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Linux Help

bmc
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Registered: ‎28-02-2017

Linux Help

@shutter has a lot to answer for!!! There I was minding my own business when I read his post on running Win7 in a VM using Linux.

 

It so happened I had Fedora 26 on a separate SSD from a couple of years back (decided I didn't like Linux!!!) so I thought I'd give it a go. Several days and much muttering later I currently have Mint Mate 19.1 running on a separate SSD.

 

However, this has not been straight forward. Several times I have "nuked" the Linux install by formatting and starting again as I couldn't see any other way.

 

As some point on the second last install something called GNU Grub took over Start procedure on the PC. Previously I had Win7 & Win10 on a dual boot and to use Linux I had to enter set up and select the SSD.

 

Now when I Start or Restart it takes me to a GNU Grub (Terminal?) window and to get to Win7 I have to choose the Windows10 option which takes me to Win7 (don't ask - I don't know why). I have no idea if I can now get to Win10.

 

I nuked the Linux install and tried again but this made no difference to Startup.

 

Any ideas?

 

Brian

 

21 REPLIES 21
Superuser
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Re: Linux Help

Sounds like the Linux install has installed Grub on the primary disc MBR not the SSD and has thus overwritten the Windows MBR.

GRUB should have spotted the Windows installs and when you select Windows , should chain to the Windows bootloader and give you the options for your Windows 7 or Windows 10. Sounds like it's not doing that quite correctly. It's possible to restore the WIndows MBR but it's a while since I've used Windows and now we've got the complications of EFI boot.

This https://superuser.com/questions/949219/how-to-fix-the-windows-10-boot-loader-from-windows is probably a good starting point...

bmc
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Re: Linux Help

Thanks

 

I posted before I remembered that new fangled Help guide - Google

 

It appears you're right. Once I finish watching the Tour de France on my Chromebook I'll use that to get the instructions on a screen and try and repair my PC.

 

Brian

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Re: Linux Help

@bmc  Well, good luck with it all ! ! ... Cheesy

 

Sequence of events is something that you should try and consider... possibly write it down ,.

1. Wipe the ssd and start on a fresh base.

2. download and burn the Linux Mint 19.1   . iso to a USB stick.. (download, and use  uui or pendrive will assist ! ) Make sure you  set the "persistence" level to max... so anything you do on the USB version should be saved when you close it down..i.e. setting up email, browser, wifi or printer . etc

3. install the USB and boot up the computer.

4. Once you have "tested" it... and decide you want to install it...  click the install CD icon on the desktop... go out and have a pint or two.. ( about 45 mins should be enough! ) . and you will have it all ready to go.

 

that was easy ! ... now comes the hard bit...

you have to run some terminal stuff, to update your freshly installed Mint19.1   and also it is a good idea to install WINE so you can run (some) windows type programs from the desktop icons after the "normal" install has been completed  .

Check out the instructions on the internet for "how to install WINE v4.0 on Linux Mint 19.1 

It is not "windows friendly"... if you are successful doing the terminal stuff, then it will take about 40 mins to install WINE..

Then , of course, you will want to install the Virtual Box....

 

I`ll let you have fun with that ... ! !

best of luck ... Wink

 

bmc
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Re: Linux Help

@shutter 

Installing Mint 19.1 on the SSD is no longer a problem as I've done it several times. Last time was today when I nuked the previous install and formatted the drive to see if it got rid of Grub - simply brought up a GRUB Rescue window (or something - can't remember).

 

Had to re-install Mint again just to get into Win7. At least I'm getting good at formatting the drive for Linux!!!

 

I can install VirtualBox from a Terminal window by simply typing the name - this brings up the command to actually install it. I then go to the Oracle website to get the Extensions pack. Only thing I can't seem to do is create a Shortcut on the Desktop. To start VirtualBox I have to open a Terminal window as the program does not appear in the Start menu.

 

Wine is for another day. Just about to try and correct the Boot sequence.

 

Brian

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Re: Linux Help

In one of my other threads... someone said it was better to get Virtual Box from the Website. .. On my install, it does provide a Desktop Icon  I`m running version 6.0...... although I think the version from the terminal operation is 5.2 .

Have fun !

Wink

bmc
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Re: Linux Help

OK, in keeping with the past couple of weeks first repair attempts have failed. It appears my system no longer likes my original Win7 install media or a DVD burned from a recently downloaded Win7 ISO.

 

I'm wondering if in fact the system thinks I'm on Win10 so I'm copying my old Win10 ISO to the Pc so I can burn an install DVD and try that.

 

My other option is to use a System Image taken a few days ago - will this change the Master Boot Record (or whatever controls the Boot sequence).

 

@shutter I did look at the Oracle website for VirtualBox (in what seems like a life time ago!!!) but there was no specific option for a Linux Mint download and I wasn't sure which option to use.

 

Brian

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Re: Linux Help

Have a look at the results here...https://www.google.co.uk/search?ei=YQ8yXauXDaqYlwSV95zYCg&q=virtualbox+6+linux+mint&oq=virtualbox+6+...

 

First one gives the terminal commands...

https://www.itzgeek.com/how-tos/linux/linux-mint-how-tos/install-virtualbox-4-3-on-linux-mint-17.htm...

 

Here on this page... click on the Linux Distributions

https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads

Then go for the Ubuntu 18.04/18.10/19.04/Debian 10 

 

 

Superuser
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Re: Linux Help

@bmc iif you can still boot the win10 system then you ought to be able to run bootrec from cmd

bmc
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Re: Linux Help

VirtualBox is on the back burner for now.

 

@MisterW  Yes, I have been able to access a Terminal to run bootrec and appear to have had partial success in that when I choose the Win10 option in the GRUB window I get a dual boot choice of Win7 or Win10.

 

My Win10 ISO DVD turned out to be an Install DVD. I appear to have been correct in my thoughts that my system thinks I'm on Win10. Following the instructions at https://www.quora.com/How-do-I-remove-GNU-grub-and-install-windows-boot-loader (from Jagat Singh) I was able to get as far as

Now type and hit enter : diskpart

You will get Diskpart console, than Type following Command in sequence

 

The following was then required

A. : bootrec /fixmbr

B. : bootrec /fixboot

C \. : bootrec /rebuildos ( optional)

after successfully operation , exit by using exit command.

 

These simply gave me a list commands.

 

I suspect things are complicated by having a dual boot of Win7 & Win10

 

Brian

Superuser
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Re: Linux Help

Yes, I have been able to access a Terminal to run bootrec and appear to have had partial success in that when I choose the Win10 option in the GRUB window I get a dual boot choice of Win7 or Win10.

I'd stick while you're ahead then. If you can boot all the OSes you have installed then leave GRUB there.

bmc
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Re: Linux Help

Leaving GRUB is not an option - it bugs me. So I went for the nuclear option - restore from System Image Disk.

 

Guess what - it failed. Despite having the image on two separate SSDs and a USB HDD it appears the repair disk couldn't spin up the drives. It could see the two SSDs but not the USB.

 

Back to the thinking board (otherwise known as Google!!!).

 

Brian

bmc
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Re: Linux Help

This is going so well!!!! Thought the following might do the trick.

https://community.plus.net/t5/forums/replypage/board-id/TechHelp/message-id/86384

 

Was able to get so far through, up to and including assigning a drive letter to Vol 5 - Z from a Terminal window in Win7.

 

cd /d Z: worked but then ls didn't. Couldn't get the directory changed in Win10

 

This is how things looked

 

Brian

 

Superuser
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Re: Linux Help

Leaving GRUB is not an option - it bugs me

Not sure why, it's just a bootloader! At least it recognises the existence of other OS's besides it's native Linux, unlike the Windows one which won't dual boot a Linux and WIndows system.

TBH I've been using Ubuntu for so long at home that I've forgotten a lot of the Windows troubleshooting tricks.

bmc
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Re: Linux Help

@MisterW  It appears I may have no choice but to keep GRUB. If so, I assume I can make Win7 the default install.

 

Unpleasant memories have resurfaced which would explain why the WindowsSystemImage failed to install - no drivers. I have the system installed on a M.2 NVME SSD which Win7 doesn't support. I learnt this the hard way!!!

 

Back in 2016 when I got the PC I screwed something up which made me decide the simplest solution was to re-install Windows. I end up with no working PC as there were no drivers available to install from. Luckily I had a second unused(normal)  SSD so installed to there to at least get up and running. A lot of work later I was able to "bodge" a solution and then "clone" the drive onto the M.2 SSD.

 

If interested in the in's and out of this have a look at the following. Scroll down on the Comments to around June 2016 and look for my posts under "bmc"

http://gigabytedaily.blogspot.com/2015/09/having-trouble-installing-windows-7-by.html

 

Brian