step would be to partition my hard drive, so I can install windows on it?
WHY would you want windoze back??? Sorry, but I had to say that! :mrgreen: Yes, you are correct! Go to Administration > GParted which you will most likely need to install from Software Manager. It is located in the Featured packages section. Once you have it running it works similar to disk manager in windoze. Let me know if you need more info. Whatever you do, DO NOT GIVE UP!!! I'm still a newby myself. I've tried several different distro's and Mint ROCKS!!!
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Re: I think i formatted my entire hard drive to Linux wiped win10

Post by postie974 » Sun Feb 28, 2016 6:24 pm

Ed's suggestion may be the best way to do it. Again, DO NOT GIVE UP!!! The short time I have been using Linux has me hooked and I already rarely load windoze.
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Re: I think i formatted my entire hard drive to Linux wiped win10

Post by postie974 » Sun Feb 28, 2016 6:29 pm

Another suggestion is to use EasyBCD to manage your dual boot loader. You can download it free here. http://neosmart.net/EasyBCD/
Last edited by postie974 on Sun Feb 28, 2016 6:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Lolo Uila
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Re: I think i formatted my entire hard drive to Linux wiped win10

Post by Lolo Uila » Sun Feb 28, 2016 6:31 pm

Boot the Linux Mint install media and use Gparted to create a new GPT partition table.

If you have more than one hard drive or SSD in your system, make sure the correct device is selected from the drop down list on the upper right.

CAUTION: This will wipe all data from the drive! If there is any data that you need, back it up first.

Now go to the Device menu and select Create Partition Table, then change the table type from msdos to gpt and hit apply.

This will delete any prior partition data and leave a blank drive, ready for an OS install.

From there you can boot your installation media. If you want both Windows 10 and Linux on the system, then install Windows first. Windows 10 will do its own partitioning when it installs, so you don't need to do anything else until that's done.

Once you have Windows 10 installed and running, you can boot into your Linux Mint install media again and use Gparted to shrink the Windows partition to make room for the Linux install.

There will likely be multiple partitions created by Windows, the one you want to shrink will be the largest (and usually last) one. Select the partition and use the Partition > Resize/Move option to create free space at the end of the drive (as much as you want to allocate to Linux). Typically you'll want 20GB or more for Linux. From there you can just let Linux Mint install to that free space, but some additional tweaking will be beneficial.

In Linux it is a good practice to have your /home directory separate from the main system. To do that you'll want to split the free space you created into two parts, or three if you want to have a swap partition (for hibernation).

So let's say you created 56 GB of free space for Linux, and your system has 8GB of RAM.

In the free space, create a new 16GB ext4 file system partition for the Linux system files.

Create a new 32GB ext4 file system partition for your /home directory.

Create a new 8GB Linux swap partition. If you don't need or care about hibernation you can skip the swap partition and make a bigger /home partition.

Then when you go to install Mint, choose the "something else" option for where to install it and use the partitions you created above (16GB for /, 32GB for /home and 8GB for swap).

Some people recommend a minimum of 20GB for the Linux system, and if you are allocating a large amount of space to Linux, and plan on installing a lot of software, then that's a good idea. Mint itself requires less than 8GB, but you will need more for updates and software you install.

When Mint installs it will create a boot menu that will let you choose between Windows and Linux at boot time.

Oh, and if your system was already activated running Windows 10, you may not need a key to reinstall. Windows 10 makes a hardware key that is stored on their server when a system is activated. As long as you are reinstalling the same version of Windows 10 (home/pro, retail/oem, etc.), you should not need a key.

Good luck, and if you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask. We're here to help.


FYI: I'm also running a Windows 10 + Mint dual-boot system (actually, it's Win 10, Mint 17.3, Slackware 14.1 and Android 5.1.1, but that's not important for this discussion).
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Re: I think i formatted my entire hard drive to Linux wiped win10

Post by all41 » Sun Feb 28, 2016 6:38 pm

Neil Edmond wrote:The Windows installation media will partition the hard drive, format for Windows, and build boot partitions and everything else needed to install Windows. Just note: Windows will take over the entire hard drive, so back up any data you want saved,then install Mint again after Windows.
probably even a good idea to let windows finish updating first
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Re: I think i formatted my entire hard drive to Linux wiped win10

Post by postie974 » Sun Feb 28, 2016 6:41 pm

Great advice Lolo! Are you using EasyBCD to manager your boot loader on your multi OS machine? I was getting ready to install Mint on a machine that I have dual booted to Windows 10/OpenSUSE. Any advice as this will be my first attempt at a multi OS machine? Thanks
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Re: I think i formatted my entire hard drive to Linux wiped win10

Post by Lolo Uila » Sun Feb 28, 2016 10:11 pm

postie974 wrote:Great advice Lolo! Are you using EasyBCD to manager your boot loader on your multi OS machine? I was getting ready to install Mint on a machine that I have dual booted to Windows 10/OpenSUSE. Any advice as this will be my first attempt at a multi OS machine? Thanks
No, I'm just using the default Grub install. Grub (GRand Unified Bootloader) is what many Linux distros (including Mint) will install as a boot manager. If you are using something else you may have to skip the Grub install and manually add the Mint entry after you install Mint.

If the system you are installing to just has Windows, then Mint will install Grub and set up the boot menu for you. If it already dual-boots with Grub, then Mint should automatically get added to the Grub boot menu.

I've heard of other boot managers but never really needed one because Grub just works. It can be a little cryptic to manually add a custom entry, but once you figure it out its easy to maintain (just text files to edit).
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Re: I think i formatted my entire hard drive to Linux wiped win10

Post by fleckism » Mon Feb 29, 2016 5:54 am

Thanks guys, I'll try these tonight after the kids go to bed. I have no idea why I wait at all to post on these forums, could have alleviated lot of stress and dirty looks from my wife! :evil:

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Re: I think i formatted my entire hard drive to Linux wiped win10

Post by fleckism » Mon Feb 29, 2016 6:12 am

This is what happens when I try to create partition table? Normally I would shoot from the hip, but we can see where that got me.
Screenshot from 2016-02-29 05_10_10.png

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Re: I think i formatted my entire hard drive to Linux wiped win10

Post by Spearmint2 » Mon Feb 29, 2016 6:16 am

MintBean wrote:When I read the title, my knee-jerk response was 'congratulations!' :wink:
LOL, I had that feeling too. :mrgreen:
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Re: I think i formatted my entire hard drive to Linux wiped win10

Post by Spearmint2 » Mon Feb 29, 2016 6:29 am

fleckism wrote:This is what happens when I try to create partition table? Normally I would shoot from the hip, but we can see where that got me.
Screenshot from 2016-02-29 05_10_10.png
This is an SSD?

If you want windows back, boot the windows installation disc and let it do the install from scratch, as Ed suggested. Windows is supposed to do that, but maybe will balk at the ext2 partition. If so, then boot to the Linux DVD and just remove all partitions first, then run the windows installation. After that is done, then ask for more help.

It doesn't appear you have any data on the drive currently, unless you did and wish to run some recovery software to try and recapture some files from it.
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Re: I think i formatted my entire hard drive to Linux wiped win10

Post by postie974 » Mon Feb 29, 2016 3:36 pm

Lolo Uila wrote: No, I'm just using the default Grub install. Grub (GRand Unified Bootloader) is what many Linux distros (including Mint) will install as a boot manager. If you are using something else you may have to skip the Grub install and manually add the Mint entry after you install Mint.

If the system you are installing to just has Windows, then Mint will install Grub and set up the boot menu for you. If it already dual-boots with Grub, then Mint should automatically get added to the Grub boot menu.

I've heard of other boot managers but never really needed one because Grub just works. It can be a little cryptic to manually add a custom entry, but once you figure it out its easy to maintain (just text files to edit).
Thanks for the info Lolo. Yes, Grub works quite well as the manager with Windows. I just wasn't sure how everything would go adding another distro into the mix. EasyBCD is a great free program that runs in Windows and modifies Windows boot manager to boot multiple OS's in whatever order you want and is very easy to modify. It also creates a backup so you can fall back very easy as well if something goes bonkers. :mrgreen: Next time I think I will try just letting GRUB handle all of it but for now I have successfully created a mutli boot OS machine running Mint/openSUSE/Windows 10 with no problems whatsoever! 8)
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Re: I think i formatted my entire hard drive to Linux wiped win10

Post by fleckism » Tue Mar 01, 2016 6:17 am

Thanks everyone! Deleting that partition allowed me to do a clean install of windows. For the record Microsoft support told me I would need a key. The dell site told me I wouldn't and It didn't even ask me for one.

Thanks again!

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