dual boot

newtolinux

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I have an HP laptop with an upgraded version of Windows 10 that originally had Windows 7. I tried installing Linux Mint on it wanting to make it a dual boot computer, but Linux wouldn't give me the option to do that. It only gave me an option to erase Windows and install Linux only. I have an older Acer that had 7 on it and I was given the option to install Linux alongside Windows on this laptop, but I installed Linux only erasing Windows and I'm liking the new OS . Any ideas as to what to do with my HP so I can install Linux alongside Windows? Or do I have the wrong version of Linux that won't work with Windows?
 


jglen490

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How much free space do you have on the disk?
 

newtolinux

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It's a 640 GB hard drive and I want to say I have around 400 GB's or so free space. I don't feel like booting it up right now since Windows 10 made it slow as molasses at the North Pole. LOL I'm on my old laptop that I was able to install Linux Mint on since I erased Windows 7 from it.
 

jglen490

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More than likely Windows just took the entire disk when it was installed. So you may have ~400GB free, but it's all NTFS. Some of that can be freed up by crunching Windows into a smaller space. Technically, either Windows or Linux can free up unused NTFS space and turn it into unallocated. You might be better off doing that part in Windows. Once you have 300GB or so unallocated, Linux Mint should install "beside" Windows for a dual boot.

Don't take all your Windows space, you may want to use it also at some point. But if you don't, then select the "something else" install option and let the Mint Live installer nuke and take over the entire space!!

;)
 

newtolinux

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Unfortunately, when i shrunk the space where Windows resides I only got about 55 GB's unallocated. I don't think that will be enough to install Linux. I'm thinking of purchasing another laptop with Windows on it and put Linux on my HP. I dunno, I'm just pondering what I can do to utilize Linux more so than Windows. As I mentioned, I have Linux on my old Acer and the computer itself is slow so it's slowing down Linux. I hate using the norm (Windows) that is so widely available out there and prefer to go against the grain so to speak. Again, i like Linux but I also need Windows for certain things unfortunately.
 

wizardfromoz

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did you perform a defrag on windows before resizing? if not, do so and try again.

i would use the GNOME Partition Editor - GParted - from the live Mint medium to try the resize, it is more efficient than the windows disk management tool.

if keeping windows, with the space allocated to it, you need to leave 15% available for future defrags to be performed.

55 GB in itself is enough for Mint to start with - the mint installed will only consume about 7 GB. just incorporate /home and /boot under your root / partition

cheers

wiz
 

newtolinux

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did you perform a defrag on windows before resizing? if not, do so and try again.

i would use the GNOME Partition Editor - GParted - from the live Mint medium to try the resize, it is more efficient than the windows disk management tool.

if keeping windows, with the space allocated to it, you need to leave 15% available for future defrags to be performed.

55 GB in itself is enough for Mint to start with - the mint installed will only consume about 7 GB. just incorporate /home and /boot under your root / partition

cheers

wiz
I did defrag the hard drive shortly before I resized it. There are also two partitions with Windows recovery in each. Can I incorporate those two partitions into one to gain more space? I don't want to lose Windows (I know it's a dirty word, lol) so if I can't get Linux installed without erasing the disk, I'll just think of some other plan. I have Linux on my old Acer laptop and can use it and am having fun with it. I like going against the norm and have always hated Windows and Mac's are outrageously priced.
 

wizardfromoz

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mate i'll start this post before my midday because then it's beer o'clock. hope it is not TL;DR - too long, don't read :), but i want to be sure you are aware of your options. a little explanation first.

..so if I can't get Linux installed without erasing the disk,..
you can - we can work voodoo

having windows 10, you likely have a uefi computer, which can be switched between BIOS (Legacy) and UEFI. if you are limited in apparent partitions it is because it is likely that your 640 GB drive is in MBR (Master Boot Record) format aka MSDOS. the newer alternative is GPT.

limitations on the MBR system include but are not limited to:
  • support for a single drive cutting off at 2 TB; drives larger than 2 TB have to be partitioned to be used
  • support for a single file to a size of 4 GB, larger file size unsupported
  • on one drive, a maximum of four (4) primary partitions or three (3) primary partitions and one (1) extended partition
that last point is known as "the 4 partition rule", a limitation imposed by M$, not Linux, but affects us.

the good news is that if only 3 partitions are in use on your rig, and there is unallocated space, you can use linux to create a 4th, Extended partition beside them, which can then be used to create Logical partitions to house Linux.

actually, i'll split this post and leave you with some questions.

  1. i take it you are familiar with the windows disk management tool, unless you used 3rd-party to resize the drive partitions, you could show us a screenshot of your partitioning setup
  2. ...using the windows snipping tool found in your Start menu - its default shot is to .png which is fine
  3. do you have an external recovery plan in place, should windows go kaput?
with the screenshot you need to show us both the textual lines and also the graphical representation below that, drag your window handles if need be so as to capture all the info

you can either use the paperclip - attach files - to upload, if so, choose fullsize over thumbnail, or use an image hosting provider such as imgur or photobucket, to place them here - see my thread here

https://linux.org/threads/posting-screenshots-at-this-site-read-this-for-easy-way.21722/

... crap sound, will fix that one decade.

cheers

wizard
 

newtolinux

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I'm not sure what I want to do at this point. I was thinking of purchasing an SSD and installing Linux on it and save my hard drive with Windows so I don't lose that. The only bad thing is I hate booting up that laptop since it takes forever to do anything, but would like to install Linux to see if/how much faster it would be. Another question is, would I be able to install Linux on a new hard disk without Windows installed? I thought i read somewhere that Windows has to be installed so you can install Linux.
 

sp331yi

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"Unfortunately, when i shrunk the space where Windows resides I only got about 55 GB's unallocated. I don't think that will be enough to install Linux." 55gb IS PLENTY especially for non-bloated distros like antiX

"Another question is, would I be able to install Linux on a new hard disk without Windows installed?"

Yeah, just make the Win HDD the master. Separate drives is the best idea, since Windoze does not play well with others and hasn't since WP 5.1 and (prior to that) Netscape Navigator!
 

wizardfromoz

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I thought i read somewhere that Windows has to be installed so you can install Linux.
i'd like to know what twit wrote that :)

it is possible that what you saw is that in regards to setting up a dual-boot system, it is preferable to have windows installed first, and then add linux to run alongside it, that it is to install linux first and then add windows.

does that sound familiar? and if so, that is true.

in the first scenario, the introduction of linux will generate a grub menu that you see at startup, with linux on top, and a couple of lines down it will show "windows boot manager" and that is your entry to the windozer.

in the second scenario, with linux installed first, the install of windows will overwrite the grub menu and linux will still be there but not listed. you then have to either boot linux from your bios utility boot sequence, or else tweak a file or two to reinstate grub menu.

clear? confused? don't worry, we've got your back :)

Separate drives is the best idea, since Windoze does not play well with others and hasn't since WP 5.1 and (prior to that) Netscape Navigator!
totally agree with the 2nd part :D

with the first part, that's fine if you want to invest the money - if budget allows, get at least 256 GB, and you'll be thankful.

however until a few months ago, i was running win 10, along with 7 linux, on the same 256 GB SSD on this dell and had no problems. i have since blown windows away.

hth

wizard
 

newtolinux

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That's probably what I read is to have windows installed to have a dual boot computer. I'm getting frustrated with 10 on my HP and now I can't read my Secure Digital card for whatever reason. I'm also not able to read them with Linux. Is there something I have to install to read the SD cards?
 

wizardfromoz

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jglen490

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I use a USB card reader device to read SD cards, etc. Never needed to install any driver for that. It could be a hardware problem. How old is the HP laptop (model, specs, etc.)?
 


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