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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 6th October, 2013, 02:31 AM
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1) you need to be root to use partitioning tools in Linux

2)Windows has to own the MBR. That is exactly why you must install it first - it's a really big project to install windows after Linux.

3)GRUB is the bootloader that Linux looks at when it boots.

4)every live CD I have ever seen has a partitioning utility. You boot the CD, get into the GUI live environment, and start the app. Are you trying to run the apps without booting the CD?
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Last edited by ThunderRd; 6th October, 2013 at 02:34 AM.
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 6th October, 2013, 03:19 AM
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I didn't get that far with DVD (neither 13 nor 15 were functional, 14.1 seemingly functioned, but Gparted failed)! Regarding the password, it isn't specified until install -- the partition utility is run before then if running DVD. I just described the situation with Ubuntu 12.04.3 DVD. I've yet to have any luck with any Mint install utility, but can't rule out Ubuntu 12.04.3 Console accessed Parted.

If the number of primary partitions is limited to the max number supported by the traditional MBR, then the limit is four. If the Win extended partition counts as one, then there's only two left for Linux. That apparent limit is what I'm consistently hitting. The MiniTool partition results I present above are entirely consistent with what I see within the DVD Mint/Ubuntu installer. I'd love a workaround, but I'm not yet seeing it -- unless it's possible to install WinXP on Linux defined partitions and Linux provides a version of MBR that permits five primary partitions! Unless Wikipedia is wrong that the Windows extended partition is actually a primary (which I suppose could be), then I need a five primary "MBR". If Wikipedia is wrong, then why am I consistently hitting this problem? On the other hand, how can I get a five primary capable "MBR"? Without a solution for that, it appears single drive dual boot is limited to two primaries for Linux -- standard being /root and /swap.

At present, the only Linux DVD utility option that might be available is the Ubuntu 12.04.3 Console accessed Parted, but I don't yet know how to command it. However, since every other partition utility I've tried gives consistent results, I'm not sure Parted offers much hope (MBR limit appears hard).
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Last edited by TrevorS; 6th October, 2013 at 03:36 AM.
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old 6th October, 2013, 04:54 AM
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I don't think we are speaking the same language. Forgive me if I am too simplistic here, but I just don't understand what you are saying.

A live Linux CD contains a bootable, fully working, GUI environment that you place in the tray of the CD unit and boot. (Set the boot order in the BIOS first.)

After you boot this CD, you will have a fully working GUI desktop on your monitor. It looks like Linux and works like Linux (although it is slower, because it is running from the CD itself.

From this environment, you can access all the tools in the GUI menu, and use them.

Did you actually use the CD to boot your machine, and it did not boot, or was the boot successful?
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  #24 (permalink)  
Old 6th October, 2013, 09:16 AM
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What I'm saying is absolutely literal, and it's a DVD, not a CD (too large to fit a CD). I've already responded to your last post, please reread closely my previous response. Be assured I'm not making up what I'm typing. I'm trying my very best to communicate clearly to you, don't know what else I can say in order to be clearer. Step one for me is to boot the DVD when it comes to Linux. For that matter, I can't install either Ubuntu or Mint without first booting the DVD!
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Last edited by TrevorS; 6th October, 2013 at 09:18 AM.
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  #25 (permalink)  
Old 6th October, 2013, 11:54 AM
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OK, so you successfully booted the live environment, but the tools did not work.

I am stumped, and though I do not doubt what you say you are experiencing, it has never happened to me. If I get some time tonight, I'll download a Mint .iso and try myself.
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  #26 (permalink)  
Old 6th October, 2013, 01:59 PM
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OK.

I've just downloaded a Mint15 .iso and burned it, and it boots and runs gparted from the menu. I am able to see all the drives connected to my machine.

I have also started the install routine, and I have some questions. The first dialog box I see asks for what kind of install I want. It knows that other OSes are installed, and the options are:

1-install alongside them
2-Erase all, and install LM15 alone
3-Install LVM as well, to allow for more advanced partition options (I'd guess this is to make re-sizing easier)
4-Something else: meaning that I have a particular/specific scheme in mind regarding partitions

Now. I would choose 4 at this point, since I'd like to have full control. I see that you have tried 'alongside windows' already, but before trying to reproduce that problem: have you tried the other options?
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Last edited by ThunderRd; 6th October, 2013 at 04:25 PM.
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  #27 (permalink)  
Old 6th October, 2013, 08:53 PM
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I just tried running GParted from Mint 15 DVD despite the incomplete desktop and no install access. Turns out the top left menu works and when I selected SystemTools GParted, it actually worked and gave me the identical set of partitions (names, sizes, etc) that MiniTool gives. I then tried to create a new partition in the unallocated space and had an error message telling me the following (paraphrased): You can't have more than four primary partitions and the extended partition is a primary. If you want more partitions, you have to give up a current primary to create another extended partition. I guess the alternative to that would be to place any further non-primary partitions I might want inside the previously allocated extended partition (used by WinXP) -- /boot for example.

The only time I tried the "Alongside Windows" option was the very first shot at an install (first time I spun up the Mint 14.1 DVD). I actually aborted it as I feared it would install within the XP partition, however, it allocated existing free space instead to create two primaries, /root and /swap. Since then I've used the "Something Else" option every time. That's how I've been able to identify and study the problem.

That "LVM" option you mention sounds interesting, it may provide access to a fifth primary. I don't remember seeing that, but perhaps I just overlooked it (or could be Windows presence blocks it, or might be first available on Mint 15 and I can't get there -- no install functionality). What operating system do you already have installed on that disc? Windows?

At any rate, it appears as long as the MBR remains unextended (not only keeping the traditional MBR for Win compatibility, but also not allowing addition of a more modern version of MBR), and I have even one Win logical partition, then it's not possible to have both Windows and three Linux primaries. This also means that in order to have even a sharable Fat32 partition between the two OS, I have to give up a Linux primary.

So outside of an MBR extension, what's available on a single drive is the typical vanilla C:/Windows (less the "Restore" logical partition) and a three primary Linux. Well, I don't care about the Restore partition, but I hate to give up separation of general files from Win. That's similar to my wanting the /home to begin with, except it's worse in the Mint case since there are no update releases, only replacement. So, does Linux use MBR only or when it creates all the partitions itself, does it use something else (LVM?) If so, can MBR be included for Win compatibility purposes (your quote suggests as much -- "Install LVM as well")?

This also points out something interesting about the earlier using-Windows-to-create-Linux-primaries example. The reality is, the partitions Win is creating are logical, not primary. When Linux install runs in the example, it has to first delete the extended primary partition, then create both Linux primaries out of the freed up space. Frankly, I don't see the advantage of that over just using the Linux install partitioning function. However, using Win MiniTool to free space from existing Win partitions seems a great way to obtain unallocated space for Linux install (or for any other desired purpose). Like that tool !

=============================== LATER ================================

Looked specifically for an install LVM option on Ubuntu 12.04.3 and Mint 14.1 and neither offered it (can't get there with Mint 15, but should try the latest Ubuntu). Looked "LVM" up and it's about managing the relationship between Linux Physical and Logical "Volumes" -- actual partitions being a next level. Seems as though it allows a single install of /root, /home, /swap and other partitions to be divided across multiple drives (presuming that can't already be done explicitly within a standard multi-drive install). On the surface, it looks as though it might allow additional primary and logical partitions since it creates an intervening logical layer, but that's not obvious from the article.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logical...er_%28Linux%29

Worth exploring since I could see it allowing two MBR primaries (Win and Extended) for Windows, and then logically dividing the remaining two into however many "primary" and/or "logical" Linux partitions are needed. Time to download Ubuntu 13.04 and see if I can access this !
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Last edited by TrevorS; 6th October, 2013 at 11:45 PM.
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  #28 (permalink)  
Old 7th October, 2013, 03:20 AM
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The Mint15 .iso I downloaded was 64-bit, and perhaps you can't use that, I don't know what your machine architecture is.

You could try downloading another flavor - my normal preference is Xfce - and see if the burn and boot to GUI is successful. I can only think that the file you downloaded was defective in some way on the site, or that the burn might have had a problem somehow. I know you checked the MD5.
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  #29 (permalink)  
Old 7th October, 2013, 04:19 AM
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MD5 good and the burner verified the disc. Machine is Pentium4 (32bit) running on a standard "Intel Desktop" board, but still older hardware. Apparently a hardware compatibility issue for Mint 15 (Mint 14.1 works).

Just tried Ubuntu 13.04 and install options included LVM, but it was grayed out! I tried an install using the "Something Else" option and replacing the partition table, but no LVM option was provided and result was same as previous.

What OS was already installed on your disk and was your LVM install option actually available, or was it also grayed out?

PS. If Windows and your LVM install option was not grayed out, then I'd say the reason is you have multiple hard drives -- that directly maps into the Wikipedia discussion.
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  #30 (permalink)  
Old 8th October, 2013, 03:35 AM
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I have Win7 and three Linux distros on that particular box.

It is distressing to hear people having such problems. One of our aims around here is to encourage and coax people to take the leap to Linux, and this isn't helping.
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  #31 (permalink)  
Old 8th October, 2013, 03:46 AM
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Was your Mint 15 "install LVM as well" option actually available? Or was it grayed out?

PS. What processor, mainboard, and graphics are you running?
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Last edited by TrevorS; 8th October, 2013 at 03:48 AM.
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  #32 (permalink)  
Old 8th October, 2013, 05:06 AM
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It was available, although I did not try it. The hardware is #2 in my signature.
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  #33 (permalink)  
Old 8th October, 2013, 06:25 AM
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Thanks ! I appreciate your frustration, I was ready to engage with Mint 15, but it appears to me they have a real QC problem. They need to either bite off smaller chunks or extend their test cycle. PR is great, but it's delivered reliability that counts. Ubuntu seems more solid to me and so it probably deserves more serious consideration, but if Mint cleaned up its act, I suspect I'd prefer it.

This single-drive dual-boot Linux primary partition limitation is an unfortunate complication, but it would probably only be noticed by someone like me, I tend to be a tad analytical (typical Windows user not being especially so). Not sure what I can try further, but at least I've clarified my problem. Surely been an education, but am not giving up on Mint -- appears my next best shot is 16.

My confidence remains with Win98SE, WinXP, and Win7. For me, thus far, they're largely reliable, familiar and readily installable. I'm not suggesting this is true for everyone, but everyone's situation is different. I look forward to checking out Mint 16 ! For now, think I've burned through enough recordable DVDs! They may not be expensive, but they're not free !

Thanks for your interest and assistance dude !
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  #34 (permalink)  
Old 8th October, 2013, 03:58 PM
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For your own benefit, I'd suggest that you get an old drive and install some Linux distro on it to get a feel for the OS and let you fool around with it a bit. A 40G drive is more than enough.

Also, you should really go over to the Mint forums and ask there for some guidance. Hundreds of people will see your questions there, maybe someone has a work-around. I'm on the Debian, siduction, aptosid, and Gentoo forums often, just seeing if I can help others out; and I regularly learn something just by reading other peoples' posts.

IRC is also an alternative - real-time help from live heads. I am sure that Mint has a channel somewhere; you should check into it.
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  #35 (permalink)  
Old 8th October, 2013, 08:41 PM
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Mint 14.1 is currently installed and although GParted doesn't work, other things seem to and so I expect to spend some time with it. I also plan to try the Mint 15 DVD on other machines, some combination will probably work. Would like to come across detailed information regarding the "Terminal" and its usage -- seems reminiscent of my PC DOS days when Win3.1 was an app.

Ha! Google and thou shalt find!

Linux Terminal Command Reference - Linux Mint Community
Beginner Geek: How to Start Using the Linux Terminal
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  #36 (permalink)  
Old 10th October, 2013, 12:58 AM
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Today re-installed Mint 14.1 entirely within the Windows extended partition -- /swap, /boot, /root, /home, all logical partitions. Don't know if it should work or not, but it's appearing to. Found that despite VLC working fine off the DVD, it's having problems in my install. That's too bad since VLC is important to me !
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Old 15th October, 2013, 05:08 PM
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I used to have a Dual-boot machine that ran Win 7 and Mint 13.
I never use Gparted but instead just click "install" icon on the desktop.
Normally I select the custom partition because I want to choose what the partitions are and what size.
LVM from what I've read is a software RAID for your partitions.
I always select ext4 and create each partition I needed

This was my scheme:
  • Win7 NTFS 120 Gig
  • Extra NTFS 30 Gig
  • / ext4 20 Gig
  • /boot ext4
  • /home ext4
  • swap 2 Gig

Granted I didn't create 4 partitions with Mint, but I created /, /boot, /home alongside the two Windows partitions.
Mint was very happy and I could easily copy/paste files from the NTFS partitions.
On the other hand, when booting Win 7 the Mint partitions show up as a drive letter, but you can't access them. I accidentally formatted over my Mint installation one time because I didn't realize what drive it was in Windows.

So, as long as you don't delete your NTFS partition you should be able to create as many ext4 partition as you want.

/
/boot
/home
swap
/share
/music
/movies
/games
/etc
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  #38 (permalink)  
Old 15th October, 2013, 10:16 PM
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Mine is similar to yours. I created the first three partitions with WinXP install, the rest using Mint install on the unallocated space (staying within the "WinAux" extended partition).
  • WinXP (primary) NTFS 13GB
  • WinAux (logical) NTFS 60GB
  • Shared (logical) FAT32 15GB
  • swap area (logical) 2GB
  • /boot (logical) ext4 500MB
  • / (logical) ext4 13GB
  • /home (logical) ext4 ~56.5GB
The Linux install examples and tutorials I'd found (including Youtube) all indicated primary partitions for /swap, /root, and /home (don't recall for /boot). Clearly, I was viewing bad information and that's most of the information out there as far as I can tell. Misinformation on the net really does seem the norm, especially that targeted at people new to a particular topic.

PS. Bummer on the accidental format !
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  #39 (permalink)  
Old 15th October, 2013, 10:29 PM
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I think you nailed it!
Miss information.... and sometimes is accurate but there is 10 ways to do the same thing.
And on top of that each distro does it differently.

So I understand your frustration.
Given that you have spent countless hours with Windows and some of its quirks, you would be the perfect candidate for Linux.

I too have spent many-an-hour messing with Windows and still do.
Linux is the next best thing. I have found that Windows definitely has its weaknesses and limits. But you are right, sometimes its hard to find the information you want for a specfic task.
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  #40 (permalink)  
Old 25th October, 2013, 08:09 AM
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Having an apparent solution for Linux Mint 14.1, I've little inclination to choose Mint over Win (more reliable IMO). I'm guessing the popular argument is the cost of Win Vs Linux. I've been running the margins awhile (par for the course if you've multiple machines). If Win represents a significant overhead, then Linux is attractive, but otherwise, the point is less clear. I like Linux and support the concept, but am not clear it's a good move for my family of machines.
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