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Multi boot win 8.1-Linux Mint 17.1 with a twist


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#1 mralias518

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Posted 17 January 2015 - 07:07 PM

Here it goes. I would like to have a dual boot hard drive of Win 8.1 and Mint 17.1 Cin on a 1 TiB Hard drive. Currently win 8.1 is installed and a second partition is also made. I have read instructions on the basic install of LM17.1 using the "something else" option to make the partiton needed to make this work. Not sure I fully understand it but willing to give it a try. 

 

Here is my question. If and when I can get LM17.1 installed is it possible to use "timeshift" either restore points copied from the current install I'm using or clone to take an existing install and transfer it to the dual boot install without messing up the boot. More so, will that even work? 

 

Looking for suggestions on how to proceed. I'm sure I will have other questions as I proceed but this is a starting point. 

 

PS: Already imaged my win 8.1 drive using Acronis True Image 2014 in case I mess something up to do a hard drive recovery. 


Linux Mint 17.1 Rebecca & Windows 8.1 Dual Boot.

Dell E6410 i5 7.60518 Gib of ram

 


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#2 cat1092

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Posted 18 January 2015 - 01:51 AM

mralias518, congrats on backing up your computer before attempting a Linux install! :thumbup2:    About 70 to 80% doesn't bother, though there are more paid & 100% no-cost options than ever. Not doing this is poor decision making #1, considering that home users aren't backing up at significantly higher rates than the turn of the century 15 years ago. With backup software & drives at all time lows (Newegg subscribers had a recent chance at a WD USB 3.0 4TiB backup drive for $119), there's zero excuse not to be performing this essential task. There are also 500MiB to 1TiB back drives at half of that cost on promo. 

 

As to your question, if your computer that has 8.1 installed has Secure Boot enabled, only you can determine if it'll run, my PC has the option, but with Windows 7 being my main Windows OS, that option is unavailable for me. As long as Linux MInt 17.1 will run, with or w/out Secure Boot enabled, I cannot see why you can't install and run Timeshift. 

 

Your boot settings will be preserved to that at time of backup. Note that the Grub2 bootloader has to be used, not a 3rd party Windows bootloader such as EasyBCD 2.2 that allows dual booting between Windows & Linux, though I'm not sure that 8.1 will allow use of that app anyway (Vista through Windows 8 will). 8.1 is another beast altogether. 

 

http://www.teejeetech.in/p/timeshift.html

 

While this may not answer all of your questions, hopefully it'll get the process started. 

 

Good Luck! :thumbup2:

 

Cat


Edited by cat1092, 18 January 2015 - 01:52 AM.

Performing full disc images weekly and keeping important data off of the 'C' drive as generated can be the best defence against Malware/Ransomware attacks, as well as a wide range of other issues. 


#3 mralias518

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Posted 18 January 2015 - 10:07 AM

Thanks Cat for the reply. So far dual boot load no problem.  Made an extra ext 4 partition on the dual boot drive and now in the process of pulling the timebleep folder off one drive to copy on to the dual boot drive that has the 100 GiB partition. WOW are there a bunch of files. Takes a long time. Not sure yet what the dual boot system will see when I call up timeshift application. I'm hoping somehow it will find the copied timeshift files and allow me to restore to the dual boot system without messing up the Grub2 boot. We will see.  


Linux Mint 17.1 Rebecca & Windows 8.1 Dual Boot.

Dell E6410 i5 7.60518 Gib of ram

 


#4 cat1092

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Posted 19 January 2015 - 12:20 AM

That's what full disk images are supposed to cover one's back on, if something were to go amiss, the disk image would bail one out of trouble. 

 

It would be best to take another after the dual boot is setup and before experimenting with Timeshift. 

 

Cat


Performing full disc images weekly and keeping important data off of the 'C' drive as generated can be the best defence against Malware/Ransomware attacks, as well as a wide range of other issues. 


#5 mralias518

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Posted 20 January 2015 - 08:26 AM

After much trial and error the dual boot with linux clone has been installed. Learned a bunch a new stuff (technical term) while attempting this project with very little knowlege about Grub, Grub2, ext4 partitions, root and on and on and on. Few things I learned.

 

1. If what you attempted the first 10 times did not work chances are someone else has attempted the same thing and the answer is out there somewhere on the Net. Google is your friend.

 

2. Installing Windows 8.1 and Linux Mint is very easy as the install CD walks you through it and installs Grub for you. ("Grub" for those like me that did not know what that was is the "program" that shows up as a splash screen when you boot the computer giving you the selections of which operating system you want to boot into.)

 

3. Using Timeshift to transfer a working linux mint to your dual boot system can be done. However, allow the program to write to the boot. I made the mistake of assuming you did not want Timeshift to write to the boot (the option is "Skip bootloader installation (not recommended)" You don't want to select this option as when you re-boot after clone or after restore your will get a grub error "/boot/grub/i386-pc/normal.mod" not found. Allowing the Timeshift to write the bootloader takes care of that issue.

 

4. Using a restore from one drive to the dual boot drive works however I ran into issues where wifi and sound would not work. I'm not sure if it was because I selected the "Skip Bootloader" option when I attempted this one or if it was do to something else. I tried looking at device manager but wifi and sound were not listed as an option. 

 

5. Cloning from USB to hard drive works fine as long as you allow Timeshift to install the bootloader.

 

6. I learned that Gparted is your friend and to pay close attention on what partition does what.  I counted 5 partitions on my 1TiB drive.

 

7. I learned to back up back up back up as much as you can between each step. Had to use the back up at least three times for various reasons. (Used a drive image program for the entire drive as well as Timeshift for the Linux partition)

 

8. Share your experience in the hopes someone else will not make the same mistakes you made. 


Linux Mint 17.1 Rebecca & Windows 8.1 Dual Boot.

Dell E6410 i5 7.60518 Gib of ram

 


#6 ianmcqui

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Posted 20 January 2015 - 09:00 AM

Hi mralias518.

 

I have always not only done a file back up but made a Windows rescue disk as well after a full defrag of the drive which I was told is necessary before re sizing and although most of the Linux installers partition software is straight forward some are not as clear, especially if you have a lot of drives as well as the boot drive and prefer to always pre re size the partition first with the very good GParted or Parted Magic both very similar.

 

On an install of AV Linux I had to power down and pull the sata connectors on the other drives as it seemed to be confusing the installer somewhat and installed fine after that, so now I do it myself manually as a precaution.

 

Glad everything went fine for you congrats! Ian.



#7 mralias518

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Posted 20 January 2015 - 09:57 AM

Hi mralias518.

 

I have always not only done a file back up but made a Windows rescue disk as well after a full defrag of the drive which I was told is necessary before re sizing and although most of the Linux installers partition software is straight forward some are not as clear, especially if you have a lot of drives as well as the boot drive and prefer to always pre re size the partition first with the very good GParted or Parted Magic both very similar.

 

On an install of AV Linux I had to power down and pull the sata connectors on the other drives as it seemed to be confusing the installer somewhat and installed fine after that, so now I do it myself manually as a precaution.

 

Glad everything went fine for you congrats! Ian.

 

Thanks for that info. My install only used one drive with multi partitions. I did make the ext 4 partitions in gpart live before I started. The NTFS partition was already there from the windows install. However, I do have a desktop tower unit I was going to do the same thing with which has 9 sata connections (4 bays for swap, back up use and transfer from 3.5 drives and 2.5 drives). It will be interesting to see if I have to unplug all but the bootable drive in order to install linux. 


Linux Mint 17.1 Rebecca & Windows 8.1 Dual Boot.

Dell E6410 i5 7.60518 Gib of ram

 


#8 ianmcqui

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Posted 20 January 2015 - 01:52 PM

 

Hi mralias518.

 

I have always not only done a file back up but made a Windows rescue disk as well after a full defrag of the drive which I was told is necessary before re sizing and although most of the Linux installers partition software is straight forward some are not as clear, especially if you have a lot of drives as well as the boot drive and prefer to always pre re size the partition first with the very good GParted or Parted Magic both very similar.

 

On an install of AV Linux I had to power down and pull the sata connectors on the other drives as it seemed to be confusing the installer somewhat and installed fine after that, so now I do it myself manually as a precaution.

 

Glad everything went fine for you congrats! Ian.

 

Thanks for that info. My install only used one drive with multi partitions. I did make the ext 4 partitions in gpart live before I started. The NTFS partition was already there from the windows install. However, I do have a desktop tower unit I was going to do the same thing with which has 9 sata connections (4 bays for swap, back up use and transfer from 3.5 drives and 2.5 drives). It will be interesting to see if I have to unplug all but the bootable drive in order to install linux. 

 

Yes please I'd like to know, the distro I mentioned had a slightly different installer than I'm used to and possibly not that popular so in future updates it may improve.

 

It could be the MPT SAS controller messing things up as most machines can't run this type of drive without an add on card, maybe?

 

Although when I think about it a typical sever uses SAS drives, reasonably cheap for size, very reliable and hot swappable, so not sure really I might have had a few too many that night as well. LOL.

 

Obviously you won't have a problem identifyng your different drives in GParted for example or in the installer, some of my drives may contain a trace of an old install and cause promlems that way and thank you for your thoughts

 

 

Regards, Ian.



#9 cat1092

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Posted 21 January 2015 - 01:35 AM

 

 

 some of my drives may contain a trace of an old install and cause promlems that way a

 

Ian, just so happens, I wiped a drive with a partition tool (DOD 3x wipe), and formatted the drive to "USB Backup" (NTFS). You are right, my WinPE backup/restore CD was installed (1st boot option), and the backup drive was in the dock & powered on, naturally the case when one is about to perform a backup. 

 

Anyway, that "grub rescue" error appeared, as though there were a damaged Linux install somewhere. Powered off the drive, let the PC boot off the CD, then turned the drive on & all was fine. What good is a power wipe of the drive if it's not getting rid of every shred of the prior install on it? I believe that I need to use a partitioning tool to rebuild the MBR for that drive back to Windows. Evidently, there's an area of the drive that wiping doesn't reach, in this case, the MBR. 

 

Will keep this in mind when creating backup drives from those used for Linux installs. 

 

Cat


Performing full disc images weekly and keeping important data off of the 'C' drive as generated can be the best defence against Malware/Ransomware attacks, as well as a wide range of other issues. 


#10 ianmcqui

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Posted 21 January 2015 - 03:22 AM

Thanks Cat, not just me then.LOL.

 

As sub evel formatting is a thing of the past what about re mapping as an option, surely this type of operation should use and reset the whole drive?

 

It's quite easy when building up a spare machine to pick up a second hand drive very cheap or use an old one that has been taken out for an upgrade on your main machine and then experience this kind of unexpected problem I suppose.

 

I'm actually going to do a similar install as Mralias518 for a pensioner friend of mine as she is really having problems using W8 this weekend possibly, after I show her some distro's that is and pick one she likes

 

It's not W8 at all it's unfortunately code 80 as usual and her young grand daughter uses the machine a lot.

 

So I see on line game programs installed and nobody is updating Java, Flash and doing the Windows updates, I attempted to do last night and it searched for them for a long time but I give up in the end as it was late.

 

Her eyes were rolling a bit as well because most of the conversation revolved around me talking about Linux.LOL.

 

So I'll DL all the software I need and make sure it's clean, updated, backed up, no unwanted software, defragged and a rescue disc is made just in case.

 

What Mralias518 is doing is ideal for a situation like this, the grand daughter keeps her Windows and Muriel gets an easier OS to use, it's ideel for a lot of people I've helped.

 

Ther first time I looked at the machine was funny, her son asked me to help as her AV program had run out and after I'd finnished installing a free one I shut it down.

 

Well for over a year she had just been closing the lid! So I put her a shut down button on the task bar.Bless!

 

Sorry if going of topic a little but anyone reading this might consider it a good option for someone not computer literate with other family using their machine without regard as to the problems they may cause for the owner of the machine and get the best of both worlds.

 

At the restaurant for dessert you are offered vanilla or chocolate ice cream with your desert well I view it as the same as with Windows and Linux, I want chocolate and vanilla!

 

FYI BTW I use a licenced copy of a HD analysis program that can do a re map on a drive by Janus Mathos called HD sentinel, it's a bit like speccy only with a few more features and gave me real time analysis of the sever drives I was using at the time, there might be some free ones of course.

 

Thanks for the reply, Cat and have fun.

 

Ian.



#11 mralias518

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Posted 21 January 2015 - 07:23 AM

 

 

 

 some of my drives may contain a trace of an old install and cause promlems that way a

 

Ian, just so happens, I wiped a drive with a partition tool (DOD 3x wipe), and formatted the drive to "USB Backup" (NTFS). You are right, my WinPE backup/restore CD was installed (1st boot option), and the backup drive was in the dock & powered on, naturally the case when one is about to perform a backup. 

 

Anyway, that "grub rescue" error appeared, as though there were a damaged Linux install somewhere. Powered off the drive, let the PC boot off the CD, then turned the drive on & all was fine. What good is a power wipe of the drive if it's not getting rid of every shred of the prior install on it? I believe that I need to use a partitioning tool to rebuild the MBR for that drive back to Windows. Evidently, there's an area of the drive that wiping doesn't reach, in this case, the MBR. 

 

Will keep this in mind when creating backup drives from those used for Linux installs. 

 

Cat

 

 

This scares me a little bit. No wait, this scares me allot!!!! :cold: Let me see if I understand this correctly. After using a HD or a USB with Linux using Grub, you re-formatted and did a DOD x3 wipe and then formatted to NTFS and the boot up still found GRUB on that drive? Seeing that I re-use 4 to 5 (500 GiB) sata drives between a bunch of laptops it is very concerning that once Linux is written to a drive you may not be able to use it for anything else? I'm sure, no I hope my understanding is not correct. Please tell me if I am missing something here. If I'm not, what do you do about that type of problem?

 

I did note that you said USB Backup (NTFS). I assume you were taking about a USB drive, correct?


Linux Mint 17.1 Rebecca & Windows 8.1 Dual Boot.

Dell E6410 i5 7.60518 Gib of ram

 


#12 ianmcqui

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Posted 21 January 2015 - 08:47 AM

Hi bud.

 

Don't be too concerned it has never caused a problem for me in re installing Windows or any Linux distro but has only confused the installer a bit shall we say and only in one instance to date.

 

It's maybe sometimes because of the nature of different OS's they may start there install a little closer to the start of the disc or finish a bit further on and spaces are left for the MBR to grow as are spaces left for Windows to expand without storing something in separate locations so some of these things just might cause an installer to think that you already have an active partition already and I'm no expert but that is why I like to do the partitioning myself with software I trust and know how to use, rather than making a simple mistake with a installer that I have no experience with on a new distro for example.

 

Most that I have come accross are very similar or identical during the install and others are completely different in one or two ways at most, but could catch you out if not paying attention and being a bit click happy so to speak.

 

It's really hard to break them, honest!

 

Ian



#13 mralias518

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Posted 21 January 2015 - 03:27 PM

So would it be fair to say the problem would show itself after the first attempted boot after a new install? At least then a re-format and re-try of the install would be much better than installing the OS and a bunch of related software and then a no boot because an old linux partition deciding to rear its ugly head. Just wondering.


Linux Mint 17.1 Rebecca & Windows 8.1 Dual Boot.

Dell E6410 i5 7.60518 Gib of ram

 


#14 ianmcqui

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Posted 21 January 2015 - 03:47 PM

Hi!

 

I don't feel qualified to answer that question.

 

I do know that partitioning the drive manually has always worked with GParted, never one problem.

 

I've got a drive that had a Windows install on it a while ago that now won't let me re name it and since it has never been used for a Linux install maybe the problem is just an occaisional hiccup with any install.

 

Do drive manufacturers take into account dual or multiboot systems or changing OS in there drive software?

 

My thoughts on this!

 

Ian.



#15 NickAu

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Posted 21 January 2015 - 04:17 PM

The Linux bootloader lives on the same partition as the Windows 8 one.


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