Dual bootable Windows 10 with Linux Mint. How?

Here's the deal: I bought a brand new Lenovo ThinkPad loaded with Windows 10. Windows 10 broke it with the last major update about 10 days ago. Eventually after many hours of searching for the solution I was able to use REFRESH to get W10 back. But I HATE W10!

My plan is to load Linux Mint on it , along side W10, on a partition of the 256gig SS Drive, and once I get used to Mint, erase Windows.

The problem is, I have heard many issues with Windows not wanting to dual boot with W10.

In fact I loaded Linux Mint on my old HP laptop with W7, and now it won't boot at all except through the Linux USB. I am looking for a solution to that.

But I don't want to have that problem with my new Lenovo with W10, so I am hoping someone here who has added Linux Mint alongside W10 (maybe even on a Lenovo laptop?!) can tell me how to avoid the dreaded "Won't boot!" issue.

Thanks for any info or links you can provide. I have seen some pages re dual booting with Windows BUT since I had problems when I followed the procedure on my W7 laptop, I am looking for a different link, one with the procedure that someone has used successfully for Dual Booting W10 and Linux Mint!

Post was last edited on September 12, 2019 2:37 PM PDT

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Re: dual boot

Can you tell what exactly that "some pages" were you followed the procedure of?

The way you write it, can only be interpreted all of this different pages gave exactly the same procedure. So maybe better: tell exactly how you did it, then maybe somebody here can see what you did wrong.

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procedure I followed

This is the procedure I followed. Hopefully it's okay to post the link here.

Everything went fine until in the end I got a message saying that
NO EFI SYSTEM PARTITION WAS FOUND. Please go back and create one.

I went to the net and read about creating an EFI system partition and it said you had to have one for Linux of at least 2mb. So I made a 2mb partition using the same Linux install wizard, used the drop down menu and chose "EFI System".

After that it still would not boot so I went to the net again, found a way to get to a Boot Repair for Linux and used that. Then got a message saying "Boot is repaired. You may now boot into Linux."

However when I went to boot, it now would not boot into Linux nor Windows 7.

I have read a few things about Grub and stuff but I'm a newbie to Linux and don't understand it, LOL. I am thinking I probably will need to erase everything on my linux partitions and start over? But if I start over how do I now have the same problem.

I have screen shots of the linux error and boot repair success message and another screen shot of Linux doing it's thing of preparing the boot repair. But I don't see a way of attaching them here. If need be I guess I could post them to a site and link you to them. (I have 4 including one of my HP system specs).

I have read something about there being 2 types of boot systems and some computers require more "finesse" to load Windows 7 WITH Linux, as Windows "doesn't like" to share the compu with Linux. Not sure if that's true but like I say, I want to make sure this doesn't happen when I put a partition and try linux on my new Windows 10 Lenovo.

I'd actually like to use Linux on my W7 computer for a while first, before putting it on my Lenovo (even tho I do hate W10; at least I know how to use it).

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I could not find a way to edit the mistake in my post above. It should have read, "
"But if I start over how do I NOT have the same problem?", not how do I "now" have the same problem?.

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assuming you don't have a second HDD or SSD in a CD drive adapter enclosure, your safest bet is to use a USB flashdrive with persistence set up on it and boot from that instead. If interested, I can walk you through it. Also can check out site, since you would need a windows based method unless you did it using both a LIVE DVD of linux and the USB flashdrive.

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Booting from Flash Drive

Hi, I will check out the link, James, as you suggest.
I'm not sure what you mean by "persistence" set up on it.

I used what I believe is called a "Live" USB flashdrive (which I made according to the above link I gave) to install linux and that's the way I can now get into my HP laptop (the only way I know of at this point, as I cannot get into windows it seems).
So I CAN boot into Linux from the flash drive. What I want is to be able to boot into EITHER Windows OR Linux without using a USB at all.

And very importantly I need to get back the ability to boot into Windows 7 on it!

Maybe I'm not understanding what you're saying? Meanwhile I'll check out the link to .
Thanks for your time and help.

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In that case

You have two choices.
1) run a windows boot repair utility
2) install Linux Mint 64 bit version and let it do it's thing.

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I think I already have a Live USB drive

Okay I checked the link you gave me James and I believe this is what I already have. Problem is, I want to boot from the computer itself and I want to choose Linux or Windows each time.

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yes, you do

But you probably don't have one with persistence and it's casper-rw partition. However I get feeling you want to have both windows and linux on the same hard drive instead of using Linux from a live usb with persistence, which saves what you do from close to next rebooting.
I need to know the exact Lenovo system you are using, since Lenovo often uses a proprietary single drive RAID system on it, and that's almost a no-go for installing Linux on, at least without a BIOS flash, and reinstall of windows, and I doubt you want to go that route.

I would suggest you take this problem to so others with much experience can add help. I'm spearmint2 there, and I prefer others with experience to back up what I suggest, to be sure all goes well.

You were correct to not just try and install Linux Mint to a Lenovo laptop till knowing what sort of setup is on it, if it has that particular RAID system installed on it.

What you should concentrate on here in these forums is to get your windows on the older HP computer corrected, if that's your wish also.

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Here's what you may be facing - 2016
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W-10 & Mint

It certainly is possible to run Windows 10 dual boot with Mint. I have an 8 year old Dell Latitude that originally ran Windows 7. It's an extra "play-with" computer. I installed Mint 17 as a dual boot several years ago. Being long ago, I don't remember all the details, but I burned a bootable Mint 17 64 bit DVD, inserted it, and followed instructions. That included setting a new partition for Mint, and choosing a size. The only thing I had to research was how to switch default boot. I later upgraded to Windows 8, then 10, but still have my Mint 17 when I want it.

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you need to upgrade your mint

to at least version 18.3, since you will get no more updates for version 17.3

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Yep, aware of it. But I use it so infrequently I'm not concerned. This laptop was originally intended to be used for learning W-8, then W-10, but seeing as it's no longer needed for that, I've been thinking of wiping it clean and just going entirely with the newest Mint. No dual boot.

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just repair grub or bootloader

I quit dual booting because of win10. now I am just linux though I do have an older computer with win10 - just in case. For the last couple of years, I only turned the windows computer on just to keep it updated.

the main reason for quitting dualbooting was windows kept breaking the dual boot after every couple of updates. I got tired of messing with it and since I could do everything I needed in linux, I got rid of windows.

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Always easier with two drives

I've been fortunate enough to always have the option of using two hard drives with my PCs and laptops.
You can install Windows on one drive and then disconnect it, install Linux on the other and then set it as the boot drive in your BIOS.
Re-connect the Windows drive, and then update GRUB when you boot up Linux (sudo update-grub).
This means you can either reinstall Linux or get rid completely and the Windows installation remains untouched.

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Your new Lenovo might have problems with EUFI

Jack Wallan published an Article 2 or 3 weeks ago explaining how to run Linux on a EUFI system (Lee might have a link to it).

But that probably isn't your problem with your Win7 machine, although if it is a EUFI machine, you will need to turn off secure boot, if it's on. Linux certainly prefers Legacy BIOS but as Jack explains, it can be done on newer machines.

Actually, I have exactly the configuration you are trying to achieve, admittedly on a Legacy BIOS machine. This is how I set it up.

The machine is a Lenovo X301, circa 2010 and had a single SSD drive - 1.8 inch 64 GB ( have some other disks for other purposes but we'll stick with this one).

Originally, the machine had a single MBR partition on the drive, with Windows 7 SP1 64 bit, fully patched, with some other software I was testing (not relevant here).

For other reasons, I wanted to test a 32 bit Linux system (don't ask!) and this was the only machine I had available.

First I reduced the Windows 7 partition to 32 GB, leaving the freed space unallocated. I downloaded Linux Mint Cinnamon 19.1 32 bit ISO and burned it to a DVD, subsequently updated to 19.2 a LTS release. I booted from the DVD and followed the prompts, telling it to use the unallocated space on the SSD.

The install completed uneventfully and on reboot from the SSD, I got the usual Mint boot options, with Windows 7 added to the bottom of the list.

So on boot from the SSD, I wait for the boot choices, if I want Mint, I just hit enter; if I want Win7, I "Down arrow" to the Win7 line and again hit enter. Job done.

The only think to be careful with is if you are doing Windows updates that require a restart, remember to drop down to the Win7 option after the actual restart.

In these configurations, I always put on the Windows system first, apply all the updates and check for stability. Then add the Linux system second. I've had issues trying to do it the other way round.

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He's moved to ....
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I STILL want to do Lenovo W10+Linux dual boot; but...

ALSO I NEED MY WINDOWS BACK that the Linux install screwed up. I can't boot Windows 7!

I have not been back here because I have been unable to post here... for some reason the forum keeps giving me an error every time I try to post. I submitted a tech support ticket.

I want to do BOTH (W7 HP laptop with Mint, then W10 Lenovo Laptop with Mint or MX).

So thanks for the above info re Lenovo and dual booting!

Now, the Linux forum is saying my Mint install is corrupted somehow so what I want to know from you Windows/Linux users is this:
1) How do I get Windows to boot again after adding Mint? It will not boot. I do not have an option for it in Bios. Now I can only boot from Linux. How do I repair Windows to boot again when I currently only have access to Linux??

So if I delete the Linux partitions will Windows boot again? or did adding Linux actually break the Windows 7 booting so now I have to FIX Windows not just delete Linux?

For those who use Mint, so far (maybe because it's corrupted?) I find it a little buggy. For example my mouse and touch pad don't seem to work well with Linux. It's hard for example to choose the X box to close a window: when I get close to it, it doesn't seem to want to let me get to that exact point. BOTH with trackpad AND with mouse. I've tried adjusting settings, I see little difference.

So my question is, Is perhaps MX a better Linux choice than Mint for my computer? Or at least worth trying instead of Mint? So far I'm not that impressed with Mint. First of all it didn't even install correct and 2nd it screwed up my Windows boot, and 3rd it is supposedly corrupted now (according to the Linux forum).

So you gotta admit, my first experience with Mint is not good at all! Wondering if MX might work better...?

But FIRST I just need to get WIndows BACK! HOW?

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From your last backup.

Sometimes folk learn that backups when playing with dual booting is not optional this way.

If you have no backup then be sure you have your product key and install media for W7 if you have to start over.


If you have a clone copy you can try the old boot up the W7 DVD and attempt it's repair.

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revealed in linux mint forums

He has an UEFI BIOS computer, but his windows is installed in a standard msdos BIOS MBR type drive. It previously was obviously set as GPT. He "inherited" the computer. Someone did a butch job on installing windows improperly for that computer, and it probably is a 32 bit W7.

He was trying to install Linux 64 bit, but it kept seeing the GPT coding at the end of drive, or set to recognize it was an UEFI BIOS. So, the 64 bit Linux kept wanting an EFI partition. It also meant the 64 bit linux assumed windows had bootloader in an EFI partition, which it warned about, since it's no longer existent. After linux commands revealed this, I told him there for safety just install the 32 bit linux mint, which ignores UEFI and GPT drives. It would also see the windows and add it to the Grub boot loader. He wants to save the existing W7 since he has no way to reinstall it. I told him the partitions to delete for installing 32 bit Linux, to match the 32 bit windows on the drive. He seemingly chose not to do so. That's where it stands in regards to the HP computer.

Maybe he will listen to you.

Post was last edited on September 16, 2019 2:39 AM PDT

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Dual Booting

Since you seem to be a "newbie" to Linux(we all were once). a program you can use to select your choice of which OS boots first, is called "Grub-customizer". You can get it from Software Manager(found by clicking Menu button).

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Along with the other recommendations

I'd suggest that a Windows/Linux dual boot drive is a mine field where the mines can keep moving to other locations. You say you hate Win10. What I'd suggest is to get another drive for Linux if you can. If your Lenovo is of the M.2 type only, it will be tough and the USB drive on a USB3 port should be considered for a trial period at least. You say you hate Win10 so maybe you want to eventually get rid of it. I still say to keep that drive in tact just in case. Putting Linux on the same drive is going to greatly complicate any reliable backup method. I always recommend full drive images (rather than partitions) as the offering the easiest path to recovery. If the laptop offers a compartment for a standard 2.5" drive, that's the best and easiest way to take advantage of the full performance offered. You may need a small screwdriver to swap drives and could need to make sure there's a legacy option to UEFI BIOS. IMO, nothing beats separate drives when (and you can't think "If") full recovery is needed.
BTW, you might want to consider changing your username as, along with your obvious disdain for Windows 10, it sounds like that name is a vulgar expression of your feelings.

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