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Linux Mint and Windows 7 hard drive partition

By vChRiSv
Aug 12, 2011
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  1. Hey all,

    Sorry if this is in the wrong section, wasn't completely sure where this should go. I recently bought a Lenovo X120e notebook for school. I want to install Linux Mint on my laptop (side along install, I don't want to wipe out Windows 7).

    My question is, how should I split up the space in my hard drive? My total hard drive space is 320 GB, right now being used by Windows 7 and a Lenovo recovery drive. The Windows 7 OS hold 287 GB, and I want to split this up into 3 partitions: one for the Windows 7 OS, another for the Linux Mint OS, and a data partition for both OS's to access (to store music, videos, documents, etc.). Anyone have any suggestions for how much space I should allocate to each partition?

    Note: I don't plan to install too many programs on either OS. Microsoft Office Suite, MSN, small games (mostly the ones from the Humble Bundle), etc. Also planning on using Linux Mint as my main OS.

    Thanks in advance for the help!
  2. steeve

    steeve Newcomer, in training Posts: 192

    take a look at leeky's sticky about installing ubuntu alongside windows. it should have the info you need. his how-to covers XP/ubuntu but 7/mint is not that different. remember the 4 partitions per drive limit.

    (and just be seriously careful that you don't overwrite any existing partitions!!!)
  3. Leeky

    Leeky TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 4,378   +98

    Link is in my signature.

    To be honest, given this, the best scenario in terms of safety is first to make the backup discs (if thats an option).

    Then click start and type disk management in the search bar. Hit enter, and then it will load up. Right click your C: partition, and select shrink volume.

    30GB is plenty of free space for Linux, so just reduce the size by 30GB.

    Then when you get to the partition menu in Linux, click advanced, and create a 10GB / partition, xxGB /home, and SWAP at the very end at 1.5 times your RAM. The total size of /home is whats left.

    I will shortly be revamping the guides as well, as I plan on adding step by step guides for many distros. But essentially you can follow my guide below.
  4. vChRiSv

    vChRiSv Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 44

    Got Ubuntu install (Mint kept failing, so tried Ubuntu once... and it worked for some reason).

    Anyway, I have a new problem. Even though Grub2 and Ubuntu installed successfully, my laptop still uses the Lenovo boot manager as the primary instead of using Grub2. Any ideas?
  5. steeve

    steeve Newcomer, in training Posts: 192

    bios will transfer control to the MBR of your HDD (you only have one). whatever code is in the MBR will be executed. in your case the lenovo boot manager must still be in the MBR. if you want grub to control the boot process, it must be in the MBR.

    a question: does the lenovo boot manager see ubuntu?
  6. vChRiSv

    vChRiSv Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 44

    It just boots into Windows 7 and completely ignores Ubuntu. I'll look into changing the MBR tonight, since I didn't get much of a chance to use my laptop this weekend. I was completely absorbed in playing The Witcher, plus had to deal with my some issues with my internet for the Fall school term. :p
  7. steeve

    steeve Newcomer, in training Posts: 192

    hmm, the witcher - i can see that would be absorbing

    i don't know the recent versions of ubuntu live CD, but i imagine there could be an option to install grub to some place of your choosing?

    there are probably a few ways to get around this issue.

    you could always install Bootit-BM total boot manager, which would sort the problem out

    another option: it depends where you chose to install grub during ubuntu installation. if it is installed on the actual ubuntu partition (and not the mbr) you can use the bcdedit tool (or easybcd, third party app) in windows to make the windows loader point to grub. see this post among many

    then windows boot manager handles the initial stage and then passes control to grub...

    just be careful!!


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