Vista and Mint dual boot (partitions) [SOLVED]

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turboscrew
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Vista and Mint dual boot (partitions) [SOLVED]

Post by turboscrew »

Hi.

I'm not a total newbie in the sense that I have installed dual boots before.
This time I'm facing a new problem - Windows Vista.

The machine is Toshiba Satellite U300 with 2G RAM and a 320G HD and Phoenix Trusted core BIOS.

My problem is:
Does it support more than 4 partitions (not counting logical drives)?

The Windows uses 3 primary partitions and there is no installation mediun - so no changes there.
Should I make a single Linux partition with no swap or one extended partition with swap and root.
Maybe 2 more primary partitions (is it possible)?

The second thing is the new boot scheme of Vista.
Should I install Linux as before (does Vista still boot) or do I need to use some Grub-tricks there
or maybe I should use Vista boot manager (how)?

I think from the Vista Recovery point of view (just done that) using Vista boot manager
might be a good idea, or is it?
Last edited by turboscrew on Sat Sep 26, 2009 3:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
altair4
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Re: Vista and Mint dual boot (partitions)

Post by altair4 »

I'm going to tell you what I would do if that was my system. It's not a popular position on most linux forums but I think that because you don't have the WinVista install medium it is in my opinion the safest thing to do.

(1) You can only have 4 primary partitions regardless of the OS so I would make the extended partition and then create logical partitions for Mint and swap.

(2) When you install Mint it will write it's bootloader ( GRUB ) into the Master Boot Record. For most people this works fine, for others it doesn't. If the worst case scenario happens and you can't boot into Vista there will be no way to repair the original Vista bootloader ( called BCD ) because you don't have the original install disk.

Vista can boot a Linux OS it just needs a little help. There is a free application called EasyBCD that was created to modify the Vista bootloader enabling it to boot Linux.

EasyBCD can be found here: http://neosmart.net/dl.php?id=1

There's a howto on EasyBCD here: http://neosmart.net/wiki/display/EBCD/Linux

You will have to change the way you install linux for EasyBCD to work and that is outlined in the Howto.
For the current Mint, step 7 - "Advanced" button will ask where you want to install grub. You want to install Mint's grub into the partition that you installed Mint itself. For example, lets say your partitions look like this:

sda1 Vista
sda2 Data
sda3 Whatever
sda5 swap
sda6 Mint

When Step 7 - Advanced ask you where you want to install grub - the answer is sda6.

Anyway, that's my opinion.
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turboscrew
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Re: Vista and Mint dual boot (partitions)

Post by turboscrew »

Thanks.

I just heared somewhere that the new BIOSes don't have the 4 (actual) partition limit any more,
but this BIOS is probably that new.

I guess that's the answer to my questions.
Husse
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Re: Vista and Mint dual boot (partitions) [SOLVED]

Post by Husse »

The 4 (actual) partition limit is not BIOS bound - it's a limitation in the MBR
It is only 512 bytes :)
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