How to Dual Boot with existing Win 7 Installation

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ZaphodB
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How to Dual Boot with existing Win 7 Installation

Post by ZaphodB »

Hello folks.

I have an existing Win 7 installation on this machine (a 10 year-old Sony Vaio laptop with an Intel Core 2 Duo T5800 2GHz and 2TB HDD and 4GB RAM) and also a Win 7 installation on a 5 year-old desktop with an Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM and 2TB HDD.

I don't want to install Windows 10 and relinquish control of things like updates to microsoft. I'm also rather suspicious that at some point, the 'free upgrade' from Win 7 / 8 will become a subscription-based service (ie at some point, microsoft will 'lock' the pc and only by paying a subscription will they 'unlock' your machine as they seem to be moving towards subscription-based services like Office 365. Call me paranoid if you will.

Anyway, after playing with Linux Mint 19.3, I'd like to dual-boot both machines so that the machines would normally boot into Linux on a day-to-day basis but retain the option of booting into Windows 7 to use pre-existing applications & programs and retain full compatability with existing Word and Excel documents (my brief exposure to Libre Office has shown that pre-existing documents don't necessarily format correctly).

My question is this - how can install Linux Mint 19.3 and retain my existing Windows installation on these machines.

I plan to clone the 2TB drives first onto a larger 3TB drive - each machine will then have around 1.5GB for Mint and 1.5GB for the Windows partition.

Please assume minimal knowledge of Linux Mint and spell out any steps in full.

Thanks in advance,

Zaph
New user to Linux Mint 19.3 on a 10 y.o. VAIO laptop with 2TB HDD and 4GB RAM.
Looking to dual-boot MATE 19.3 with Win 10 on a 5 y.o. i5-3340 desktop with 8GB RAM and a 5TB Toshiba X300 HDD.
decrepit
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Re: How to Dual Boot with existing Win 7 Installation

Post by decrepit »

Sorry I can't give you a step by step guide, my memory isn't up to it. But be assured it doesn't need to be complicated. There is an, "install alongside" option. This will let you shrink the windows partition so mint can be installed in the recovered space. The linux boot loader, "Grub" will also be installed, then when you boot your computer for 10s, you'll be given the option to choose windows or mint. After the 10s is up it will boot into the default OS which will be Mint. The default OS can be changed though if you want it to go into windows after the 10s.

I think there are guides on here going into more detail, about preconfiguring windows and bios, well worth a look
pbear
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Re: How to Dual Boot with existing Win 7 Installation

Post by pbear »

There are many dual install guides. None off-the-shelf will fit your situation exactly, or anyone's situation. There's a learning curve. The main thing is to make sure you have good data file backups, but you probably have those already (certainly you should). So, a few guides to consider:
Official Linux Mint Installation Guide
ELTP (website of forum member Pjotr)
lifewire (of many articles on the subject, the one I like most)
Hope that helps. Good luck.
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Kadaitcha Man
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Re: How to Dual Boot with existing Win 7 Installation

Post by Kadaitcha Man »

ZaphodB wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 6:47 pm
Please assume minimal knowledge of Linux Mint and spell out any steps in full.
Spell out any steps in full? There's no need. Pay my first class return airfare and I'll do the work for you.

https://linuxmint-installation-guide.re ... en/latest/

It's amazing what a search engine can tell you.
It's pronounced kad-eye-cha, not kada-itcha.
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Re: How to Dual Boot with existing Win 7 Installation

Post by SpookyWatcher »

My preference for "Dual Booting" is as follows: (this applies to both my laptops and desktops)

Step #1) buy another HDD. The type will depend on your laptop. Hopefully your laptop has a second HDD bay, otherwise this will not work.

Step #2) Remove / disconnect the HDD with your windows install

Step #3) Install your fresh HDD

Step #4) Install Linux Mint onto the new HDD

Step #5) Re-install the HDD with your Windows install

Step #6) Make sure you can see both drives in your bios as bootable

Step #7) Press your boot selection key (this is different for each manufacturer mine is F8 key) while the laptop or desktop is booting up and choose either your Linux or Windows install as needed.

This is my preferred method to Dual Boot as it is two completely separate installs and you select which one during bootup.

Hope it helps

SpookyWatcher
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ZaphodB
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Re: How to Dual Boot with existing Win 7 Installation

Post by ZaphodB »

Okay ... that's interesting.

I posted a reply yesterday thanking decrepit, pbear and kadaitcha for their replies and suggestions - but the post seems to have completely vanished. In that post I regretfully declined kadaitcha's kind offer to do the install for me in return for first-class return air fare!

I'll check out pbear's links (I've come across pjotr before - most helpful).

Since yesterday's (invisible) post, I've had a further play with an old 160GB HDD which had Windows 7 on it. Mint 19.3 installed without a problem (as you'd expect) but I didn't get the option to re-partition the drive allowing me to keep the Windows 7 installation, only the option to erase the previous OS installation.

From what you've said, I should have got the option to keep the Windows partition (and so the data) but re-sized so that Mint would have space to install?

I have another question (all part of the "Install Mint alongside Windows"), so I'll post it now.

Another HDD that I have for testing purposes I suspect is a bit 'flaky'. In Windows, I could run DOS and use 'Scandisk' or from Windows itself 'Chkdsk'. Is there a similar program available for Linux Mint? I've had a quick Google and found noting suitable yet (or if I've found something, the links don't seem to work).

Thanks in adavance,

Zaph

(lets' see if this post works!)
New user to Linux Mint 19.3 on a 10 y.o. VAIO laptop with 2TB HDD and 4GB RAM.
Looking to dual-boot MATE 19.3 with Win 10 on a 5 y.o. i5-3340 desktop with 8GB RAM and a 5TB Toshiba X300 HDD.
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Pierre
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Re: How to Dual Boot with existing Win 7 Installation

Post by Pierre »

it's been a over a year, since the last Installation, on one of my win-7 machines,
but, from memory, you should be able to use the "install along-side" option,
then at some point, there is an screen, where you can use your mouse to adjust a slider-bar,
that enables the win-7 partition to be shrunk, by what ever amount, that you select,
and then you can continue with the rest of the Installation.

this has worked out, quite well, on the couple of win-7 PCs that I've installed the LinuxMint system onto.

- - compared to dual_boot with win8x & win-10 - - it's quite easy to dual_boot with an win-7 system.
8)
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Re: How to Dual Boot with existing Win 7 Installation

Post by decrepit »

ZaphodB wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 5:29 am
>>>>I posted a reply yesterday thanking decrepit, pbear and kadaitcha for their replies and suggestions - but the post seems to have completely vanished. >>>>
Hmmm, I'm finding the same thing quite often now, in multiple forums, I've put it down to, forgetting to press the send/submit button.
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Pierre
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Re: How to Dual Boot with existing Win 7 Installation

Post by Pierre »

if you then click on the 'back' icon in your web browser:
- then you can often still find that all of your typing - is still intact :o
and you can then still hit that 'submit' icon, again.
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Please edit your original post title to include [SOLVED] - when your problem is solved!
and DO LOOK at those Unanswered Topics - - you may be able to answer some!.
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ZaphodB
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Re: How to Dual Boot with existing Win 7 Installation

Post by ZaphodB »

Pierre wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 5:36 am
it's been a over a year, since the last Installation, on one of my win-7 machines,
but, from memory, you should be able to use the "install along-side" option,
then at some point, there is an screen, where you can use your mouse to adjust a slider-bar,
that enables the win-7 partition to be shrunk, by what ever amount, that you select,
and then you can continue with the rest of the Installation.

this has worked out, quite well, on the couple of win-7 PCs that I've installed the LinuxMint system onto.

- - compared to dual_boot with win8x & win-10 - - it's quite easy to dual_boot with an win-7 system.
8)
G'day Pierre.

From what I can recall of yesterday's trial install, I didn't get the 'Install alongside' option.

That's kind of what I was expecting, but I didn't see it.

Cheers,

Zaph

(btw, my uncle used to live in Gosnells - about 15km SE of Perth)
New user to Linux Mint 19.3 on a 10 y.o. VAIO laptop with 2TB HDD and 4GB RAM.
Looking to dual-boot MATE 19.3 with Win 10 on a 5 y.o. i5-3340 desktop with 8GB RAM and a 5TB Toshiba X300 HDD.
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Re: How to Dual Boot with existing Win 7 Installation

Post by pbear »

ZaphodB wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 6:03 am
... I didn't get the 'Install alongside' option.
I don't use dual boot (instead, I have two computers), but I seem to recall threads in the past where your scenario - installer recognizes Win7 is present but doesn't offer dual boot - was caused by having all the primary partition slots taken.

To get a sense of what you have, boot the live session, open Firefox and navigate to this thread. Open Terminal, expand to full screen; run these two command (use copy-and-paste); copy the output (see Edit on Menu); paste into the thread, using code tags (the </> button above the text entry window):

Code: Select all

lsblk -po +LABEL,FSTYPE 
sudo parted --list
By the way, you can create, modify and resize partitions in the installer, but I find it easier to do that with GParted before initiating installation. Can work in several small steps rather than one large. Also, easier to do over if something doesn't take as expected.
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ZaphodB
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Re: How to Dual Boot with existing Win 7 Installation

Post by ZaphodB »

Thank you pbear.

Will do when I’m next back in front of the machine - maybe later tonight (Monday) or tomorrow (Tuesday)

Kind regards,

Zaph
New user to Linux Mint 19.3 on a 10 y.o. VAIO laptop with 2TB HDD and 4GB RAM.
Looking to dual-boot MATE 19.3 with Win 10 on a 5 y.o. i5-3340 desktop with 8GB RAM and a 5TB Toshiba X300 HDD.
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ZaphodB
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Re: How to Dual Boot with existing Win 7 Installation

Post by ZaphodB »

UPDATE:

I have tried to clone my existing 1TB Windows 7 hard disc to a larger 2TB disc.

Took bloomin' ages - however the clone won't boot.

I've put a Win 7 installation disc into the optical drive and selected 'Repair'. The installation disc is now trying to repair the clone.

Now I realise that this is a Linux Mint forum and folks may not be able to help with this through Windows, however my question is that can I repair the clone using Linux Mint?

I suspect that the problem is that although the old HDD has been cloned, none of the partitions on the new drive (the clone) have been set to 'active'.

Any ideas folks?

Zaph
New user to Linux Mint 19.3 on a 10 y.o. VAIO laptop with 2TB HDD and 4GB RAM.
Looking to dual-boot MATE 19.3 with Win 10 on a 5 y.o. i5-3340 desktop with 8GB RAM and a 5TB Toshiba X300 HDD.
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Re: How to Dual Boot with existing Win 7 Installation

Post by cliffcoggin »

decrepit wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 5:45 am
ZaphodB wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 5:29 am
>>>>I posted a reply yesterday thanking decrepit, pbear and kadaitcha for their replies and suggestions - but the post seems to have completely vanished. >>>>
Hmmm, I'm finding the same thing quite often now, in multiple forums, I've put it down to, forgetting to press the send/submit button.
It's usually caused by another person posting at the same time as you. I initially thought senility was setting in when it happened to me a few times, until the explanation came up in another thread. That's not to say senility isn't creeping up on me without my realising it.
Cliff Coggin
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Re: How to Dual Boot with existing Win 7 Installation

Post by decrepit »

Thanks cliff, but in my case I'm sure the majority of instances, is getting distracted before I press send.
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ZaphodB
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Re: How to Dual Boot with existing Win 7 Installation

Post by ZaphodB »

ZaphodB wrote:
Thu Jan 30, 2020 5:39 pm
I have tried to clone my existing 1TB Windows 7 hard disc to a larger 2TB disc.

Took bloomin' ages - however the clone won't boot.

I've put a Win 7 installation disc into the optical drive and selected 'Repair'. The installation disc is now trying to repair the clone.

Now I realise that this is a Linux Mint forum and folks may not be able to help with this through Windows, however my question is that can I repair the clone using Linux Mint?

I suspect that the problem is that although the old HDD has been cloned, none of the partitions on the new drive (the clone) have been set to 'active'.
UPDATE to the above (originally posted on Jan 30):

After that, I tried again and this time the clone was succesful - so I am now using the 2TB hard disk in the laptop whilst I figure out the next steps to dual boot Linux and Win 7. The intervening time has been taken up with 2 jobs (i) making sure that Win 7 is as fully up-to-date as possible and (ii) cloning a 2TB Win 7 installation in a desktop pc onto a 5GB Toshiba X300 drive (which is fast but VERY noisy). Finalised that job last night!

Shortly to try installing Linux alongside Win 7 on the 2TB laptop drive.

Zaph
New user to Linux Mint 19.3 on a 10 y.o. VAIO laptop with 2TB HDD and 4GB RAM.
Looking to dual-boot MATE 19.3 with Win 10 on a 5 y.o. i5-3340 desktop with 8GB RAM and a 5TB Toshiba X300 HDD.
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