Monday, 15 December 2014

Dual Boot Linux Mint & Windows 7 [Best Method].

Linux Mint :-
  • Linux Mint is a 32- and 64-bit Linux distribution for desktop computers, based on either Ubuntu or Debian.
  • Linux Mint is the 3rd most used operating system after windows & Mac OS.
  • Instead of Ubuntu, which is not that user friendly & has less pre-installed packages, linux mint is a good OS with all the required features.
  • It is reliable, has 30,000 packages with regular updates, has a great User Interface and is really a good OS for developers.
  • Users who want to be a developer, wants to learn Linux & find Ubuntu little difficult and less Interactive can opt for Linux Mint.
  • My experience with Linux Mint is just awesome, and the best part i think is that it's safe, open source & free.

Things Needed :-
  1. ISO of Linux Mint OS.
  2. Windows Bootable CD or Bootable Pendrive.
  3. UNetbootin Software.
  4. 2 Pen drives of 8 GB [One with Bootable Win and other with Linux Mint].
  5. Make sure USB is first Booting option in Your BIOS [If not go to bootable Windows 7 link]
Click here for steps to make a bootable Windows 7 pendrive.

Installing Both Windows and Linux Mint :-
  1. GO to Linux Mint website, and download the 64-bit/32-bit ISO file of OS [prefer 64-bit if your processor supports].
  2. Linux Mint requires a Minimum 20 GB of free space and minimum of 2-4 GB of RAM.
  3. Now since you are already using Windows and logged in, right click on My Computer and click on Manage.
  4. Go to disk Management and see about how your hard-disk is organised.
  5. Ideally if you have Installed Windows properly you will see a System Reserved 100 Mb partition, Which is Active and Primary Partition !
  6. Another partition named as C ideally will be having boot,crash dump,page file etc written in front of it, this contains your windows files !
  7. Now rest of all the partitions that you have [at least one must be there] will be logical Partitions with your data in it.
  8. Backup the data from one of this partitions [Having minimum 20 GB space] and format it, now again go to Manage in My computer & right click the partition which you just formatted.
  9. Click on Delete volume and you will now have a free space of 'X' GB. [X is the value of Partition you formatted].
  10. You have two options now :-
    1. Use just 20 GB for Linux [follow steps at the bottom after this]
    2. Use the whole free space for Linux [Continue the same]
  11. Install the UNetbooin software and open it, select the disk image option and browse for the Linux image you just downloaded.
  12. Make sure you have a 8 GB of pen drive formatted as Fat32 & which is connected.
  13. Click on OK and this will make a bootable pendrive of Linux Mint.
  14. After completion you can reboot and the PC will show a screen of Linux Mint OS.
  15. Yes Linux Mint can be operated directly from pen drive without Installing it !
  16. After you are done with little surfing of the OS, click on Install Linux Mint & follow the wizard until you see the following options
    1. Install Linux Mint alongside Windows
    2. Erase disk and Install Linux Mint
    3. Something else
  17. Click on 'something else' and this “Something Else” option allows you to choose how to partition your disks and because of this you can choose how much disk space to give over to the operating system and how much to keep for your own personal data.
  18. First partition that we need to create is a SWAP partition [Must for Linux].So click on add, the ideal size of the swap partition should be at least double the size of your RAM for proper Hibernation of your OS. [or at least equal to your RAM]
  19. So you can assign size according to your RAM [mine Swap is 8 GB] and click location as END and 'use as' should be kept at SWAP, click OK. [leave the mount point blank].
  20. Now use all the remaining space as the OS partition, enter appropriate value for partition and keep the location as beginning and set the “Use as” to “EXT4”.You should set the mount point to “/home”. Click OK.
  21. Now follow the wizard, select your location, enter a username, password, select keyboard layout and you are done !
  22. After the installation is complete remove the USB and reboot you will see many options one asking to boot into Linux Mint and the Other in Windows 7.
  23. Congrats you have successfully Dual Booted your PC into Windows 7 & Linux Mint.

If you want to use Minimum space for Linux..... 
  • Now Insert the Pen drive having bootable Windows 7 & restart the computer, When PC boots in Windows setup click on Install Now and go to Custom Install.
  • Click on Drive Options(Advanced) and create a NEW partition with [X-20] GB eg:- If I had formatted a 80 GB of partition then this new partition will be of 60 GB.
  • Now exit the setup and remove your pen drive and start the windows.
  • You can now see a partition with [X-20] GB and free 20 GB of free space.
  • Go to step number 11.
Enjoy Linux Mint, Comment if any doubt or have any suggestions !

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