I'm going to try Linux Mint, looking for any help :)

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Re: I'm going to try Linux Mint, looking for any help :)

Post by Anton32828 »

Hello PCMan07,

Your situation sounds like mine from years ago when I built my Windows 7 desktop. The best thing you have going for you is that you built the PC yourself, so you really know your machine. Also, I just turned an old Windows 8 laptop into dual-boot Windows 10 / Linux Mint machine, so I sympathize with your confusion.

Many here have given you good advice on how to dual-boot. If you've done that, then congratulations! The hard part is over. But if you are still preparing your options, I have another suggestion: go the hardware hacker route, disconnect all your windows drives, and then do a fresh install of Linux. This will be easy, and will give you a great way to evaluate Linux. Then, to go back to your old configuration, disconnect the Linux drive and re-connect the Windows drives. Zero risk of system corruption.


1) Find a 16GB USB stick. Follow the "Linux Mint Installation Guide" instructions to create a bootable USB stick using Windows.

2) Figure out how to access your BIOS. Set your boot order to have USB as the first option. Insert your USB drive and reboot. This will confirm that Linux Mint can load a live session on your PC (MUCH faster on USB than DVD). Shut down the Linux session without installing anything. Remove the drive.

3) Find a spare hard drive. If you're a builder I'm sure you have one. Or move some data on existing drives to free up a "test" hard drive for LInux. Use Windows to format it as a simple data partition using NTFS.

4) Shut down your computer. Disconnect all your Windows and data drives except for the one from step (3) above. Insert the USB stick, boot your PC, and let Linux Mint install itself according to the defaults (again, consult the installation guide). Let it partition the disk as it wants to do by default. Don't mess with partition tables or moving stuff around --- that can come later as you gain experience.

Note that you will not have to worry about drivers during installation. Linux is really good these days about having workable defaults for almost everything. You can update drivers if needed following the initial installation. The one choice you have to make is whether to install multimedia codecs. That's a "yes" for most users, except those with strong ideological commitment to using only FOSS. If you install the codecs (I do), you may have to disable "secure boot" in your BIOS. Although with the age of your PC, you may not have Secure Boot. It was a feature rolled out concurrent with Windows 8, if I remember correctly.

Have fun! And remember, to restore your machine you simply need to disconnect your Linux test drive, and reconnect all the Windows drives.

One last bit of advice: I've been a power user of Windows OS since Windows NT. Your games will be very happy running on Windows 10. You may wind up in a situation where Linux can handle all your web-browsing, office tasks (LibreOffice), and other uses except for gaming. Windows 10 is rock solid for machine performance; equal or better than Win 7.

As for privacy, if you buy a Windows 10 Pro license, you get the ability to do full disk encryption (I use this on a business laptop and don't notice any performance issues). There are good blog posts out there to minimize your "spyware" concerns, though turning off MIcrosoft's basic system metrics function is a big hassle.

Good luck!
LMDE, because I agree with Clem on Ubuntu snaps. I get a kick out of running Linux on minimalist hardware.
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