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Install dual bootable Mint on a Win7 computer with no access to BIOS

Posted: Mon Sep 24, 2018 2:46 pm
by albval
Hi all, a total Linux newbie here.

I have bought an used HP ProBook with Windows 7 64 bit Home Premium installed. I'd like to make the computer dual bootable with Linux Mint. My problem is that the computer has it's BIOS locked with a password I don't know. Therefore I'm not able to change the boot order and make the computer boot from an USB disk or CD. (Incidentally, this also prevents me doing a fresh install of Windows). I found some guides while googling (like this: https://community.linuxmint.com/tutorial/view/171), but they were all quite old and people in the comments were telling that I could brick the machine by using some of the methods now. I have two NTFS partitions on the hard disk, a 200 GB one with WIndows and a 24GB empty one.

So my question is this: is there a way for me to get Mint installed on my computer alongside Windows and if yes, can somebody give me ELI5 directions how I can achieve this.

Thanks in advance,
albval

Re: Install dual bootable Mint on a Win7 computer with no access to BIOS

Posted: Mon Sep 24, 2018 2:56 pm
by gm10
albval wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 2:46 pm
I have bought an used HP ProBook with Windows 7 64 bit Home Premium installed. I'd like to make the computer dual bootable with Linux Mint. My problem is that the computer has it's BIOS locked with a password I don't know.
Ask the seller for the password or don't buy stolen laptops? At least I cannot come up with another scenario.

Re: Install dual bootable Mint on a Win7 computer with no access to BIOS

Posted: Mon Sep 24, 2018 3:07 pm
by albval
Seller doesn't know. Laptop has been legally bought from a recycling center without a hard drive.The laptop had a post-it on it with the bios password, but the password doesn't work. (And I've tried all possible misspellings). I managed to circumvent the problem when installing Windows by transferring my hard drive directly from my old laptop. I _could_ perhaps move the hard disk to a different computer again and install Mint there, but I'd like to hear if there is an easier option.

Re: Install dual bootable Mint on a Win7 computer with no access to BIOS

Posted: Mon Sep 24, 2018 3:15 pm
by sarge816
There are services to unlock password protected BIOS but I wouldn't waste my time or money on them. Linux is very accommodating in that you can install it on a hard drive and move the drive between many computers without an issue. I've swapped hard drives between the most diverse types of computers with an installed Linux Mint and it has never missed a beat. So you should have no problem if you decide to install a dual-boot setup on another PC and then put the drive back in the locked BIOS laptop.

Re: Install dual bootable Mint on a Win7 computer with no access to BIOS

Posted: Mon Sep 24, 2018 3:21 pm
by albval
Yeah, I guess that's the easiest way. Getting Windows to work after the swap was a pain so I feared Mint installation would be a similar ordeal.

Re: Install dual bootable Mint on a Win7 computer with no access to BIOS

Posted: Mon Sep 24, 2018 3:42 pm
by gm10
albval wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 3:07 pm
I _could_ perhaps move the hard disk to a different computer again and install Mint there, but I'd like to hear if there is an easier option.
An easier option is to access the BIOS boot menu, if you can (i.e. not the BIOS itself, there might be no password on the boot menu itself).

You could also install a different boot loader from within windows, e.g. something like Grub2win, and then use that to boot the Mint installation medium.

Last but not least, you could open the device and pull the BIOS battery, that will reset the password. Careful not to break anything doing that though.

Re: Install dual bootable Mint on a Win7 computer with no access to BIOS

Posted: Mon Sep 24, 2018 5:16 pm
by michael louwe
albval wrote:.
.
... https://www.dell.com/support/article/my ... em?lang=en - How to Perform a BIOS or CMOS Reset and/or Clear the NVRAM on your Dell System

Re: Install dual bootable Mint on a Win7 computer with no access to BIOS

Posted: Mon Sep 24, 2018 5:23 pm
by vansloneker
I recently had to deal with a HP factory locked laptop, and I mean hard-copy password locked by HP, not to be cleared by cmos reset. HP can help with the password, no charges applied.

And I 2nd the suggestion of taking the disk out to install Linux on another machine, if you have one.

Also, try to call the boot menu by pressing F9 immediately after turning on the machine.

Re: Install dual bootable Mint on a Win7 computer with no access to BIOS

Posted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 12:29 am
by albval
Thank you for your suggestions! However:
HP ProBooks, ElliteBooks & Business Class Notebooks DO NOT have backdoor passwords, DO NOT answer to Password Cracking Softwares ( due to minimum 8 character passwords & architecture) & DO NOT reset by CMOS battery removal. (due to EEPROM chip which doesn't require electricity to store things).
(https://superuser.com/questions/1108228 ... reset-bios)

The boot sequence menu is also behind the password, otherwise I wouldn't be here. Looks like people have been able to remove bios passwords from probooks by shorting pins or using some user-made programs. But they have also been able to brick their machines that way. Also I don't feel I am able to install a boot loader, at least with the instructions given.

Seems to me it's time to bring my ancient laptop down from the attic and start swapping hard drives.

Re: Install dual bootable Mint on a Win7 computer with no access to BIOS

Posted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 4:42 am
by michael louwe
albval wrote:.
.
... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qvJbCHlbnHI - How To Remove BIOS/CMOS Password On Laptop (Acer, Dell, HP, ASUS etc = by updating the BIOS.

Re: Install dual bootable Mint on a Win7 computer with no access to BIOS

Posted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 10:48 am
by snowflake
Hi
Here is a less adventurous solution that worked for me in the past:
-start Windows 7, download & install EasyBCD (the Non-commercial version is free, just hit "register" & give them a fake email lol)
-launch EasyBCD, go to: "add new entry" tab
-select "BIOS Extender" tab ,then hit "Install Plop",
- reboot. insert your USB disk or CD, wait for the bootloader & select "BIOS Extender" or something, & im sure you can take it from there.

Good Luck

Re: Install dual bootable Mint on a Win7 computer with no access to BIOS

Posted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 11:37 am
by BG405
24GB is really too small for a full Linux Mint installation with added software and user data, so I'd recommend using a partition tool in Windows (such as the free version of Easeus Partition Manager, which I used quite extensively and found reliable), to shrink the 200GB one.

I'd give it at least 75GB free (unallocated) space if you can before installing Mint. Might as well delete that 24GB NTFS partition as well if it really is empty, leaving unallocated space for Mint to claim. You could, of course, set up the partitions how you want them in the live Mint session, before or during installation, with the "Something Else" option.

Re: Install dual bootable Mint on a Win7 computer with no access to BIOS

Posted: Wed Sep 26, 2018 1:17 am
by albval
Thank you for these answers. I'll look into Easy BCD, it looks like it is the most user friendly option suggested along with swapping HDs. Good to know about partition sizes too.

Also, going through the available BIOS options I found out that I could make the computer boot over ethernet. Does this mean I could eg plug the laptop on my Win 7 desktop and install Mint from there? After some googling I found that some had succeeded installing Mint over ethernet and even found a program that muíght do the trick, if I understood it correctly: http://oneclickkick.sourceforge.net/

Re: Install dual bootable Mint on a Win7 computer with no access to BIOS

Posted: Wed Sep 26, 2018 1:27 am
by Pierre
since the computer has it's BIOS locked with a password,,
- then something that I'd still recommend,- is to Pay to have that Code - Removed.
it will always be a right PiTA if you don't do this.

NB: it will be cheaper do, if you do happen to reside in the CONUS area. . .

this is something, that I've had to do, in the distant past,
and the supplier gave several Code(s) & asked to try them in the order supplied,
- fortunately, the 1st one worked A.ok & the rest were not needed.

Re: Install dual bootable Mint on a Win7 computer with no access to BIOS

Posted: Wed Sep 26, 2018 1:39 am
by vansloneker
Why pay if
vansloneker wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 5:23 pm
I recently had to deal with a HP factory locked laptop, and I mean hard-copy password locked by HP, not to be cleared by cmos reset. HP can help with the password, no charges applied....

Re: Install dual bootable Mint on a Win7 computer with no access to BIOS

Posted: Wed Sep 26, 2018 1:53 am
by Pierre
Yeah - - Fair Point . .

But - as I've said - - this will also depend on where you live :!:

ie: you can get far better services, IF you do live in the CONUS area.
ie2: I'd not been able to obtain any such services, from that Manufacturer - In This Country.
:(
so - I'd elected to Pay For That Service,, if you can get that service for Free:
then, absolutely Do Use That Service :!:

Re: Install dual bootable Mint on a Win7 computer with no access to BIOS

Posted: Wed Sep 26, 2018 5:22 am
by vansloneker
I wasn't aware HP wouldn't provide the same service under the same conditions worldwide.