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Old 08-04-2014, 07:05 AM   #1
LodeHere
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Question Zorin Only For the More Advanced?


Hi!
I'm a laptop user with limited pc knowledge.

About a year ago I looked at Zorin 8 and it seemed too complicated to me to have it dual boot with the Windows 7 I had. So I skipped it.

Then recently I received a newsletter from Zorin announcing a new version. As I had to buy a new notebook some weeks ago with Windows 8 on it, and that OS giving me lots of problems, I got interested again in Zorin.

The Windows 8 problems began right from the start with failures to configure the first 90 of a series of nearly 200 essential Windows updates, and trying to configure them again unsuccessfully during every reboot, throwing my machine in a loop, which I could only solve by using the Refresh option of Windows 8 to get rid of those updates, and after re-installing my stuff, disabling Windows security updates all together.

That latter is no problem as I always surf sandboxed. Also this I'm typing in my Sandboxie virtual space. Plus I have Emsisoft Anti-Malware, Online Armor firewall, Malwarebytes Pro, and HitmanPro free.

Luckily I was able to make my Windows 8 look and behave exactly like my much preferred Windows 7 with the help of StartIsBack and disabling EdgeMotion.

Still there were constant annoying bugs. So when I got that announcement of a new Zorin version, I went for it.

It must be due to my lack of pc knowledge, but I ended up reformatting 3 times after install Zorin 9 two times and getting such big problems that they effectively disabled my notebook. Thankgod I had saved the Windows 8 and Compaq (HP) recovery stuff on a flash drive, as at one point not even D: with the factory image for reformatting could be reached. It was one black screen with error messages in white after another.

All the while someone on the Zorin forum was going out of his way to help me. But me not being an advanced enough pc, user most of it was Greek to me.

In case anyone would be intereseted, here is the thread on that forum: http://tinyurl.com/przbk5x

To my happy surprise the HP "lean" factory image (no bloatware) has not given me those Windows bugs I had before with the full version. Although to make sure I have Windows updates disabled. Now my notebook with Windows 8 looks and behaves like it's got a perfectly well working Windows 7 on it, all tweaked to my liking.

I wonder now: is it due to my ignorance, or due to Zorin not really being for regular common pc users that so many things went wrong when I tried again and again to make it work, ending up having to reformat three times?

Last edited by LodeHere; 08-04-2014 at 07:41 AM.
 
Old 08-04-2014, 07:18 AM   #2
NGIB
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Linux is not Windows and never will be. That's the problem with enticing folks with the "just like Windows" form of advertisement - it can look like Windows but it does not operate like Windows and never will.

I never cared much for Zorin main edition but Zorin Lite was the distro I ran for nearly a year...

Last edited by NGIB; 08-04-2014 at 07:23 AM.
 
Old 08-04-2014, 07:34 AM   #3
LodeHere
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Thank you.

The problems with Zorin for me began thus:

Zorin made a partition for itself, which I liked, because I would have stopped the install if I did not see that it would do that before hitting "Install." No way was I going to try to get into partition making. That is not a hobby I want to get into. Although I can understand others enjoying that kind of stuff.

I expected that after the install my notebook would reboot and show both OS's. But only Windows 8 started up, like Zorin wasn't there.
Then following advice on the Zorin forum I got into changing things in the BIOS (not among my regular activities) and EasyBCD, and after using that I could boot into either OS but for Zorin I had to press f9 and maybe do something else after that (I don't remember). So I tried again to make Zorin 9 appear next to Windows 8 at bootup, but things got worse and ended in reformatting.

I spend a few days on this, but after 3 reformattings had enough...

Last edited by LodeHere; 08-04-2014 at 07:42 AM.
 
Old 08-04-2014, 07:41 AM   #4
NGIB
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Windows 8 and UEFI is a whole different ballgame and you can't blame any Linux for problems in that arena. Microsoft does not want anyone to use any OS besides Windows so they and the hardware makers beholding to them make it difficult to install Linux on these boxes. Can you get it working, yes, but it's not a simple process.

Personally, I removed the Win 8 drive, shut off secure boot, enabled legacy boot, put in a clean drive, and installed the OS from scratch...

Last edited by NGIB; 08-04-2014 at 07:43 AM.
 
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Old 08-04-2014, 07:51 AM   #5
LodeHere
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Yes, I understand that now.

Still I wonder if for example Zorin could be made to not only make it's own partition -as it does- but also have it programmed in such a way that it appears on a boot up screen next to Windows. That happens after using EasyBCD: a nice looking light blue screen with 2 icons and "Windows 8" and "Zorin 9" next to each one.

The problem was that probably because of me making a mistake -or more- it didn't work. If Zorin would do the whole thing without a newbie having to do a part of it that requires delicate special actions, that OS would become very popular I would guess. Much more than it is now.
 
Old 08-04-2014, 07:57 AM   #6
NGIB
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Again, Linux is not Windows and Linux file systems are not Windows file systems - so when you install Linux it needs to create a partition. This is made worse because Win 8 uses a newish disk structure, MPT, rather than the old MBR structure that was used for many years.

A Linux install on a MBR (Win 7 and earlier) system is usually just as simple as you describe. It "steals" space from your Windows system, creates a Linux partition, installs Linux and GRUB is setup to boot either system.

I normally setup partitions prior to an install and then tell the installer to use the partitions I setup - fewer surprises generally...

Last edited by NGIB; 08-04-2014 at 07:59 AM.
 
Old 08-04-2014, 08:21 AM   #7
LodeHere
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I see.

But here is what I mean: this is one of the tutorials offered me on the Zorin forum on that thread I had started there seeking help. This is way to complicated for me, not to get onto how much work it is, and how much risk of making a mistake in it potentially exists therefore:

"Install Zorin 9 alongside Windows 7 - 32-bit using Easy BCD"
http://www.veoh.com/watch/v76000025mjZfXnw3

It looks like Zorin is not for the regular non-advanced pc user then, as you also confirmed. It would be nice it that was made clear on the Zorin website.

As it is now, only this appears there:

"If you wish to install Zorin OS to your computer please follow this guide:"
http://zorin-os.com/installguide.html

So maybe that was valid for Windows 7.

Also on that forum I was told to make changes in the BIOS. No exact instructions on what and how exactly though. And to use EasyBCD. None of that is in the Zorin website inallation guide.

As it is now it feels a bit like a trap if you are a Windows 8 user.

Last edited by LodeHere; 08-04-2014 at 08:33 AM.
 
Old 08-04-2014, 08:35 AM   #8
yancek
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Quote:
Still I wonder if for example Zorin could be made to not only make it's own partition -as it does- but also have it programmed in such a way that it appears on a boot up screen next to Windows.
It is an it does. The problem as stated above is that microsoft needed help to get a system to boot securely which is why the Secure Boot function was added to the uefi method. This is the default for most windows 8 OEM (preinstalled) systems. You can and many people do install a Linux/windows 7 combination, it has been made more difficult for the above reasons, none of which Zorin or Linux contributed to.

Quote:
If Zorin would do the whole thing without a newbie having to do a part of it that requires delicate special actions, that OS would become very popular I would guess.
Same reasons as above. I don't think a group of volunteers asking for contributions (Zorin) is going to make much of a dent in the multi-billion dollar corporation that is microsoft.

What worked on windows 7 and earlier versions won't work, due to uefi changes and Secure Boot. They can't explain exactly how to make changes in the BIOS because each different manufacturer (Dell, Compaq, HP, etc.) will use their own method and they will be different The same for system board manufactuers. That would take a lot of work, remember these people are almost all volunteering their time to create the system. The burden should be on the manufacturers in my opinion.

I'd say you would be better off continuing to use windows 7 if you still have it or even buying a new installation DVD as you can get them at discounted rates now.

Last edited by yancek; 08-04-2014 at 08:41 AM.
 
Old 08-04-2014, 08:41 AM   #9
NGIB
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Windows 8+, UEFI, MPT, and secure boot are radical departures from the "standard" computer of the past 15 years or so. New hardware is not necessarily a good thing in Linux as it takes a while for the volunteers that develop the various distros to work out the kinks. Many of the hardware makers only pay lip service to Linux as that's not where they make their money...
 
Old 08-04-2014, 08:48 AM   #10
jkirchner
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yancek and NGIB make very valid points.

An option to consider is, since you need to keep windows, is to run Zorin in a virtual machine. That would allow you to get used to Zorin and find Linux alternatives to some of the things you do in Windows.

Last edited by jkirchner; 08-04-2014 at 08:51 AM.
 
Old 08-04-2014, 08:50 AM   #11
TroN-0074
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I think beside the secure boot you need to disable the fast boot feature in Windows. Actually I think some distros will boot even if the secure boot is enabled but still need to have the fast boot disable.
I dont know anything about windows 8 but I am sure you can google how to disable fast boot in W8 and you would find a tutorial on how to do that.

Take care.
 
Old 08-04-2014, 08:51 AM   #12
schneidz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NGIB View Post
Windows 8 and UEFI is a whole different ballgame and you can't blame any Linux for problems in that arena. Microsoft does not want anyone to use any OS besides Windows so they and the hardware makers beholding to them make it difficult to install Linux on these boxes. Can you get it working, yes, but it's not a simple process.

Personally, I removed the Win 8 drive, shut off secure boot, enabled legacy boot, put in a clean drive, and installed the OS from scratch...
i had the same problem trying to install fedora-20 on a win-8 laptop for my dad. i personnally wanted to save the windows-8 partition since he paid for the license. but for whatever reason everything i tried (disabling secure boot from uefi/bios, disabling quickboot from the windows restart menu, ...) it would not boot fedora so i had to delete windows.

Last edited by schneidz; 08-04-2014 at 09:03 AM.
 
Old 08-04-2014, 08:53 AM   #13
NGIB
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The real problem with UEFI and secure boot and fast boot is every hardware vendor implemented them a bit differently. On my HP laptop, it was very clear how to change the settings to what I wanted - on an Acer I looked at the setting were "buried" in odd places. Hard to write a generic guide when it's so machine dependent. On some Toshiba hardware there was a "bug" in the BIOS so you couldn't change the settings at all - even though this violates the Win 8 "certification" standards...

Last edited by NGIB; 08-04-2014 at 08:55 AM.
 
Old 08-04-2014, 08:54 AM   #14
schneidz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LodeHere View Post
Yes, I understand that now.

Still I wonder if for example Zorin could be made to not only make it's own partition -as it does- but also have it programmed in such a way that it appears on a boot up screen next to Windows. That happens after using EasyBCD: a nice looking light blue screen with 2 icons and "Windows 8" and "Zorin 9" next to each one.

The problem was that probably because of me making a mistake -or more- it didn't work. If Zorin would do the whole thing without a newbie having to do a part of it that requires delicate special actions, that OS would become very popular I would guess. Much more than it is now.
a retired friend of mine bought an hp laptop with windows-8 and hated it. he complained to the representative on the fone and they offered him the same laptop with ubuntu on it (but he had to order it thru their business division). he likes it except that it didnt recognize his printer and he couldnt get support since its not an hp printer.
 
Old 08-04-2014, 09:25 AM   #15
LodeHere
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I'm going to ask the lead Zorin developer -Artyom Zorin- about that installation guide on the website. Is that for Windows 8 too? I'll quote this from NGIB:

"Win 8 uses a newish disk structure, MPT, rather than the old MBR structure that was used for many years.

A Linux install on a MBR (Win 7 and earlier) system "steals" space from your Windows system, creates a Linux partition, installs Linux and GRUB is setup to boot either system."

Also, are changes in the BIOS necessary to make Zorin 9 double boot with Windows 8?

And lastly, what about EasyBCD? Is that also necessary? It is being mentioned on the Zorin forum.

Last edited by LodeHere; 08-04-2014 at 09:43 AM.
 
  


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