I also think its strange that they include GParted on the Live Disk and yet is not installed, I have no idea why the Dev's did it that way.
Don't know why the devs created it that way, but those of us with SSD's are thankful. Ubuntu 14.04/Linux MInt 17 brought SSD support 5 years after the fact (Windows 7 has had full support since mid-2009, during the end of the beta), but I guess late is better than never.
GParted was the "go to" partition tool for many years, for most all computer users, long before all of these Windows partition tools were freely available, going back to the XP days. To this day, many still pre-formats their HDD/SSD with GParted to ensure partition alignment, so it's good to have it in a Linux install disk. Today's HDD's are Advanced Format, and 4K partition alignment is important on these also, according to various documentation by the major OEM's. Some still widely used OS's, such as XP, cannot create a partition & it be properly aligned. GParted is the tool that's been trusted for years to get the job done & right.
I don't see GParted going anywhere in the immediate future on install media, it's still in high demand. I've yet to install Linux Mint 17 (now 17.1) to an SSD w/out the assistance of GParted, so will be interested to see just how LInux MInt handles partition alignment from it's installer. I know that it's TRIM capable. But can it align the SSD with it's installer? I'll soon be finding out.
That all has to do with read write speeds of the USB.
Many consumer Flash drives are still Class 6 as far as speeds goes, and this includes many budget USB 3.0 Flash drives, which is reality are hardly no faster than USB 2.0.
If installing to Flash drive, or SDHC card, it's best to go with a UHS-I (Class 10) card, many 16GiB models are on promo for $7-$10 on Newegg, including shipping. However, unless one has a badly failing drive, the experience will still be slower than installed to HDD.
I was hoping for a little more speed as I really like Cinnamon.
Well, you actually have a couple of choices here. It's been 6+ months since your Linux MInt 17 install. Do you still need XP? I noticed long ago that it uses over 50GiB of your HDD. Even if you need it, you can use GParted to shrink that install from the right end enough to perform a Cinnamon install, and try 64 bit this time, you may see a performance increase. If you could shrink it to 35GiB, you can run it from HDD, just don't bother with a /home partition, and you can use your existing swap space. Just make a 16GiB main (/) partition, assign the same swap, and let the installer finish the job. You then have a tri-boot notebook, although I recommend you find yourself a larger HDD, or better yet, a budget SSD. A 120-128GiB is often on promo for $70 or so, and I've seen 240-250GiB ones for as little as $100.
If you think that 4GiB of RAM was a boost to your computer, a SSD would supercharge it, and you can go with a budget one. There are even options that will allow you to keep your XP install to the drive it's on (an optical bay drive adapter), and run your optical drive from a $5 USB cable specially designed for the purpose.
As to brands of SSD's on promo, the Crucial MX-100 & M500, which I've seen on promo a lot, will do you fine. It'll likely outlive the computer you're using, and you'll have a 3 to 5x overall speed increase, booting in seconds. If your connection is SATA 2, it'll be more. The reason why I recommend Crucial, is they've been in the SSD business for years, and it's been a reliable brand. Just so happens, my first SSD was a 128GiB Crucial m4, and so was my last one, a 256GiB M550 mSATA. That m4 just keeps on rocking, even on a SATA 2 connection.
That said, I don't blame you for trying Mint on USB, I've done the same. However the bottom line is, Live Mode runs faster, because it's running from RAM, once the files are loaded from your optical drive or Flash drive installer. The USB drive install is a good concept, however for best results, one needs certain "certified" brands (such as those designed for Windows To Go), and not only are they costly, you also don't have the USB 3.0 ports to support these type of drives. These drives runs (reads & writes) at 90-100MiB/sec, or better.
I'm not trying to dissuade you, but am rather laying down the facts, running an install from a USB 2.0 port is dirt slow. And the more reason you should consider shrinking that 51GiB space that XP is hogging, 35GiB is plenty for a mostly unused XP install. Or the other options I mentioned, if you can pull it off. If not, then shrinking the XP install is your best option.
If you still have the 64 bit media around from one of your previous Cinnamon installs, try that one, it's an LTS version in 17. 17.1, .2, and so on will be short releases (like Mint 14, 15 & 16), and will fall out of support before 17 itself does.
If we can further assist, feel free to let us know, you know by now that we're always more than happy to assist our members.
All the Best,
Edited by cat1092, 04 December 2014 - 01:27 AM.