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Linux - Laptop and Netbook Having a problem installing or configuring Linux on your laptop? Need help running Linux on your netbook? This forum is for you. This forum is for any topics relating to Linux and either traditional laptops or netbooks (such as the Asus EEE PC, Everex CloudBook or MSI Wind).

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Old 08-18-2011, 08:38 AM   #1
dmchess
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Dual Booting Linux Mint


I got a hold of a laptop with Win 7 on it which I would like to dual boot. I resized the main partition down to 250 gb which should leave me over 300 gb for Mint.

The problem is it isn't giving me an option to set the freed disk space to a linux file system.

The partition table looks like this:

/dev/sda
/dev/sda1 ntfs 208mb
/dev/sda2 ntfs
Unusable 37943 mb
/dev/sda3 ntfs 14871 mb
/dev/sda4 fat32 108mb


Have I done something wrong? How should I proceed?
 
Old 08-18-2011, 09:00 AM   #2
darkduck
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Installer can cater for your partition formatting. Just kick it off.
 
Old 08-18-2011, 09:25 AM   #3
dmchess
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I am sorry if I didn't make it clear. I resized the disk using the installer's tools.
 
Old 08-18-2011, 09:26 AM   #4
TobiSGD
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The problem is that there are only 4 primary partitions or 3 primary partitions + 1 extended partitions allowed on a single disk with standard ms-dos partition table. You already have that 4 primary partitions on that disk, so you can't create another one. You have to delete one of the primary partitions to make it work (and better create an extended partition to make logical partitions in it).
 
Old 08-18-2011, 09:45 AM   #5
dmchess
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How can I do that without blowing Windows away?
 
Old 08-18-2011, 09:52 AM   #6
darkduck
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmchess View Post
How can I do that without blowing Windows away?
It strongly depends on what you have on those ntfs and fat32 partitions.

If I were you, I would try to move partitions around from under Win7. You need to ensure that your future-Mint partition exists and is clean from win7 point of view. Then you can start installer again and use the partition from there.
 
Old 08-18-2011, 09:55 AM   #7
TobiSGD
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The best (and in my eyes simplest) way would be to make a complete backup of your disk (using dd or clonezilla) and do a fresh install of Windows, with leaving space for an extended partition for Mint.
 
Old 08-18-2011, 10:20 AM   #8
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Drive c appears to be sda2. Drive d, which Windows says is a recovery drive appears to be sda3. Win7 seems to have some sort of grub boot utility which is probably one of the other partitions. Which partition that is I don't know and I don't have a clue what the 4th partition is. It is a hp laptop, so hp may have some hidden files in one of those partitions.

TH
 
Old 08-18-2011, 10:25 AM   #9
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I would assume that sda1 is Windows' boot partition and sda4 is a partition with some kind of tools from HP.
 
Old 08-18-2011, 10:26 AM   #10
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You can see data on those hidden partitions from Live boot, can't you?
 
Old 08-18-2011, 04:52 PM   #11
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Read this for some insight to how many partitons you can have. http://www.justlinux.com/forum/showthread.php?t=152404

But, it you have any doubt as to what is what then I strongly suggest you just use virtual machines. They are free and easy and almost fool proof. Even I can't mess them up.

Last edited by jefro; 08-18-2011 at 04:53 PM.
 
Old 08-18-2011, 05:25 PM   #12
saikee
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I have dealt with a case like this one a few days ago.

The PC owner in that case has sda1 as the boot partition, sda2 the Win7 partition, sda3 as the recovery partition and sda4 as the vendor drivers/tools partition.

The OP got what he wanted at the end. The details are inside this thread with the key steps in Post #36 of the above link. The good thing about the link is a lot of explanations were given for each step explaining the priciples behind.
 
Old 08-18-2011, 05:50 PM   #13
EDDY1
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Iwould back up everything on another system using clonezilla or you favorite backup software, including mbr. On my system I have a seperate backup of my hidden partion, also partition for partition images, although I have an image of the whole drive. I would also use a live-cd to explore the drive before installing anything.
You can merge data from c & d drives so as to remove D.
 
Old 08-18-2011, 06:37 PM   #14
TobiSGD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EDDY1 View Post
Iwould back up everything on another system using clonezilla or you favorite backup software, including mbr. On my system I have a seperate backup of my hidden partion, also partition for partition images, although I have an image of the whole drive. I would also use a live-cd to explore the drive before installing anything.
You can merge data from c & d drives so as to remove D.
Trying to merge those partitions will have nasty side effects:
1. If you assume that sda1 is C: and sda2 is D: you will render the system unbootable to a point that a reinstall is needed.
2. If you assume that sda2 is C: (which it actually is in Windows) and sda3 is D: you will defeat the purpose of sda3 as recovery partition. If your Windows get corrupted it is most likely that the recovery files will also. I also doubt that the recovery system is able to install Windows on the partition it resides on.

I personally would recommend to make a full backup of the complete disk and then do a fresh reinstall of Windows with leaving space for the Ubuntu install.

Quote:
Originally Posted by darkduck
If I were you, I would try to move partitions around from under Win7.
Moving around the partitions will not change the limitations of the MS-DOS style partition table.

Quote:
You need to ensure that your future-Mint partition exists and is clean from win7 point of view. Then you can start installer again and use the partition from there.
I wouldn't recommend that, this will leave the OP without swap partition, which will work, but is not recommended. The better approach would be to not make a partition and let the installer use the free space. When the installer (or Windows) had a way to create a partition, which is not possible without deleting one first.
 
Old 08-18-2011, 07:35 PM   #15
saikee
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My suggestion in Post #12 involves temporarily moving the content of sda3 into sda2, assuming it is a Recovery partition of data-only.

sda3 is then deleted and the space combined with the dead space of 37943Mb is used to form an extended partition, still called sda3.

Inside the extended partition 3 logical partition sda5, sda6 and sda7 are created, using fdisk, cfdisk, parted, sfdisk or Gparted.

sda5 in Type 7 for NTFS filing system for receiving back the original contents of the Recovery partition sda3. It can be created to its original size.

sda6 in Type 83 for Linux Mint installation. About 30Gb in size.

sda7 in Type 82 for swap. About 0.79Gb or whatever left.

The above scheme should be watertight as long as sda2 is the Win7 partition. A standard Win7 installation would create a boot partition of about 200Mb which is what sda1 is.

Since the vendor partition sda4 is not mounted and Win7 does not support Linux partitions, sda6 and sda7, so they won't be mount then sda5 will be mounted as the D:\ drive. Thus the OP gets the recovery partition back same as before.

Last edited by saikee; 08-19-2011 at 03:35 AM.
 
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