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Old 08-12-2015, 10:16 AM   #1
green ice
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How to Partition Win 7 HDD for Linux Mint 17 install


I have LM 17.2 on DVD which I want to install on my Sony Vaio.

(HDD 500 GB. RAM 6 GB)

- What file system should I use for linux: FAT, FAT32, NTFS?

- For Allocation Unit Size what is best? I use mostly small text files, some video, many png, jpeg. I plan to do more serious video editing soon.

- Should the partition be formatted?

- Should file and folder compression be enabled for linux?

I see instructions for shrinking and creating the new partition here:
https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/.../gg309170.aspx

Advice appreciated?
 
Old 08-12-2015, 11:46 AM   #2
michaelk
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Shrink the partition using windows but leave it as free space. linux uses its own filesystems and you will create them when installing mint.

When you install mint you need to select something else when you get to the installation type step. To make things simple I suggest creating two partitions, / and swap. Make swap at least the same size as your memory size.

http://itsfoss.com/guide-install-lin...-boot-windows/
 
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Old 08-12-2015, 03:36 PM   #3
green ice
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelk View Post
Shrink the partition using windows but leave it as free space. linux uses its own filesystems and you will create them when installing mint.

When you install mint you need to select something else when you get to the installation type step. To make things simple I suggest creating two partitions, / and swap. Make swap at least the same size as your memory size.

http://itsfoss.com/guide-install-lin...-boot-windows/
thanks a lot for this info.

I am using win 7 and hope not to be using any more Windows. Your itsfoss link seems to be about dual boot w. Windows 8, does that make a difference?

So I gather that I do not need to bother about formatting or compression at this stage. These will be handled when I do the LM install?

If those issues are covered, it looks like I can go ahead and just shrink the disk now without creating a new partition?
 
Old 08-12-2015, 04:07 PM   #4
michaelk
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The posted link was to show how to create partitions in the installer for dual booting which I assumed is what you wanted. Selecting use the entire disk will completely reformat the disk and erase windows and no need to shrink windows.
 
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Old 08-12-2015, 07:59 PM   #5
frankbell
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Whichever option you choose, back up any crucial files on that Windows box to external media.

Using the entire disk will blow away your Windows files completely; if you choose to shrink a partition for dual-booting, you still should make back-ups, because, whenever you resize partitions, there's a chance something will go wrong. If usually doesn't, but careful beats careless every time.
 
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Old 08-12-2015, 08:09 PM   #6
sundialsvcs
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My very-frank (but also very-strong) advice to you is: "buy an external hard-disk drive ... USB or Firewire connected ... and use that, instead." Surely, your computer will be recent-enough to be able to boot the system from an external device.

External drives, on recent-vintage hardware (especially when using Firewire), are able to support an operating system easily. And now, every OS has just what it likes to see: "a device unto itself."

Of course, if you like, you can also use a virtual-machine monitor: VMWare (commercial, which I use because I'm a lazy b*stard), or VirtualBox. Once again, point the virtual machine to the external device.

All of the PITA's (Pain In The Ass!) associated with partitioning ... (which is "so-o-o 20th Century," anyway) ... disappear in a very-merciful puff of smoke.
 
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Old 08-13-2015, 10:12 AM   #7
green ice
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelk View Post
The posted link was to show how to create partitions in the installer for dual booting which I assumed is what you wanted. Selecting use the entire disk will completely reformat the disk and erase windows and no need to shrink windows.
Thanks for this info.

the instructions I have from technet say right click the single volume I have in Win 7 then choose "shrink volume". I assume this is what I should do. I am not prepared to erase Win at this time.
 
Old 08-13-2015, 10:20 AM   #8
green ice
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sundialsvcs View Post
My very-frank (but also very-strong) advice to you is: "buy an external hard-disk drive ... USB or Firewire connected ... and use that, instead." Surely, your computer will be recent-enough to be able to boot the system from an external device.

External drives, on recent-vintage hardware (especially when using Firewire), are able to support an operating system easily. And now, every OS has just what it likes to see: "a device unto itself."

....
My goal is to only work with LM. I hesitate because I save alot of files and I wonder where they would go if operating LM from an external disk. Would they be saved to the internal HDD of my laptop or to the external HDD? Then if we are just using an external HDD, does all the space on the internal just sit there empty?

Shrinking the volume looks pretty simple. Then if LM partitions the volume etc for you, that does not look like a problem.
 
Old 08-13-2015, 12:51 PM   #9
pholland
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I installed Mint 17.1 a few months ago and like it. (YMMV)

Recommendation: Backup your data files before doing anything else. At least some are irreplaceable, like baby pictures.

How many partitions do you have on your hard disk under windows? If the win OS and all your data files are in one partition that fills all the whole disk except for a windows recovery partition, then the Mint installation program on your live DVD will do all the partitioning and formatting for you. Just choose the install Linux beside windows option instead of the use whole disk or use custom options. If you have a partition for windows and another partition for your data, then you have to do your own partitioning. If this is your first Linux installation, then it makes a lot of sense to use an external disk for practice, even if you wind up doing a dual boot on your internal HDD.

Quote:
Then if we are just using an external HDD, does all the space on the internal just sit there empty?
Files are saved where you want to put them. Space on the internal drive either sits empty or you make a new partition with a linux file system. Ext 4 seems to be the file system of choice, now.

Windows automatically mounts partitions with FAT xx and NTFS file systems. Linux requires manual mounting -- just right click on a partition in the file manager and select "mount". I have had some problems saving a linux file to an NTFS partition and then trying to open it with Windows 7, though there was no problem under windows XP. Best to save a linux file to a partition with a linux file system or a flash drive with a FAT xx file system.

By the way, if you haven't done so already, you ought to boot the Mint DVD and play around with the operating system before actually installing it. Files you generate can be saved to a flash drive.

Last edited by pholland; 08-13-2015 at 01:04 PM.
 
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Old 08-13-2015, 02:54 PM   #10
green ice
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I have shrunk the disk.

The result now is as follows:

Disk 0
System Reserved
100 MB NTFS

(C:)
279.06 GB NTFS

Unallocated
186.60 GB

I assume Linux Mint 17.2 will know what to do with the unallocated space.

Since 2 people have advised not installing on the internal HDD, I have the iso burned to DVD. I suppose I can boot from the live DVD.

Last edited by green ice; 08-13-2015 at 03:01 PM.
 
Old 08-14-2015, 01:36 PM   #11
pholland
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Okay, so this will be a pretty standard dual boot system on a single hard drive.

Linux Mint 17.1 install does not know what to do with unallocated disk space. You have to tell it what to do manually. I assume that Mint 17.2 is no better.

You must burn the iso file to a DVD (done already) before installing Mint to your hard disk. Standard operating procedure is to boot from the DVD and run the installation program that is on the DVD. After that, the DVD is stored away. If all goes well, it will never be used again.

You have already resized the Windows NTFS partition. From here, you have two choices. The first is to use a partition editor to resize the windows partition to take up the full drive. Then run the Mint install program on the DVD. This is the faster and simpler method. The second is to use a partition editor to manually put a swap partition and a linux root (/) partition in the presently unallocated disk space. Then run the Mint install program. This gives you the most control over partition size and placement.

I recommend resizing the Windows partition to fill the drive. But both ways work.

I am not familiar with partition editors that run under Windows. I usually use gparted. It is a partition editor that runs under Linux. I would be quite surprised if it is not on the Mint DVD. Boot the DVD and hunt around for it in the menu if you decide to use it.

I read the itsfoss.com link from an earlier post in this thread. It is excellent. However, if you resized the Windows partition back to the full drive, you would choose the "install Linux Mint beside them" option in step 4. In the next screen, you use a slider to select the desired sizes of the Windows partition and the Linux allocation. Then the install program automatically resizes the Windows partition and divides the Linux allocation into a swap and a root (/) partition. If you manually installed the swap and / partitions, you would choose the "something else" option in step 4.

As I recall, installing Mint 17.1 on my laptop took around 30-40 minutes. YMMV.
 
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Old 08-15-2015, 02:17 PM   #12
green ice
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pholland View Post
Okay, so this will be a pretty standard dual boot system on a single hard drive.

Linux Mint 17.1 install does not know what to do with unallocated disk space. You have to tell it what to do manually. I assume that Mint 17.2 is no better.

You must burn the iso file to a DVD (done already) before installing Mint to your hard disk. Standard operating procedure is to boot from the DVD and run the installation program that is on the DVD. After that, the DVD is stored away. If all goes well, it will never be used again.

You have already resized the Windows NTFS partition. From here, you have two choices. The first is to use a partition editor to resize the windows partition to take up the full drive. Then run the Mint install program on the DVD. This is the faster and simpler method. The second is to use a partition editor to manually put a swap partition and a linux root (/) partition in the presently unallocated disk space. Then run the Mint install program. This gives you the most control over partition size and placement.

I recommend resizing the Windows partition to fill the drive. But both ways work.

I am not familiar with partition editors that run under Windows. I usually use gparted. It is a partition editor that runs under Linux. I would be quite surprised if it is not on the Mint DVD. Boot the DVD and hunt around for it in the menu if you decide to use it.

I read the itsfoss.com link from an earlier post in this thread. It is excellent. However, if you resized the Windows partition back to the full drive, you would choose the "install Linux Mint beside them" option in step 4. In the next screen, you use a slider to select the desired sizes of the Windows partition and the Linux allocation. Then the install program automatically resizes the Windows partition and divides the Linux allocation into a swap and a root (/) partition. If you manually installed the swap and / partitions, you would choose the "something else" option in step 4.
I am being advised not to do the manual install, but the install alongside option.

It looks like I wasted my time shrinking the windows partition. This is what being too hasty results in. In order to install alongside and I have go back in and expand the partition back to the whole drive?

I will read through the linked articles and wait for any more responses then do that.
 
Old 08-15-2015, 04:22 PM   #13
goumba
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No you did not waste your time shrinking the Windows partition. That is what you wanted to do. Unfortunately I have no Windows partition to play with and walk you through it, but I can give you a rough guide.

Click "Something else" Make note of your Windows partition ID(s) (/dev/sdaX, probably /dev/sda1 for starers), It's the NTFS partition. Note as well as any EFI partitions. Go back to where it asked you what you wanted to do.

Click Install alongside Windows.

Before committing anything, the Mint installer will tell you what it's doing, as far as creating new partitions and formatting and such. Make sure that the Windows and EFI partitions are not listed anywhere, and confirm.

You're ready to install, now go do it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by green ice View Post
My goal is to only work with LM. I hesitate because I save alot of files and I wonder where they would go if operating LM from an external disk. Would they be saved to the internal HDD of my laptop or to the external HDD? Then if we are just using an external HDD, does all the space on the internal just sit there empty?
The files you save under Mint will be by default saved to your home partition, wherever you should decide to place that - either on the internal or external. Most applications have options for default paths, so you can always change that as well - run Linux from an external drive, yet save to the internal drive.

Last edited by goumba; 08-15-2015 at 04:47 PM. Reason: Addressed another post.
 
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Old 08-16-2015, 03:26 PM   #14
green ice
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Originally Posted by goumba View Post
No you did not waste your time shrinking the Windows partition. That is what you wanted to do. Unfortunately I have no Windows partition to play with and walk you through it, but I can give you a rough guide.

Click "Something else" Make note of your Windows partition ID(s) (/dev/sdaX, probably /dev/sda1 for starers), It's the NTFS partition. Note as well as any EFI partitions. Go back to where it asked you what you wanted to do.

Click Install alongside Windows.

Before committing anything, the Mint installer will tell you what it's doing, as far as creating new partitions and formatting and such. Make sure that the Windows and EFI partitions are not listed anywhere, and confirm.

....
You are advising I use both methods?

Reading at least 2 different install guides I have this game plan so far:
1. run gparted from the liveDVD
2. give about 112 GB to LM,
using 3 additional logical drives (still don't know what logical means outside of a philosophical context).
20 gb for /
80 gb for /home
12 gb for swap (This is because the "itsfoss" article said give swap 2x RAM. my ram is 6 gb).

/ will be id'd by the installer as sda2 after reboot
/home will be id'd by the installer as sda3 after reboot
swap will be id'd by the installer as sda4 after reboot

then he says use "something else" during the install phase. When it prompts, select
sda2 as /
sda3 as /home
sda4 as swap

http://itsfoss.com/guide-install-lin...-boot-windows/

The writer who lays out this method uses "something else" completely. I think you are using "something else" only to identify the partitions. Then we back out of something else and use install alongside.

Last edited by green ice; 08-16-2015 at 03:38 PM.
 
Old 08-16-2015, 06:46 PM   #15
yancek
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Using the "Something Else" option will give you more control and you will have more input for the installation. I'm not sure you can use both Something Else and Install Alongside, never tried it although I suppose you could go back after you start Something Else. Can't think of any good reason to do that as you can get drive/partition information with GParted which is on the Mint install DVD. Just type gparted in a terminal and it will open.

You indicate you have windows 7 and want to keep it. If that is the case, I would expect the windows partitions to be at least sda1 and sda2. You can find which partitions are windows with GParted.
 
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