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Dual booting Linux alongside Win 7


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#1 jargos

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Posted 01 September 2015 - 11:50 PM

I am starting this thread because as the mods have rightly pointed out in the other thread (Linux USB doesn't do anything) those issues have been sorted - I can, and am, booting Linux off a USB.

 

The next step in my endeavour, was to, as this topic says, dual boot Linux along Win 7, ie, install it on my HDD without deleting Win 7 - for the time being. 

 

I followed the steps in the install Linux program, and, to cut a loooooong story short, ended up at the two options, from memory,

 

1) Install Linux (but overwrite / delete everything else) and

2) something else.

 

The latter neccessitated backing out of the Linux install program, starting Win 7, going to disk management, and creating a new partition upon wich Linux was to be installed.

 

Now, at this stage, it became difficult and insurmountable for me - yes, I got lots of help from many good folk round here, but in the end, it reduced to this.

 

Win 7 has 4 primary partitions, and this is a hardware limitation - cannot make another primary partition, therefore, something else would have to be done, and at that stage, I became hopelessly lost.

I did create another partition but it seemed to be unavailable, or unallocated or something .. depending on which program was being used to view the partitions, ie, Win 7 disk managenemt, the Linux partition tool (forgot it's name) or some other partitioning tool I downloaded at the suggestion of another member.

Anyway, I have now deleted that extra partition and am basically back to where I was - 4 primary partitions in Win 7, and unable to dual boot Linux, unless I do .. something .. that seems way beyond my paygrade.

 

My contention had been, that the Linux install program SHOULD cater for this - I mean, many people would be dual booting Linux with Win 7. But this doesn't seem to be the case.

 

Anyway, that's where it is. I'm not particularly distressed about anything, and in a latter post in that other thread, member Wizardfromoz said he was going to try the very thing. So it would be interesting to see how he goes.

 

No hurry. Cheers.

 

 

 

 


Linux Mint 17.2 Cinnamon on older, Pentium 4 desktop.

Win 7 on Medion Akoya i3 laptop


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#2 paul88ks

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Posted 02 September 2015 - 12:26 AM

 

Win 7 has 4 primary partitions, and this is a hardware limitation - cannot make another primary partition, therefore, something else would have to be done, and at that stage, I became hopelessly lost.

Im not sure why you have four primary partitions,but you don't need all four.Windows 7 only requires two.One being a small partition called (System Reserved) and another for Win7. unless one of those 4 partitions is a Recovery Partition(if you bought your computer with Win 7 preinstalled)you can Absolutely use one of those partitions for a Linux install.I know,believe me i know,how frustrating it can be to install linux for the first time,but it is relatively a straightforward process when you follow the steps.I currently have a triple-boot machine,Win 10,Linux mint Mate,and Ubuntu Studio,all installed on separate partitions. Depending on your amount of RAM,the only thing you might have to do is create a "Swap"partition,which is a partition that acts as RAM if you don't have a lot of memory.

 

Including myself ,there are several people here who can,and will, walk you through your linux install.That Something Else choice is the Right Choice,after that you have to give the installer some specific information,but it's not difficult,just relax,and we will be more than happy to help! When you are ready to proceed just let us know! Paul

 

Also-i would like to add,that on my first several attempts at installing I failed miserably,it was only by several back and forth posts,that i finally succeeded - don't get discouraged, Remember,as one on my mentors always says-"There are no dumb questions"! We are all here to learn!


Edited by paul88ks, 02 September 2015 - 12:35 AM.


#3 wizardfromoz

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Posted 02 September 2015 - 04:09 AM

@jargos - read to the bottom first, has been edited :wizardball:

 

If you're willing, JA, try this:

 

http://linuxbsdos.com/2014/06/11/how-to-dual-boot-linux-mint-17-and-windows-8-on-a-pc-with-uefi-firmware/

 

For every reference to Windows 8.1, substitute Windows 7.

 

I have just used it to crack Windows 8.1 (after disabling its Secure Boot option, does not apply with 7), with Elaine's new lappie from Toshiba, which shipped with four (4) Primary Partitions.

 

If you are hesitant, I can be the guinea pig, as I get my new Desktop Tower out of the box tomorrow, shipping with Windows 7, bet it has 4 Primaries.

 

To save running between one computer and the other, you can do as follows:

 

  1. Get into your Live Session, once you have, through Windows Disk Management allocated the space required for the Partition (the unallocated space will have one of those black headers, as opposed to blue)
  2. Start the installer from the desktop, then resize the window and move it to the right half of the screen
  3. On the live desktop, go to Menu find Firefox and start it up. Plug in the above link, get the Tutorial up and resize and move Firefox to the left of the screen.
  4. Work from there, step by step, side by side. You may have to go backwards and forwards a little with the installer to setup up space for:
  5. / - mount point
  6. - home and
  7. swap space
  8. When you get to the point of rebooting, have notes made on what follows, or a printout

Using this method, Elaine now has her 1TB drive divided evenly between Windows 8.1 and Linux, a 50-60GB partition running Linux Mint 17.1 Rebecca 64-bit, and Linux first on the Grub menu at boot/reboot.

 

Good luck, or I can try.

 

:wizardball: Wizard

 

BTW - the Partition I deleted to get the 4th available was the (for me) 10GB Healthy Recovery Partition - once I had created a Recovery copy on a 16GB USB stick, 8.1 prompted me to delete it to "free up space"

 

Edited, added BTW and a line near the top


Edited by wizardfromoz, 02 September 2015 - 04:15 AM.


#4 paul88ks

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Posted 02 September 2015 - 01:28 PM

Exellent Tutorial Wiz!



#5 NickAu

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Posted 02 September 2015 - 04:25 PM

You may like to read this.

http://www.everydaylinuxuser.com/2014/11/x-linux-installation-guides.html

 

Now lets see if you can stay on topic.


Edited by NickAu, 02 September 2015 - 04:27 PM.


#6 jargos

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Posted 03 September 2015 - 08:46 PM

Hi Wiz, all ..

 

I opened this thread at the behest of mods who rightly pointed out that a seperate thread of this nature should exist for the benefit of members (not just me) rather than continue to flog the issue in the other thread.

 

At the minute I am running flat chat with work / family and will have very little time to devote to this.

 

No doubt, there's some excellent stuff here already, and I will peruse it in due course. But I gotta do it in my own time, and that may not be for a week or two. I will continue to read the informative and interesting posts here.

 

Thanks.


Linux Mint 17.2 Cinnamon on older, Pentium 4 desktop.

Win 7 on Medion Akoya i3 laptop


#7 wizardfromoz

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Posted 03 September 2015 - 09:11 PM

No problemo, JA - it'll be here when you are ready. Cheers

 

:wizardball: Wiz



#8 cat1092

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Posted 05 September 2015 - 04:24 AM

I am starting this thread because as the mods have rightly pointed out in the other thread (Linux USB doesn't do anything) those issues have been sorted - I can, and am, booting Linux off a USB.

 

The next step in my endeavour, was to, as this topic says, dual boot Linux along Win 7, ie, install it on my HDD without deleting Win 7 - for the time being. 

 

I followed the steps in the install Linux program, and, to cut a loooooong story short, ended up at the two options, from memory,

 

1) Install Linux (but overwrite / delete everything else) and

2) something else.

 

The latter neccessitated backing out of the Linux install program, starting Win 7, going to disk management, and creating a new partition upon wich Linux was to be installed.

 

Now, at this stage, it became difficult and insurmountable for me - yes, I got lots of help from many good folk round here, but in the end, it reduced to this.

 

Win 7 has 4 primary partitions, and this is a hardware limitation - cannot make another primary partition, therefore, something else would have to be done, and at that stage, I became hopelessly lost.

I did create another partition but it seemed to be unavailable, or unallocated or something .. depending on which program was being used to view the partitions, ie, Win 7 disk managenemt, the Linux partition tool (forgot it's name) or some other partitioning tool I downloaded at the suggestion of another member.

Anyway, I have now deleted that extra partition and am basically back to where I was - 4 primary partitions in Win 7, and unable to dual boot Linux, unless I do .. something .. that seems way beyond my paygrade.

 

My contention had been, that the Linux install program SHOULD cater for this - I mean, many people would be dual booting Linux with Win 7. But this doesn't seem to be the case.

 

Anyway, that's where it is. I'm not particularly distressed about anything, and in a latter post in that other thread, member Wizardfromoz said he was going to try the very thing. So it would be interesting to see how he goes.

 

No hurry. Cheers.

 

 

 

 

 

jargos, unless Windows 7 is on a drive initialized for GPT formatting, there's no way that any version of Linux (or any other OS brand) can overcome the 4 Primary partition limit that MBR imposes. That's the drawback of MBR & not Linux nor Windows, as time passes am seeing this brought up more, that's why new computers that shipped beginning with Windows 8 has GPT partitioning, one of mine has 7 Primaries. With this standard, there's more than one benefit, not only is the 4 Primary limitation lifted & raised to 128, the bootloader code is placed on more than one area of the drive, which helps to guard against 'No OS found' or similar error when booting. And it's not a new standard by a longshot, the GUID partition table (GPT) has been available since Windows 2003 Server for 64 bit OS's, this has been around for decade & support for the OS just ended on July 14,2015. There was also a 64 bit version of XP Pro that would run on GPT formatted drives. 

 

After you create your recovery media (best to do before shrinking the 'C' or OS partition), you can backup your Recovery partition separately (recommended) & then delete that partition, giving you the freed one you need & issue is solved as far as Linux OS installing goes. Linux runs fine on Logical partitions, on my first Windows 7 PC that shipped with only 3 Primaries (before 'HP Tools' was included), I ran Linux MInt for nearly 4 years on Logical partitions only. 

 

Before you do anything though, you want to ensure Windows 7 is running good, if not, this is a good time to reinstall before installing whatever version of Linux you plan to install. It is also best to create a backup of your entire drive before changing anything.  

 

The reason why I recommended that you create that 2nd backup of the Recovery partition alone, is that if needed for a file, app, driver or whatever, you can restore it to any drive, including a large enough Flash one, assign a letter to it with a Windows partition tool, and then it's unhidden, you can fish whatever needed out of there. 

 

I have a strong hunch that we're going to see more & more of these types of Topics, as many later Windows 7 users will face the same exact issue. 

 

It's my hope that this helps to explain the situation in a way that you can understand. :)

 

Good Luck, 

 

Cat


Edited by cat1092, 05 September 2015 - 04:26 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. 


#9 wizardfromoz

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Posted 12 September 2015 - 02:37 AM

Hi JA, for when you are back, can you do me a favour? (both of us, I hope).

 

From your original Topic, you had the screenshot, at Imgur, with this link:

 

http://i.imgur.com/NLo1tkD.png

 

View the screenshot first, perhaps, to refresh your memory, but:

  1. Go to Win 7 Disk Management again
  2. Point and click on the (rough) square/pane that says/said "Disk 0 (Zero) Basic 596.17GB Online"
  3. Right click and choose Properties
  4. You'll get a popup window with several tabs, choose "Volume/s"
  5. Report back what it says, in full, or post a screenshot/link to same

Cheers

 

:wizardball: Wiz



#10 jargos

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Posted 12 September 2015 - 08:49 PM

Hi JA, for when you are back, can you do me a favour? (both of us, I hope).

 

From your original Topic, you had the screenshot, at Imgur, with this link:

 

http://i.imgur.com/NLo1tkD.png

 

View the screenshot first, perhaps, to refresh your memory, but:

  1. Go to Win 7 Disk Management again
  2. Point and click on the (rough) square/pane that says/said "Disk 0 (Zero) Basic 596.17GB Online"
  3. Right click and choose Properties
  4. You'll get a popup window with several tabs, choose "Volume/s"
  5. Report back what it says, in full, or post a screenshot/link to same

Cheers

 

:wizardball: Wiz

Hi buddy - good to hear ffrom you.

I've done as you asked, and here is link to two screenshots of said volume - same pic, but the 2nd one is with the bottom bit scrolled down.

 

http://imgur.com/4PMhCzE,wOgix13#0

 

http://imgur.com/4PMhCzE,wOgix13#1

 

I hope this helps whatever you're doing. For my part, I've kinda given up on the idea of daul booting Linux on my Win 7 laptop - until someone comes up with a fully automated, easy to go installation. I can't go on much further with it - too time consuming, too frustrating, one thing brings up another, then another .. another .. before I know it I've spent days and days on it doing things, going places, I never really wanted to. Sorry if this sounds dissapointing - it's just me - no blame here on anyone.

 

I merely opened this thread, as I said, because the mods thought it might be a good idea and that others might learn from it.

 

I got an old, but perfectly good desktop machine with Vista on it - in mothballs. Might dust it off sometime and try a full Linux install on that, to see how I go.

 

But in sum, for the minute, I'm over my want to dual boot Linux.

 

Cheers.


Linux Mint 17.2 Cinnamon on older, Pentium 4 desktop.

Win 7 on Medion Akoya i3 laptop


#11 wizardfromoz

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Posted 12 September 2015 - 10:33 PM

Cheers Mate ... but those two ARE identical, lol.

 

It was the MBR part I wanted to see. I'm up to a similar point at the moment on my new puter.

 

If I find anything useful I'll post it here, but if you're happy as things are, I won't try to force feed you, lol.

 

Keep smilin'

 

:wizardball: Wiz



#12 jargos

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Posted 13 September 2015 - 01:04 AM

Cheers Mate ... but those two ARE identical, lol.

 

It was the MBR part I wanted to see. I'm up to a similar point at the moment on my new puter.

 

If I find anything useful I'll post it here, but if you're happy as things are, I won't try to force feed you, lol.

 

Keep smilin'

 

:wizardball: Wiz

Your earlier post .. steps 4 and 5 .. 'choose volume/s, report back / post image'. Which is what I did.

 

However, the volumes label had a scroll to it which when scrolled, showed more information, that's why I posted two shots of it - one to show the upper part, the other to show the lower part. Have another look - they are not identical.

 

BTW, I don't even know what an 'MBR part' is, nor did I know you wanted to see it - I merely folowed your steps as requested.

 

You can discern the problem here can't you ? Not particularly related to you, but more often than not, even a simple thing such as the above, goes down some to-ing and fro-ing path that is very frustrating.  

 

More complex issues such as the OP subject, are thus compounded by having to deal with plural helpers, each with slightly different (but nonetheless well meaning) intentions, instructions and suggestions, and mostly leads to frustration and resignation.

 

Again, I stress, no blame, just sayin' how it unfolds from my perspective.


Linux Mint 17.2 Cinnamon on older, Pentium 4 desktop.

Win 7 on Medion Akoya i3 laptop


#13 NickAu

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Posted 13 September 2015 - 02:36 AM

 

For my part, I've kinda given up on the idea of daul booting Linux on my Win 7 laptop -

I cant see why these instructions are so hard to follow.

http://www.everydaylinuxuser.com/2014/07/how-to-install-linux-mint-alongside.html



#14 wizardfromoz

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Posted 13 September 2015 - 02:50 AM

@NickAu

 

You're not helping, Nick. The article states, amongst other differences, at step 5

 

 

The next step is very important. You basically get three choices when it comes to installing Linux Mint:

a. Install Linux Mint alongside Windows
b. Erase disk and Install Linux Mint
c. Something else

 

The OP did not ever have the first choice, to install alongside Windows. Revisit the old Topic

 

@jargos

 

 

Cheers Mate ... but those two ARE identical, lol.

 

It was the MBR part I wanted to see. I'm up to a similar point at the moment on my new puter.

 

If I find anything useful I'll post it here, but if you're happy as things are, I won't try to force feed you, lol.

 

Keep smilin'

 

:wizardball: Wiz

Your earlier post .. steps 4 and 5 .. 'choose volume/s, report back / post image'. Which is what I did.

 

However, the volumes label had a scroll to it which when scrolled, showed more information, that's why I posted two shots of it - one to show the upper part, the other to show the lower part. Have another look - they are not identical.

 

BTW, I don't even know what an 'MBR part' is, nor did I know you wanted to see it - I merely folowed your steps as requested.

 

You can discern the problem here can't you ? Not particularly related to you, but more often than not, even a simple thing such as the above, goes down some to-ing and fro-ing path that is very frustrating.  

 

More complex issues such as the OP subject, are thus compounded by having to deal with plural helpers, each with slightly different (but nonetheless well meaning) intentions, instructions and suggestions, and mostly leads to frustration and resignation.

 

Again, I stress, no blame, just sayin' how it unfolds from my perspective.

 

 

Totally understand, JA. My bad (error/mistake) with the Imgur stuff, cleaned my spectacles and can see now.

 

I am experiencing the same frustrations with a new Asus PC shipped with Windows 7. Cracked the Secure Boot on my wife's Windows 8.1 laptop in five minutes and have the same Linux Mint Cinnamon as you nicely running now, but have spent four days to crack the Secure Boot on the ASUS, which shouldn't even have it on Windows 7.

 

MBR is Master Boot Record and is a Windows thing, not Linux. My Asus is a 2TB HDD and should be configured as GPT (another story) but is in MBR, hence only four partitions (primary) allowed - again, not a Linux thing. So bottom line is I have only two Partitions in use, have shrunk Windows ready for Linux, but can go no further until I crack the BIOS shipped. No Linux for Wizard on this baby ... yet!

 

I'll start a Topic elsewhere if I need to.

 

Stay cool, and I won't disturb you with further dramas.

 

Cheers

 

:wizardball: Wizard



#15 cat1092

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Posted 13 September 2015 - 04:41 AM

 

 

The OP did not ever have the first choice, to install alongside Windows. Revisit the old Topic

 

That's exactly what I was referring to in Post #8 & why the jargos just needs to create recovery media, image that partition separate (for fast future restore if desired) & then the entire drive. Once that's done, delete the Recovery partition & Linux Mint (or any Ubuntu based Linux) will install like a charm. As far as the 'old Topic' goes, that's why this one was created. 

 

The most time will be spent in preparation (steps above), the OS install, as Nick implied, is a walk in the park, once the needed steps are taken to free a partition. No one needs to know all of the technical jumbo to perform this task, except for the question below. 

 

How many more times does it need to be repeated that there's a limit of 4 Primary partitions per drive? Linux cannot just step in, break the rules & overcome this, MBR is a standard that has zilch to do with Microsoft or Linux, rather engineers who were tasked to create a better way for the times, of which is rapidly changing to the newer adopted one (in 2012 after being a 64 bit standard for 7 years prior). If it were on a GPT based drive (like on all computers that ships with Windows 8 or above), it wouldn't matter, yet it's not. If one has created their Recovery Media set, in essence, there's no need for a Recovery partition, other than it reloads the OS faster than DVD's. Flash drives, especially the USB 3.0 type, are too unreliable for this task, you are forced to choose the 'right one'. DVD's are slower yet more stable, have never had a DVD based recovery set to not work. 

 

Microsoft simply took the work of others & implemented the way they wanted, 3rd party computer engineers also came up with Secure Boot, not as a Microsoft project, but it was they who took the technology & shaped it the way they wanted it to be. It's usually 3rd parties unrelated to many technologies who creates these & passes off to the highest bidder & this isn't limited to computers. 

 

Get rid of that Recovery partition & you're set for a Linux dual boot. Once you've done that, you can follow the instructions Nick linked in Post #13, this is assuming 3 Primaries & is indeed correct. Very few clings onto these partitions on a MBR drive anymore, it ties the user's hands behind their back as to what one can do. Plus on SSD's, it's usually dead weight, as the 'hook' to boot the partition is broken. Even if it did boot, most OEM's expects to 'see' a drive at least as large as the original installed for a successful recovery. 

 

Linux happily runs on Logical partitions, so no issue there, once installed. 

 

Either that, or install another drive. If a notebook, there are 9.5mm & 12.7mm optical bay to HDD/SSD adapters to install a 2nd drive in most any notebook, I have three of these & need a 9.5mm one for my Samsung, identifying which one is the tricky part, my others simply accepted universal 12.7mm models for less than $10. The optical drive can still be used with a $5 USB 2.0 or $7 USB 3.0 adapter & there's enclosures for these as well for portability. 

 

If a tower or desktop PC, simply install a 2nd HDD. If you're that attached to your Recovery partition, that's the only other alternative I can suggest. 

 

While I realize it's not the consumers fault that these OEM's includes so many partitions, when we want to dual boot another OS (even Windows), we do what we have to in order to get what we want done. 

 

 

 

You're not helping, Nick. The article states, amongst other differences, at step 5

 

And neither are you, Wiz. Otherwise you should know the same as what I've pointed out in two posts in this Topic. With the experience you have, you should know the simple rules of MBR partitioning & the obvious one not needed. Recovery, if the media has been created & the partition imaged for a 'just in case' situation. Then jargos can defrag the drive good & shrink the needed space for a Linux install. How much to shrink depends on his needs. At a minimum, 20-25GB for root, a 1024MiB Swap & whatever needed for /home. Some users may find a /home of 30GiB to be plenty, while others may want 100GiB. 

 

I guess in another 5-6 years time when more & more of these MBR based computers are dropping like flies, then folks will see & appreciate the GPT standard. How much trouble was it to setup a dual boot on your wife's computer? Probably very little. Users with 64 bit systems can do the same now, if only they'll take the time to perform a clean install on an initialized GPT HDD & no, UEFI isn't needed for this. That technology didn't exist in the Windows Server 2003 64 bit & XP 64 bit days, yet both would install perfectly on GPT drives. 

 

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. 





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