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Changing dual-boot setup


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#1 MalwareMutilator

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Posted 31 December 2015 - 05:19 PM

Hi everybody,
 
I've mentioned in a few posts that I am currently running this computer as a dual-boot Windows XP (32bit) /Linux Mint Mate 17.2 (32bit) setup.  I am now thinking about changing the Linux partition to Mint Mate 17.3 64/bit.  I do not want to damage my XP, so I've read up on several possible ways to proceed.
 
My first thought was to boot into Windows, delete the Linux partitions, boot again from a XP disk, and then run the fixmbr/fixboot commands.  But after a bit more research, I found ways to accomplish it in Linux as well.
 
The first method:

 

sudo apt-get install syslinux

sudo dd if=/usr/lib/syslinux/mbr.bin of=/dev/sda
The second method:

 

sudo apt-get install mbr

sudo install-mbr -i n -p D -t 0 /dev/sda
 
I have never used either of those Linux commands, so I am wondering if one is better than the other, or if it really doesn't matter.  Your thoughts would be appriciated.
 
Thanks, and Happy New Year!  :)
 

 

 

 



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#2 pcpunk

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Posted 31 December 2015 - 06:16 PM

If you have a 64bit pc, then just reinstall Linux and it will be fine, easy peasy.  As long as you follow procedure and install to the same partitions all is good.  Just make sure to Check the "Format" box for "/ root" upon re-install, or, if you have a Root and Home partitions, don't Format "home /" if you want to save all your settings.  Since you are going from 32bit to 64 it might be a good idea to check "Format" for /root and home/.

 

Can't find any good info on your situation quickly so post up some info just so we are clear on what you got going on there.  What are your specs and what do you want to accomplish?  Did you create "/ root" and "home /" last time? and if not do you want to now as this would be a good time to do so.  Is your swap size satisfactory now that you have done some reading and got more experience?  I see that maybe you allocated 500GB to this?

 

Will you post the output of inxi -F and sudo parted -l and keep a copy on a USB in case you need it on another machine later.

 

If we set you up with a "home /" Partition then you can use Timeshift also, which is a life saver!  You can then backup images of your "root" parition many times very quickly.


Edited by pcpunk, 31 December 2015 - 06:20 PM.

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#3 pcpunk

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Posted 31 December 2015 - 10:37 PM

Hmm, maybe this one: Dell Optiplex 755 MT, XP Pro, Core 2 Duo (3GHz), 4 gig ram, 160GB SATA, 305w PSU, on-board video.


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#4 wizardfromoz

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Posted 01 January 2016 - 03:28 AM

Hi MM just throwing a few thoughts your way:

 

  1. Do you actually WANT 64-bit over 32? Sure, there are some 64-bit apps which can't be run on a 32-bit OS (or can they?mwahahaha), but LMM ships with so many apps in both architectures, is there something specific you want that you can't have currently?
  2. Whilst your reading up on alternative approaches to take has merit - it might be just as simple to use GParted to (unmount), delete and reformat the Linux partition and then throw in a LiveCD/DVD/USB with the new flavour and do a full install. GParted is cross-platform and you can perform the op from Windows and go nowhere near your Windows install. Or put GParted on a LiveCD as I have (you will use it more than once and it fits on a CD) - many options.

From within LMM 17.2, you can upgrade to 17.3 relatively painlessly, but it would not offer you the opportunity to swap from 32-bit to 64-bit, you'd just get a newer 32-bit.

 

I have 17.3 (Rosa) Mate on this unit, and 17.2 (Rafaela) Cinnamon on another, with the latter just 32-bit I put on to help someone here. I really haven't noticed much to show 32-bit is deficient. Sure it will get phased out eventually, but you still have support until 2019.

 

As I say, just throwing thoughts at you.

 

:wizardball: Wizard

Happy 2016 everyone

 

BTW - another thought - I would restrict or deny access to the Net to the XP, & do all surfing through Linux, it's safer. But friend Punk's advice on backup and recovery for Windows, also Timeshift, is IMO right on the money.

 

Edited - added BTW


Edited by wizardfromoz, 01 January 2016 - 03:32 AM.


#5 cat1092

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Posted 01 January 2016 - 06:01 AM

 

 

If you have a 64bit pc, then just reinstall Linux and it will be fine, easy peasy.  As long as you follow procedure and install to the same partitions all is good.  Just make sure to Check the "Format" box for "/ root" upon re-install, or, if you have a Root and Home partitions, don't Format "home /" if you want to save all your settings.  Since you are going from 32bit to 64 it might be a good idea to check "Format" for /root and home/.

 

This is the answer you're looking for. :thumbup2:

 

The 64 bit Linux Mint install will not mess up your XP install (one day you may wish it had :P), just saying you can use the same Linux Mint root, /home & Swap partitions you're currently running. Should you want to make adjustments to any of these partitions, delete any (or all) & start over, your XP install will be OK. 

 

It's my hope that you're running XP offline only, as there are gaping holes in the OS that security alone can't protect. For example, over 100 updates/patches for the same issues has been issued to correct the very same items on Vista through Windows 8.1, and some on 10. Google Chrome is about to drop XP, it gave an extra year than promised & Mozilla Firefox will likely do the same. Some AV/AM suites are also now not XP compatible, for example, the latest Emsisoft release won't install on XP, making an already vulnerable OS that much more so. 

 

XP may be good for some gaming when offline, but that's about it. If one cares about their identity, they'll not be running XP online. 

 

Good Luck with your 64 bit Linux MInt install! :)

 

Cat


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#6 MalwareMutilator

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Posted 01 January 2016 - 06:50 AM

Hi guys,
 
Thanks for your replies.  You all spent a lot of time answering my questions, and I certainly appreciate it.  Here are a few more details:
 
In this particular case I was only thinking about changing to 64bit due to the recent announcement from Google about ending support for Flash on 32bit versions.  That alone did not make feel the need to switch, but it did make me think about how I could switch if I actually wanted to.  So, although I am rather comfortable working in a Windows environment, even at DOS level, I want to learn more about doing things in a Linux  environment.  Thus, my question pertains more about how to do it, rather than actually doing it.
 
The information provided by pcpunk is intriguing, and certainly worth pursuing should I actually decide to make the move to 64bit.  I have never even heard of Timeshift, so I will be researching it today.  However, Wizard, your information is exactly what I was looking for.  I have used GParted many times and it is indeed a powerful tool.  I was aware that I could use it for this purpose, but I am still curious about the other methods I listed.  As I stated earlier, I am more interested in learning about how to do things, rather than actually doing them.
 
Oh, and pcpunk, you are spot-on regarding the Dell computer.  I very recently purchased that computer (used) specifically for the purpose of experimenting with Linux.  It will be arriving next week and I am going to set it up to exactly mimic my dual-boot system.  I have a 1TB drive I'm not using at the moment, so I will install that drive, and I purchased a dirt-cheap video card (used) to throw in just for the heck of it.  I also have another 4gig of ram available, so I will end up with a total of 8gig.  When I am finished with the upgrades, I can try all of the things you guys have suggested without fear of damaging my real system.  
 
Cat, yes, we only run XP offline on this computer.  In fact, that is the reason I setup this computer as dual-boot with Linux.  This computer has specialized hardware and software which is only XP compatible.  We have many newer and far more powerful computers than this one, but this one is necessary for its purpose.
 
Lastly, Wizard, if it is not to much to ask, could you briefly explain the pros and cons (if any) of using the two methods I posted?
 
Thank you all again, and Happy New Year!   :)


#7 pcpunk

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Posted 01 January 2016 - 11:34 AM

Seeing you did not post the output of inxi -F and sudo parted -l I will guess that you only have Linux on one Partition, and "swap" which is created by Default?  In that case...again...I would make your next install with "/root"  "home /" and swap.  Timeshift is sooo easy, and makes a backup of your OS quickly, but backups need to be kept on another Partition, hence "home /".  Timeshift takes minutes to install also! and makes backups in about 8min if I remember right, the first will take a little longer.  I have about 10GB of data on my /root partition and that is the time it takes.

 

On the new Test-bed pc with that big drive you could install multiple Linux Distro's if you don't need space for other stuff.  It's as simple as Installing one after the other, assuming they all play well with one another, some don't.  During Install, each time you choose "Something Else" from the Installer, and create partitions as you like them, and install.  And, as you might know, you could use gparted right from the LiveDVD or USB you are about to install with to create Custom Partitions, if it is included, which it is in Mint's.


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#8 MalwareMutilator

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Posted 01 January 2016 - 01:55 PM

Hi pcpunk,

 

As you requested, here is the output you asked for:

 

george@george-Dimension-XPSGEN5 ~ $ inxi -F

System:    Host: george-Dimension-XPSGEN5 Kernel: 3.16.0-38-generic i686 (32 bit) 
           Desktop: MATE 1.10.2  Distro: Linux Mint 17.2 Rafaela
Machine:   System: Dell product: Dimension XPSGEN5
           Mobo: Dell model: 0GC068 Bios: Dell version: A02 date: 05/24/2005
CPU:       Dual core Intel Pentium D CPU (-HT-MCP-) cache: 1024 KB flags: (lm nx pae sse sse2 sse3) 
           Clock Speeds: 1: 3200.139 MHz 2: 3200.139 MHz 3: 3200.139 MHz 4: 3200.139 MHz
Graphics:  Card: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD/ATI] R480 [Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition] 
           X.Org: 1.15.1 drivers: ati,radeon (unloaded: fbdev,vesa) Resolution: 1152x864@75.0hz 
           GLX Renderer: Gallium 0.4 on ATI R480 GLX Version: 2.1 Mesa 10.1.3
Audio:     Card-1: Creative Labs SB Audigy driver: snd_emu10k1 Sound: ALSA ver: k3.16.0-38-generic
           Card-2: Plantronics driver: USB Audio 
Network:   Card: Broadcom NetXtreme BCM5751 Gigabit Ethernet PCI Express driver: tg3 
           IF: eth0 state: up speed: 1000 Mbps duplex: full mac: 00:12:3f:6b:79:96
Drives:    HDD Total Size: 2120.7GB (2.8% used) 1: id: /dev/sda model: WDC_WD10EZEX size: 1000.2GB 
           2: id: /dev/sdb model: WDC_WD10EZEX size: 1000.2GB 3: USB id: /dev/sdd model: Dell_Memory_Key size: 0.3GB 
           4: USB id: /dev/sdc model: 00BB size: 120.0GB 
Partition: ID: / size: 421G used: 5.9G (2%) fs: ext4 ID: swap-1 size: 4.22GB used: 0.00GB (0%) fs: swap 
RAID:      No RAID devices detected - /proc/mdstat and md_mod kernel raid module present
Sensors:   None detected - is lm-sensors installed and configured?
Info:      Processes: 179 Uptime: 6 min Memory: 405.8/3982.0MB Client: Shell (bash) inxi: 1.9.17 

 

george@george-Dimension-XPSGEN5 ~ $ sudo parted -l

[sudo] password for george: 
Model: ATA WDC WD10EZEX-00B (scsi)
Disk /dev/sda: 1000GB
Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/4096B
Partition Table: msdos
 
Number  Start   End     Size    Type      File system     Flags
 1      32.3kB  49.4MB  49.3MB  primary   fat16           diag
 2      49.4MB  537GB   537GB   primary   ntfs            boot
 3      537GB   1000GB  463GB   extended
 5      537GB   996GB   459GB   logical   ext4
 6      996GB   1000GB  4224MB  logical   linux-swap(v1)
 
Model: ATA WDC WD10EZEX-00B (scsi)
Disk /dev/sdb: 1000GB
Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/4096B
Partition Table: msdos
 
Number  Start   End     Size    Type      File system  Flags
 1      8356kB  1000GB  1000GB  extended               lba
 5      8389kB  1000GB  1000GB  logical   ntfs
 
 
Model: WDC WD12 00BB-00CAA1 (scsi)
Disk /dev/sdc: 120GB
Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/512B
Partition Table: msdos
 
Number  Start   End    Size   Type     File system  Flags
 1      32.3kB  120GB  120GB  primary  fat32        boot, lba
 
Model: M-SysT5 Dell Memory Key (scsi)
Disk /dev/sdd: 256MB
Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/512B
Partition Table: msdos
 
Number  Start  End    Size   Type     File system  Flags
 1      2048B  256MB  256MB  primary  fat16        boot, lba

Sorry I forgot to post it earlier.  :oopsign:

 

Thanks again.


 

 



#9 pcpunk

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Posted 01 January 2016 - 03:14 PM

That's beautiful! lol

 

As I thought, one partition with the OS and another for swap:

 

Partition: ID: / size: 421G used: 5.9G (2%) fs: ext4
ID: swap-1 size: 4.22GB used: 0.00GB (0%) fs: swap 
 
Actually, I believe you could just make a New Empty Partition formatted as ext4 and about 10-15GB and use it for Timeshift if desired.

Edited by pcpunk, 02 January 2016 - 10:55 AM.

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#10 wizardfromoz

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Posted 01 January 2016 - 06:54 PM

@MM:

 

New Environment Pending

 

 

 I very recently purchased that computer (used) specifically for the purpose of experimenting with Linux.  It will be arriving next week and I am going to set it up to exactly mimic my dual-boot system.  I have a 1TB drive I'm not using at the moment, so I will install that drive, and I purchased a dirt-cheap video card (used) to throw in just for the heck of it.  I also have another 4gig of ram available, so I will end up with a total of 8gig.

 

Just another thought (or 6) to throw at you -

 

With the 1TB drive, you could partition it as GPT instead of msdos/MBR. GPT will overcome the restriction of MBR limiting you to 4 Primary Partitions (or 3 Primary and 1 Extended, under which latter you create Logical Partitions for Linux).

 

Witness my output for

sudo parted -l

8feltd0.png

 

See the difference with partition table entry, with gpt. Top part of shot is this Toshiba Satellite, bottom is my external HDD.

 

Of course if you wish to exactly duplicate your current environment, you may choose to stay with MBR - you can change to GPT at a later date without loss of data, but it takes a few steps.

 

 

Timeshift

 

Timeshift and its cousin Aptik are developed by Tony George (that's a surname you might want to trust?) of teejeetech based out of India.

 

Aptik provides an alternative to the Backup apps typically shipped with Linux and is more customisable. Timeshift is built upon a Linux command known as

rsync

... and is best known for providing a functionality similar to that of Windows Restore. What is less well known is that it also has a cloning function as well.

 

Tony has restructured his website in recent months, I am still (re)familiarising myself with it, but you can get there direct with -

 

http://www.teejeetech.in/2014/04/upgrade-to-ubuntu-1404-with-timeshift.html

 

and have a wander around the site.

 

 

 

 

Actually, I believe you could just make a New Empty Partition formatted as ext4 and about 10-15GB and use it for Timeshift if desired.

 

I endorse friend Punk's general thrust, but I would allow at least 50GB you have the space.

 

The first snapshot you take with Timeshift will likely take a space very nearly the size of your Linux install, depending on the Distro that may be eg 5GB. Timeshift's settings allow you to nominate how it treats snapshots taken, for storage, for how to keep before flushing, etc. You could nominate eg 7 days, fortnightly, monthly, 90 days, whatever. So there is an overhead involved, especially if you schedule for shots to be taken automatically.

 

If you treat the installation of software with caution, you may take "on-demand" shots prior to installation so that you can wind back if things go pear-shaped. These then cost you space. Further, the first shot taken will likely  be the smallest you ever get. As your install grows in size with added apps and data, the shots increase, particularly if you have a number of 1GB+ .iso's in your Downloads folder (store these off-drive or delete once used, is my suggestion).

 

So that being said, I endorse the use of Timeshift, but tell it how to behave itself.

 

NickAu first discovered Tony's Aptik and brought news of it to us about 15 months ago, then I found Timeshift a few days later and did likewise. Numerous members have benefitted since from Tony's software, and Conky Manager also gets good reviews, but I have not tried it yet.

 

Maybe bookmark your own Topic for future reference? So that further down the track you can find this again easily.

 

You have the makings there, and coming up, of a VERY Linux-friendly environment, so do as I do and ...

 

Enjoy Linux!

 

:wizardball: Wizard

 

Edited - typo, also Happy New Year backatyer!


Edited by wizardfromoz, 01 January 2016 - 06:57 PM.


#11 NickAu

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Posted 02 January 2016 - 12:52 AM

Are you trying to install a 64 bit operating system on a 32 bit machine?

 

When I tried it, It refused to boot and displayed an error message about the CPU not being 64 bit.


Edited by NickAu, 02 January 2016 - 12:57 AM.


#12 cat1092

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Posted 02 January 2016 - 01:28 AM

Are you trying to install a 64 bit operating system on a 32 bit machine?

 

When I tried it, It refused to boot and displayed an error message about the CPU not being 64 bit.

 

For the listed price when initially distributed ($3,999.00), I'd not like to think the PC is anything less than a 64 bit one. 

 

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,1784526,00.asp

 

This wasn't one of Micheal Dell's $449 Dimension specials, rather among the early of the XPS versions released, when XPS had a true meaning, beginning with the external size of the PC (today's are shrunken 'mid-towers' w/out the headroom to install a decent CPU cooler). Only these were for whatever reason, called Dimension/XPS systems back then. The CPU also clearly shows a dual core running in H/T mode (there were no consumer quads in those days), one of those that had a double meaning behind 'EE' in the name, the common talk was that it meant 'Extremely Expensive'. 

 

If this is one of those PC's, in the BIOS, the CPU frequency can be bumped to 3.4GHz or 3.6GHz & like Nick stated, the 64 bit media may refuse to boot, though there's a trick that has to be used on early 64 bit CPU's to make this work. During the automatic countdown to boot, hit the Tab key & then arrow key down to 'Boot in Compatibility Mode' & press Enter, see if that gets things going. If so, that's the minor issue, some 32 bit CPU's has this issue. Others may have to use the old trick to make the installer run called --forcepae, though this may essentially be the same. 

 

Good Luck! :thumbup2:

 

EDIT: Corrected typo in regards to upgradeable BIOS frequencies. 

 

Cat


Edited by cat1092, 02 January 2016 - 04:29 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. 


#13 NickAu

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Posted 02 January 2016 - 01:38 AM

Good point I missed the PC specs. 



#14 wizardfromoz

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Posted 02 January 2016 - 03:02 AM

@NickAu:

 

 

Machine:   System: Dell product: Dimension XPSGEN5
           Mobo: Dell model: 0GC068 Bios: Dell version: A02 date: 05/24/2005
CPU:       Dual core Intel Pentium D CPU (-HT-MCP-) cache: 1024 KB flags: (lm nx pae sse sse2 sse3) 
           Clock Speeds: 1: 3200.139 MHz 2: 3200.139 MHz 3: 3200.139 MHz 4: 3200.139 MHz

 

 

 

 

64-bit capable.

 

Come & visit us at Linux for the Visually Challenged and we'll look after you.

 

Happy New Year.

 

:wizardball: Wiz



#15 cat1092

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Posted 02 January 2016 - 04:25 AM

64 bit Linux Mint should scream on that computer, when compared to most of the PC's of the XP era, and most all of the same era we see on this very forum. :thumbup2:

 

Very nice for those days, even a dedicated sound card, which the newest XPS models doesn't have & an early adopter of (then) high performance DDR2 RAM. Shame on Dell for not installing a real sound card on their flagship PC's of today. 

 

Your PC is indeed a collector's item that still has lots of usage 10-11 years later, one of the very few that still does. If you take good care of it internally (cleaning & all), should last several more years, or at least through 3 more Linux Mint LTS releases.  :)

 

Cat


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