Questions and guidance on installing with Windows 10

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nicklinux321
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Questions and guidance on installing with Windows 10

Post by nicklinux321 »

Hi there

I hope everyone is safe and well during these very difficult times.

I previously used Linux some years ago, but since Windows 7, I stopped. I would love to go back and dual-boot Windows and Linux Mint on my new laptop but I am not sure if this is even possible anymore with UEFI and Secure Boot! I may be ignorant here but I am sure I read/heard that Microsoft stopped dual booting with Windows a long time ago...?

I have had a look online and I am not sure if my current set up would work, therefore I would be really grateful for any tips and advice on how to complete the installation.

I have a HP Elitebook 830 G6 which I believe is compatible in terms of drivers and set up. But I believe I would need to ditch Windows in order to install Linux.

I am running Windows 10 Pro, with Bitlocker enabled (although I don't need to enter a code every time I switch on the laptop). The BIOS hasn't been changed (although recently updated) and I believe Fast Boot / HP Secure Start is enabled and running.

What would be the best and most effective way to install Linux Mint (I like the Mate edition) alongside my setup of Windows 10?

Happy to share more details about my system if this helps.

Thank you very much - all help is very much appreciated.

Very best regards

NL321

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Flemur
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Re: Questions and guidance on installing with Windows 10

Post by Flemur »

nicklinux321 wrote:
Sat May 23, 2020 10:26 am
What would be the best and most effective way to install Linux Mint (I like the Mate edition) alongside my setup of Windows 10?
Follow the Installation Guide: https://www.linuxmint.com/documentation.php

In the Englishe version
https://linuxmint-installation-guide.re ... en/latest/
on the left side of the page read the
Frequently Asked Questions
- Multi-boot
section.
Please edit your original post title to include [SOLVED] if/when it is solved!
Your data and OS are backed up....right?

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AndyMH
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Re: Questions and guidance on installing with Windows 10

Post by AndyMH »

While there is an 'install alongside' option for install, I'd do it manually. Don't know how big your drive is, but if you want to share info across OS, I'd create a NTFS partition (drive D: in win?) for shared data as linux can't read bitlocker encrypted partitions - size your choice. Use win's disk management tools to shrink C: to create space for mint*, leave the space unallocated. Boot the mint installation media and use gparted to create either one or two ext4 partitions. One if you just have a single mint partition, two if you want a separate /home partition. If two make the first partition (to be used for /) about 30GB and whatever is left for the /home partition. Choose the 'something else' option when installing and point the installer at the partitions you created.

In win turn off fast boot, in BIOS turn off secure boot before install. Make sure mint installs in the same mode (UEFI or legacy) as win - check your bios settings.


* if you can't get the space you want turn off hibernation (hiberfil.sys - google) and virtual memory (the page file). Turn virtual memory back on when you have shrunk the C: partition.
Homebrew i5-8400+GTX1080 Cinnamon 19.0, 3 x Thinkpad T430 Cinnamon 19.0, i7-3632 , i5-3320, i5-3210, Thinkpad T60 19.0 Mate

nicklinux321
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Re: Questions and guidance on installing with Windows 10

Post by nicklinux321 »

Thank you very much for your replies; this is most helpful.

So I will shrink my C partition (which is currently 237.53GB) and keep about 65GB for Linux. I don't think I will keep a partition between the two as I keep all my data in the cloud anyway, but is there any advantages of having two ext4 partitions to separate the /home one? My first thought was to just have one 60GB partition for Linux Mint.

Also, what is a SWAP partition and would I need one? I recall a few years back this was always double the RAM - my laptop has 8GB ram installed. Would I need a 16GB SWAP partition as well?

I will switch off fast boot in Windows and turn off secure boot now - just to check, this won't affect my Bitlocker encryption? My version of Windows is UEFI - how do I ensure Linux Mint installs in the same way?

Thank you again for all your help.

pbear
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Re: Questions and guidance on installing with Windows 10

Post by pbear »

Have no experience with Bitlocker, but assume you will have to mount the Windows partition manually, if you want to be able to access it from Mint.

As for your other questions, 65 GB will be plenty if you don't plan to save data files in Mint. One way or another, should be able to set up access to data files, whether in the cloud or an encrypted partition. As mentioned, might have to be done manually, though. No need for a swap partition now. Only reason to do one is if you want hibernation, which isn't even enabled by default anymore. Instead, Ubuntu/Mint now use a 2 GB swap file, which is plenty for most users, especially on a system with 8 GB RAM. The installer will create that for you automatically.

Whether to do a separate home partition is a little complicated. For starters, if there won't be an data files there, the home partition could be small, 5 to 10 GB, as all that will be there are config files and Wine apps (if using). Thunderbird files go there also, but can be placed elsewhere and I'm guessing you won't be using Thunderbird anyway. So, advantage of a separate home partition is that it makes reinstall and/or upgrade easier. Other users, though, prefer a clean sweep on reinstall, so don't bother with a home partition (instead, they often use a data partition). Bottom line, if Mint will be your secondary OS, I'd recommend doing just one partition (root) and not bothering with a separate home partition.

By the way, if you want Mint to be able to write to the Windows partition, you need to disable Fast Startup, which is different from fast boot. Fast Startup is a power setting, accessible in Control Panel. OTOH, if you want to make sure Mint doesn't modify the Windows partition, leaving Fast Startup enabled is a simple way to do that. :) Still will be accessible on a read-only basis.

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AndyMH
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Re: Questions and guidance on installing with Windows 10

Post by AndyMH »

'Out of the box' linux will not read bitlocker encrypted windows partitions. I've have found instructions on how to do it on the web, but they look complicated and don't seem to guarantee success. As I don't have any bitlocker partitions, I've not taken it further.
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nicklinux321
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Re: Questions and guidance on installing with Windows 10

Post by nicklinux321 »

Thanks again for your replies!

Sure no problem if Linux cannot read Bitlocker - not a deal breaker for me. I am more than happy with both operating systems running separately and my data is in the cloud anyway which I prefer.

I have tried to install Linux Mint but when prompted, the installer cannot see any other operating systems installed - so I am concerned that if I proceed and install anyway, the GRUB boot loader won't load Windows 10 as an option?

Is this due to the fact I have to boot my USB drive as a Legacy Boot option? I am not sure how to create a UEFI bootable Linux USB drive - if anyone can recommend a tool to do this it would be much appreciated.

Thanks again.

nicklinux321
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Re: Questions and guidance on installing with Windows 10

Post by nicklinux321 »

Sorry just thinking - I enabled the Legacy boot option in the HP Elitebook BIOS by disabling the secure boot after following these instructions here - https://support.hp.com/gb-en/document/c04784866 - should I have done that if I need to install Linux in UEFI mode as my version of Windows 10 is UEFI?

Thank you.

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AndyMH
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Re: Questions and guidance on installing with Windows 10

Post by AndyMH »

You need to install mint in UEFI mode. It normally easier with secure boot off (I've not tried with secure boot enabled, but it can be done).
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nicklinux321
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Re: Questions and guidance on installing with Windows 10

Post by nicklinux321 »

Hi AndyMH

Sorry I don't follow - how do I install Linux Mint in UEFI mode? I have created a bootable USB with Linux Mint using Rufus - and when I switch on my PC, tap ESC to enter the boot menu, select UEFI Toshiba Transdrive (which is my USB drive) I get an error - if I select Legacy Toshiba Transdrive from the HP boot menu - it works and I boot into Linux Mint.

Thank you.

pbear
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Re: Questions and guidance on installing with Windows 10

Post by pbear »

That's unusual. Try again, burning the ISO to flash drive with Etcher. Like Rufus, it's a portable app which runs in Windows.

By the way, be aware some HPs don't play well with Linux. Mine has no trouble booting Mint in UEFI, but wouldn't install with secure boot enabled (apparently doesn't have MOK support or it's broken). Moreover, once installed without secure boot, the firmware flat refused to permit Mint to have priority over Windows on the UEFI boot menu. Could select manually with F9, but could not give it priority. To get automatic boot (getting to F9 during boot is painfully difficult), I had to resort to booting the system with rEFInd on a flash drive.

Have you considered buying a used laptop for your Mint playground? Would be a lot easier. Even a Win7 vintage machine will run fine.

nicklinux321
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Re: Questions and guidance on installing with Windows 10

Post by nicklinux321 »

Hi Pbear

Tried again with Etcher and the same error! MOK support is the error message - although it disappears far too quickly for me to take note of it. Something here is seriously wrong as I have tried the USB drive now on my Dell work laptop and it does work in UEFI mode!

That is a real shame as I only purchased this laptop a couple of weeks back - I will take a look at an old Win 7 laptop in the future.

Thanks all for your help - sad my return to Linux is stuck on the VM for now :(

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Re: Questions and guidance on installing with Windows 10

Post by pbear »

My HP is older, originally Win8.1. A new machine might have the opposite problem, too new for the 19.3 kernel. Try Ubuntu 20.04. If that works, LM20 (which will be based on it) should be out in June or July. Can't speak to the boot order problem with new HPs. Our data points are too scattered.

nicklinux321
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Re: Questions and guidance on installing with Windows 10

Post by nicklinux321 »

Created a Ubuntu 20.04 bootable USB and it works! Hurrah!

Booting into Ubuntu was much easier - HP Sure Start with the Ubuntu logo was reassuring.

Although the next problem arises - I need to disable Bitlocker in order to install. That wasn't something I wanted to do... although I will take a look and see if I can disable it and then re-enable it later.

Very nervous to go ahead, I don't want to ruin my Windows set up. I am just not that confident to push the button!

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Re: Questions and guidance on installing with Windows 10

Post by pbear »

If you're able to get Ubuntu's live session to boot, another option is full install to USB hard drive. There's an installer bug to work around, but it's not difficult. See my tutorial on the subject. You would want the Unflag/Reflag method. This solution has several advantages. No modification of Windows, none. Solves the boot order problem, because the one thing HP respects is priority for USB boot. If you use Unflag/Reflag, you'll even be able to leave secure boot enabled. And no risk of Windows borking Linux, because update leaves USB drives alone.

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