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Mint 17.2 & Win 8 Dual-Boot

Discussion in 'Installing Linux' started by booman, Nov 23, 2015.

  1. booman

    booman Grand High Exalted Mystic Emperor of Linux Gaming Staff Member

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    I'm finally upgrading my Dungeon Case
    • Motherboard: Gigabyte 990FXA-UD3
    • CPU: 3.5Ghz AMD 6-core
    • RAM: 8 Gig DDR3 1600
    • HD: 1 Terabyte Segate
    • VC: GeForce 550 Ti 1GB RAM
    Just installed Windows 8 64-bit flawlessly
    Now I'm ready for Linux Mint 17.2 64-bit and the problems begin.

    Remember Cloasters post about installing Linux with UFEI Bios?
    http://www.gamersonlinux.com/forum/threads/need-advice-distro-needed-no-gaming-needed.1562

    I'm having the same issues
    I really want to dual boot with Windows 8 64-bit, mostly because its already installed and I have a 1 TB drive.
    So I partitioned the hard drive with Windows 8 installer and left plenty of space for Mint 17.2

    I CAN boot to my flash drive with Mint on it, but there are two boot options:
    1. Sony Drive
    2. UFEI Sony Drive
    When I select one of them I get the Grub screen and can select Mint 17.2 or Compatibility Mode
    Any time I try regular Mint 17.2 its extremely slow and eventually ends at the desktop

    If I try Compatibility (CPU handles the video) its much faster with #1 but UFEI has some issues.

    The biggest problem I'm having is once I get to the desktop, everything seems to look just fine except network connectivity. Show Not Connected

    When poking around Network settings it even shows "Not Plugged In"
    It obviously is plugged in because Windows 8 is working fine.

    After doing some research & more research I found some options for the network bug. Apparently this Realtek network chip has some issues with Linux. There are plenty of posts online about people experiencing network and USB connectivity on this motherboard.

    I tried a few of the suggestions:
    • Enable IOMMU in the bios
    • Enable EHCI in the bios
    • Boot option: iommu=pt

    This didn't work so far, but I need to check with the Terminal:
    Code:
    lspci -v -nn
    Maybe I didn't put iommu=pt in the correct place. I put it right after nosplash

    Some posts say it might be problematic with 64-bit only...
    I don't have the USB connectivity problems probably because I am using the USB 3.0 slots

    I thought I would go ahead and install Mint 17.2 64-bit anyways (without network connectivity) but found that the installer does not see the partitions I created with Windows 8

    Apparently Windows 8 partitions using GPT when I did the partitioning.
    Linux should support it, but Mint 17.2 64-bit only see's 1 TB partition

    So I'm hoping to format the second partition as MBR instead, but I don't know if this means I have to re-install Windows 8 all over again?
    • Can I have one partition as GPT and one partition as MBR on the same drive?
    • If I change GPT to MBR will I have to re-install the OS again?
    The only thing I haven't tried is the newest version of Mint: Mint 17.3 64-bit

    I might as well download it and see if it has a newer kernel that might support this Realtek chipset
  2. cloasters

    cloasters Well-Known Member

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    Interesting hassles. If only I really understood all of them! I know nothing of the Realtek problem you're having, I sincerely hope that it doesn't complain in a Mint only environment. AFAIK, the MBR is just that, every partition must be on it. I'm very unhappy to read that the Wunnerful Advancement of UEFI is being a blockage. I guess the mobo manufacturers having to pay what...one dollar for someone else's BIOS was a bridge too far?
  3. Daerandin

    Daerandin Active Member

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    If I was not in the middle of my exam I could help with this, but I don't really have much time until next week.
  4. Daerandin

    Daerandin Active Member

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    Just a little explanation on some of your questions:

    A hard drive can either be GPT partitioned OR MBR partitioned. It is not the partition that is GPT or MBR, it is the hard drive itself. GPT is a newer partition scheme meant to replace MBR partitioning. On Linux, you can have a MBR partitioned hard drive and still boot UEFI, but Windows does not support this. When you have a UEFI system, and you want to dual boot with Windows, you must use GPT partitioned hard drives.

    If you change to MBR, it means you lose all data existing on the hard drive, since it changes the partition scheme for the whole hard drive.

    Linux fully supports GPT and has done so for many years. I have personally only used GPT partitioned hard drives for several years now. Linux actually supports using both MBR and GPT on UEFI booting, however Windows does not. Windows will partition the hard drive with GPT on a UEFI system, or MBR on a BIOS system. It does not support any other configuration. This is also a very good indication if you should boot Mint UEFI mode. If you want dual-boot, and Windows runs UFEI, then ensure you boot the Mint iso in UEFI mode so it installs properly for a UEFI system.

    A couple of other things to keep in mind when dual booting Windows and Linux on UEFI:

    Make sure Fast Boot is disabled! You WILL lose data if it is not disabled and you dual boot. So disable Fast Boot, boot up windows with Fast Boot disabled, then shut down Windows. This will ensure that Windows properly unmounts all partitions it used.

    And it is also very important that you install Windows first on a UEFI system, since it will wipe the EFI partition on install. This can be a bit difficult to recover if you are not familiar with installing and configuring bootloaders from within a chrooted live medium, so always ensure you have Windows installed first to make things easier for yourself.

    Check the partitions from within Windows 8. Make sure you have an unused partition available for Mint, if not then you should resize the partitions from within Windows 8. Since windows use the proprietary NTFS filesystem, you should resize the partitions from within Windows 8. It is not recommended to resize NTFS partitions with open source tools.

    UEFI requires a EFI partition where your OS's bootloader is installed. You can only have one EFI partition, Windows will already have created a EFI partition for you. It is also important to know that the root partition for your operating system must be on the same hard drive as the EFI partition. So if you have two hard drives, you must install Mint on the same hard drive as Windows 8 is located since this is where the EFI partition is. If you use other partitions, such as having /home on a different partition, then this can be located on another hard drive without problems.

    I am not familiar with Mint's graphical installer (but I can have a look at it next week), but if you can, ensure that you have selected the already existing EFI partition to be used as Mint's EFI partition. The EFI partition should be small, usually 250mb - 1gb in size, although I am not sure what defaults Windows use.

    UEFI is not really that problematic, personally I find it preferable to work with. It is just Windows that creates a lot of obstacles by being designed to not dual boot on UEFI.

    I'll try to drop in here now and then during this week in case you have more issues.
  5. booman

    booman Grand High Exalted Mystic Emperor of Linux Gaming Staff Member

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    Thanks for all the info Daerandin!
    I already installed Windows 8 twice and Windows 7 three times and still having problems.

    This morning I tried DISKPART and converted the drive to MBR
    But as you know, found that I installed Windows 7 fine and Mint on the extra partition, but now Grub doesn't see Windows at all.
    So its time to start all over again! Grrr :mad:
    Windows causes so many problems! People think Windows is so easy until they find freedom and flexibility with Linux and realize that windows is really really really really stubborn and selfish.

    Originally I just installed Windows 8
    Partitioned with the installer so there was space for Linux
    Rebooted
    Ran Linux live USB as UEFI
    Started the Mint installer
    It doesn't see the partitions I created in Win 8
    It only see's one Terabyte drive

    Since Win 8 and Linux both support GPT
    What do I have to do so Linux Mint will install on the partition I setup in Win 8?

    Here is the error I get when trying to format the GPT partition made with Win 8:

  6. booman

    booman Grand High Exalted Mystic Emperor of Linux Gaming Staff Member

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    I keep reading post about "shrinking Windows 8 to create a partition for Mint"
    What is the difference if I shrink Windows 8 or just create separate partitions with the installer?
  7. Daerandin

    Daerandin Active Member

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    Sorry, I went back and re-read your original post and saw that you did leave space for Mint. In my post I just assumed that the Windows install claimed the entire hard drive for one partition.
  8. booman

    booman Grand High Exalted Mystic Emperor of Linux Gaming Staff Member

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    No problem, I'm still researching how to make Mint see the GPT partitions
    Apparently Ubuntu 14 has no problem
    Not sure why Mint can't?
  9. Daerandin

    Daerandin Active Member

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    You could try to create an ext4 partition using the Ubuntu installer, and then see if Mint can recognize it.
  10. booman

    booman Grand High Exalted Mystic Emperor of Linux Gaming Staff Member

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    Good point, so use Ubuntu on live USB and partition the free space I made with Win 8?
    Then pop in the Mint live USB and install?
  11. Daerandin

    Daerandin Active Member

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    It's worth a try since it is quick to test. You could also try older versions of Mint, like just 17.1 or just 17 if it is still available. It could be that there is a problem with the newer installer. Then you could update to the newer version from within Mint.
  12. booman

    booman Grand High Exalted Mystic Emperor of Linux Gaming Staff Member

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    Oh by the way, gparted will see the different partitions, but if I try to format I get an error

  13. booman

    booman Grand High Exalted Mystic Emperor of Linux Gaming Staff Member

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    Actually I tried Mint 17.3 beta and the installer has the same problem
  14. booman

    booman Grand High Exalted Mystic Emperor of Linux Gaming Staff Member

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    Would it help to use GParted to format the drive, Install Win 8, then Install Mint, but create a /Boot partition?
  15. booman

    booman Grand High Exalted Mystic Emperor of Linux Gaming Staff Member

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    I think I know what the problem is...
    Just as you said!!!
    Windows 8 Fast Boot is enabled so Mint 17.2 probably thinks the drive is mounted since Windows 8 is technically in "sleep mode"
  16. Daerandin

    Daerandin Active Member

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    Let me know if this was cause of your problem. Hopefully it was as simple as that and you can now install Mint.
  17. booman

    booman Grand High Exalted Mystic Emperor of Linux Gaming Staff Member

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    Going to give it another try this morning and will be disabling fast-boot
  18. booman

    booman Grand High Exalted Mystic Emperor of Linux Gaming Staff Member

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    That is exactly what it was!
    Stinking FAST BOOT!!!

    I installed Windows 8 and Mint 17.2 in about 30 minutes and everything is fine!
    Can you believe that?
  19. Daerandin

    Daerandin Active Member

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    Glad to hear everything worked out!

    Actually that is not very surprising because the Fast Boot option does not go through a proper boot process, and Linux is not compatible with this in any way.

    There is another option in your UEFI firmware that you should be on the lookout for. I came upon this on a recent search: Intel Smart Response Technology (IRST). This is of course not present all all motherboards, but if this option exists then it must be disabled when you have Linux installed. This is another Windows only option.

    I had not heard of this before, and I don't know how widespread it is. But definitely something to keep in mind for any future Linux installs on new hardware.
  20. booman

    booman Grand High Exalted Mystic Emperor of Linux Gaming Staff Member

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    I noticed a Boot option in UEFI for:
    • Other OS
    • Windows 8
    So I made sure it has Other OS selected

    Everything is running great at this point!
    Thanks for your help

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