ipso wrote:I'm antithetical to having a Mint install “beside” a Windows OS – because that's hosed up two machines already, and I lost not only the Windows OS, but also access to the factory OEM “hidden” partition that allows me to get back to square 1. The Linux installs were as easy as you like, but it was a bridge of no return. Mint booted fine, but I could not access Windows in any way. On both machines I ended up using GParted to clear all partitions so the drive was 100% unallocated, then reinstalled Linux.
I'm not sure about Windows 8 systems, but most Windows 7 systems come with utilities that let you create a set of recovery discs so that you can restore the computer even if your hard disk gets completely wiped. You can also, of course, back up the hard disk using any number of disk-backup utilities. Taking one or both of these precautions is always advisable before installing a new OS on a computer, unless of course you don't care about Windows and intend to wipe it completely.
I've inherited a handful of old machines, so I just dedicated those two to Linux, but the imprint is indelible. I'll not be doing that again. (Unless.... if it hoses the OS I can just return the machine to the store – like with this one – such a scoundrel.)
No. I am not a scoundrel. I won't do it.
If the machine is built such that attempting to do what you want with it causes it to fail, then there's nothing wrong with returning the hardware. Don't call yourself a "scoundrel" for such actions. Even thinking that you're a "scoundrel" for returning hardware that's not working to your satisfaction means that the manufacturers have succeeded in making you think that you're to blame for something that's their
fault. There's a saying in retail: "The customer is always right." The computer industry is increasingly turning that dictum on its head, and returning bad hardware is one of the few tools we customers have to point out to them that they're wrong to do so. Sadly, I've encountered a lot of people who won't exercise that power for one reason or another, even when they should.
I've tried every permutation I can on this firmware, and it's baffling that I can install an OS but the machine won't boot to it no matter what I do.
I've provided you with two suggested solutions. You haven't said that you've tried either of them. Please do.
Maybe it's common knowledge that many Win8 machines won't run Linux native, but I didn't know that.
Recent computers do pose new challenges -- the shift from BIOS to UEFI is creating problems for a variety of reasons. These challenges are far from absolutes, though -- it is not
true that "many Win8 machines won't run Linux native." They will
run Linux, but in some cases you must jump through some extra hoops to get it to work.
It would seem Microsoft has declared “War” on Linux and Linux users. I guess I can't blame them.
It's not as simple as that. Yes, some of the new challenges derive from new Microsoft policies, but even those policies (like a requirement that Secure Boot be active) have legitimate purposes (like improving system security). Most of the remaining problems are due to design flaws, such as buggy EFI implementations and poor EFI support in Linux. Note that these flaws are spread around -- some can be laid at the feet of computer manufacturers, but others fall in the court of Linux distributions. Mint, unfortunately, is not the best Linux distribution on this score (although it's also not the worst). In short, Hanlon's Razor applies: "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity."
Nor can they blame me when I never EVER purchase another Windows product again.
I liked the idea of having a Win8 disc in reserve, but if they are going to force the issue – bu-bye! I'm returning this “deal” and find myself a quad-core Linux-only monster...!
Thank you anyway for the effort.
If you don't care about Windows, then don't bother with preserving Windows on your hard disk. With Windows out of the picture, your options for getting Linux working on a new computer increase, since you can do things that would be more destructive for Windows or that would require re-installing Windows to get it to coexist with Linux.