[SOLVED] Need help uninstalling Mint 17.1 to do a clean installation dual boot with Win 8.1
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Need help uninstalling Mint 17.1 to do a clean installation dual boot with Win 8.1
Hello All. This is my first post here. I am worse than a newbie; I'm a PC dinosaur! Not joking either.
Recently got a Dell Inspiron 3048 with Windows 8.1 pre installed. As I am a die hard XP user (my other PC is a Dell Dimension 2400), and seeing that PC's days may be numbered, I want to start using Linux, and decided Mint 17.1 would be first on the list.
Ordered a Linux Mint 17.1 boot disk and went to install it. At the option for a dual boot with Windows, I got lost, and did not understand the "other" choice versus making Linux the only OS on the PC. I wound up wiping my HDD and lost contact with Windows 8.1. Fortunately, the Dell Tech I got at Dell Support was able to walk me through getting Windows back up, but the only way I can now access Mint 17.1 is with the boot disk, but there is no set up options as it is already set up, even though incorrectly for a dual boot.
How do I wipe out Linux without losing Windows 8.1 as well so I can re install Linux and this time make the correct selection for a dual boot?
Anyone willing to respond please do so small and slow so I can follow.
BTW, I have tried installing Zorin OS 9 Ultimate on my XP machine via DVD and USB, but I can't get past the f1/f2 loop, even though I have reconfigured my boot sequence according to the drive I'm installing from. Zorin support has been MIA on this. Anyone having a similar problem?
Many Windows machines include a reset option which deletes everything and puts it back to the state it was in when you bought it.
This presumes that a special recovery partition still exists.
If this is done you will loose all user data.
Alternately, it is worth checking that you don't still have separate partitions, some with Windows and some with Mint.
The problem with Zorin may be related to your having a UEFI bios (but just guessing here).
Hard disks are formatted in one of two ways,
1. The so-called "legacy" MBR format (used by XP and some Windows 7 and OK for Linux.
2. A newer one called GPT which is used by a UEFI bios which includes Windows 8 and fine for larger distro's of Linux - including Mint.
Assuming you can boot from your hard disk, run the "Disks" program from the Mint menu; this will tell you what type of disk you have.
DO NOT MAKE ANY CHANGES!
Try to take a screen shot of it - it might look vaguely like (attached)...
Thank you for responding. If I attached the screen shot correctly, you will see there are three partitions, the Recovery and EFI partitions not containing any Windows or Linux installation files. I am assuming they are on the C drive. Since Linux is already there, it doesn't let me go into setup when I boot from the Linux Installation DVD. It just opens to Linux automatically and I do not know how to reconfigure it for a dual boot from there. This is why I am assuming Linux must be deleted and the reinstalled from scratch so I can partition the C drive to accommodate it separately from windows. If there is a way around this without losing any of my files, I would be grateful to receive instruction on how to accomplish it.
That screen shot is what I'd expect to see if you booted from Windows.
The first partition (left to right) is that recovery partition.
The second one (EFI) indicates you have a GPT disk and shouldn't be touched.
The last one is a NTFS disk and is 95% empty - I would expect the 50GB used to be Windows stuff.
I think that you probably have no Linux installed.
To install Linux:-
1. Use Windows to reduce the size of that last partition.
2. reboot and install Linux into the free space you have created.
(be careful not to overwrite Windows).
Taking backups in advance to external media is a good idea.
Fortunately, the Dell Tech I got at Dell Support was able to walk me through getting Windows back up
I'm sure the only thing the Dell tech did was set your computer to factory defaults using your Recovery partition.
but the only way I can now access Mint 17.1 is with the boot disk, but there is no set up options as it is already set up, even though incorrectly for a dual boot.
I doubt anything is set up other than the windows 8. Your Mint is gone, overwritten by the Dell tech using the Recovery partition which is pointed out by other members above. There is no indication in the image you posted of a Linux partition. So you dont need to wipe out Mint, the Dell tech did that already.
the Recovery and EFI partitions not containing any Windows or Linux installation files.
Nor should they. They contain files used to boot the installed system and have nothing to do with installing a system. There won't be any installation files on your "C drive" either.
As suggested, you need to create some space for Mint by shrinking the large windows partition. You should be able to do that from Disk Management in windows then you will have space on which to install Mint.
When you boot the Mint installation DVD, let the count down run and it should take you to a Desktop with an Install Mint icon.
You didn't by any chance select an option to use Mint4win which would install Mint inside windows? It doesn't work especially with windows 8. It might be a good idea to go to the Mint site below as there are PDF downloads for installing and using Mint in a number of languages.
Hello Eddy1, Jeremy, Yancek, and Ztcoracat. First, thank you all for responding to my post.
I agree that the reinstallation of Windows 8.1 should have wiped out Mint 17.1, but here's why I have doubts about that. (BTW, I did disable Secure Boot when I added the Boot from Disk option in BIOS and made it first in the Boot Sequence).
When I first installed Mint 17.1, I went through a set up process; language, location to set the time, the dual boot option I screwed up, etc. When I put the install DVD in to reinstall Linux, those options did not run. Instead I went directly into Linux Mint 17.1. If Linux was wiped out, why would I have a fully installed version on my PC? If it was running exclusively from the DVD, why was there no option to install it? Conversely, I do remember part of the Dell Tech's procedure did include a command prompt that "cleaned" the C drive. My complete lack of knowledge regarding this is what has me confused about Linux still being on the C drive.
I'm sure the solution is probably an easy fix, except when you don't know what you're (I'm) doing. Then it is mysterious as Quantum Mechanics! LOL. Mostly these PC problems I have is due to my overlooking something that is simple and obvious.
Let me try the Linux DVD again, and I will report back whether this issue is resolved or not.
(BTW, Jeremy, the screen shot of my partitions is for the Dell Inspiron, which is where I am having this Linux issue. The inability to install Zorin OS 9 is on my Dell Dimension machine with XP, so this screenshot is of no help regarding that.)
You are 100% correct. I was running off the DVD but just didn't realize it. Maybe I should just stick with Windows and hire a 5 year old "consultant"! LOL
I found the "Install Now" option, so the problem I thought I was having was never a problem at all. I'm the problem. I learned long ago PC issues are 10% faulty hardware/software and 90% operator. I am living proof it's true!
OK, so now that I feel like a complete moron, I wish to thank you and the others who responded to my post. I really appreciate your help and especially for keeping your real thoughts private! LOL
Not to worry. I love XP, but it's been all downhill from there. 8.1 has some interesting features, but just about when you get proficient with it, they stop supporting it. I understand MS is a house of greed. And Linux is exactly the opposite. Linux users everywhere should be at the forefront of Global change for the very reason they are Linux users; quality of experience, freedom of choice, and rejection of Big Brother! JMHO of course.
Just kidding about sticking with Windows Jeremy, although I will keep XP running for as long as I can, and for the reasons above!
Thank you again.
When you decide to try Mint again, I'd suggest downloading one of the PDF files from the Mint site, link in my earlier post #6. If you do an online search for something like "how to install Linux Mint 17" (or whatever the current version may be) you should find a number of sites. Best to use the Mint site but there are other good ones also. That should give you a jump start on installing.