• Linux Install Problems


    Tries to install Mint 19.2 and 19.3 Cinnamon to my 2012 Dell laptop.  I have created 3 logical partitions for the /, /home and /swap files.  When I try to install from the live session, all seems to go well.  I get the language, keyboard and install 3rd part screens.  Then the problems start.

    I do not get this screen at all:


    Instead, it goes straight to this screen:


    Only difference, is that there is no devices listed at all.  Also, the only choice for boot loader is /dev/sda.  I am afraid to go any further even though I have a windows backup.  Exact same thing with both distros.  I could not take a screenshot as I was in live mode and do not know how in Linux.  I have looked at several tutorials and all show the 1st attachment coming up after the 3rd party install.


    Viewing 10 reply threads
    • #2046896

      From your screenshot, it appears you did not create any logical partitions but rather 4 primary partitions. The limit is 4 primary partitions, which is why the other partitions don’t show up.

      It’s been a long time since I’ve played with partitions, so take this with a grain of salt. What I think you need to do is delete your sda3 and sda4 partitions (that you want to use for Linux). Then, you want to create a new partition that’s type “Extended” and let it have all of the remaining space. Within the extended partition, you can then create your necessary logical partitions. When done, your extended partition will probably be sda3 and your logical partitions will start with sda5.

      Hope that gets you on the right track.

    • #2050182

      As long as you have an image backup of the disk and a valid bootable recovery USB then I would delete all partitions and let Linux do its thing.

      cheers, Paul

    • #2050537

      Only difference, is that there is no devices listed at all.  Also, the only choice for boot loader is /dev/sda.

      Wait, how’s that again? What is /dev/sda actually?

      Dell is a vendor that likes to put the firmware in RAID mode. So it could be that your /dev/sda is your install media (not listed as possible install target but eligible to take boot loader) and you need an additional driver to access the RAID mode devices, or alternatively set the disk to AHCI mode in the firmware / BIOS menu. (The latter would need some work with the Windows installation too to keep it bootable.)

    • #2050736

      The latter would need some work with the Windows installation too to keep it bootable

      But still doable via a Windows boot USB.

      cheers, Paul

    • #2064425

      As long as you have an image backup of the disk and a valid bootable recovery USB then I would delete all partitions and let Linux do its thing.

      cheers, Paul

      This was my default after using the “something else” usually ended up leaving with the dreaded message of “Unable to update, not enough space.” This actually made it worse as I gave more space to the wrong partition (twice!!!).

      Live and learn. Good Luck!

    • #2064649

      You can create screenshots from the live session by pressing PrintScreen and having it save somewhere persistent, like another USB drive. The live session actually operates from a RAM disk in memory, not using the USB directly, so if you save anything, it will disappear as soon as you shut down.  If you have another drive to save to, you can tell it to save it there at the time you hit PrintScreen.

      At worst, you could use a digital camera or smart phone (well, that is a digital camera) to take a picture of the screen.

      Seeing what you see would help a lot.  I take it that the screenshot was a sample from the web that represents mostly what you see, right?


      Dell XPS 13/9310, i5-1135G7/16GB, KDE Neon
      XPG Xenia 15, i7-9750H/16GB & GTX1660ti, KDE Neon
      Acer Swift Go 14, i5-1335U/16GB, KDE Neon (and Win 11 for maintenance)

    • #2100199

      O have decided to install Linux to a external HDD and not have to mess with BIOS and system settings.  I have a 1TB USB HDD that is 1/3 full and has some data files on it along with some system backups.  I also have Macrium Reflect installed to boot if needed.  Could I install Linux to this and be able to have a choice at boot of whether to boot into Macrium or Linux?


    • #2100479

      decided to install Linux to a external HDD

      This is unlikely to work without some fiddling.

      If you are going to use Linux full time you need it on the internal disk.
      What is on the 2 partitions swap and ext4 in your screenshot? If they are empty you could delete them and then try the install.

      cheers, Paul

    • #2104427

      Mint and any other Linux distro will not install on my internal HDD due to the PC using a RAID system.  This PC has 2 HDD’s, 1 5ooGB traditional laptop HDD and a 32GB SSD.  The SSD is there to speed up boot and programs.  Switching the PC to ACHI mode would pobably mess up Windows and cause the loss of the SSD drive so this is something I do not want to do.  This my desire to use an external HDD.  I am trying to avoid have to buy an extra external HDD just for Linux.  My main use for Linux would be for internet where the transfer of money is involved and general surfing of sites that I have not bookmarked and trust.

      I still plan to use Win 7.  I have Kasperski AV, EMET, Ransomstopper and run my browser in a Sandbox.  I also have Malwarebytes and Superantispyware as backup scanners for on demand.  I am considering adding a after market firewall such as Tiny wall or Zonealarm.  I also have my Windows account set up as User.

      I may have to look at Virtual box as an alternative as Sandboxie has some annoyances, mainly remembering which program to use to open a download.

      • #2107187

        I may have to look at Virtual box as an alternative as Sandboxie has some annoyances, mainly remembering which program to use to open a download.

        It looks like an upgrade of Firefox reversed some application settings which I just corrected so Sandboxie was not the culprit.

    • #2106944

      The easiest solution may be buy a 500gb or larger SSD and copy your windows and data to it, after that removing all other drives and installing the 500gb SSD as the only drive.  After testing that Windows works you can install dual boot.

      Instead of dual booting you can run Linux or a browser appliance in a VM within Windows 7. I think providing internet to the VM means the host Windows 7 must have internet, so this may not reduce risk enough to be worth it.

      Although not optimal, there may be Linux distros that run well from a USB flash drive, especially ones that once loaded run mostly from RAM.  Some have files to allow persistence, but in a way non-persistence provides great security because if you ever had a virus it would be gone with next boot.

      In my opinion, if you browse in a sandbox and buy a membership to 0patch for the next 3 years, you are at low risk during that time.  Eventually you need to decide what operating system you want to be using 3 years from now, what meets your needs.  Many heavy office users will want Microsoft Office which in its best form is on Windows.  People who want absolute control to know their computer is not spying on them, and want to be able to install a lot of free software without fearing it is likely to include OpenCandy and similar may like Linux.  My impression of Mac is that much of the software that should be free like small utilities seems to be commercial and cost something (Little snitch and many others).  It has an underlying foundation that is unix-like, so perhaps BSD or some kind of Unix tools can be used instead?

    • #2141090

      I’m looking at installing Linux Mint alongside Windows 10 on an ASUS TUF gaming laptop but have Mint 19.3 installed and running from a separate SATA SSD than the M.2 SSD Drive/Partitions where  Windows 10(1809) is installed. So I’m not wanting the grub boot loader options at boot up and instead just want to use the Laptop’s BIOS boot order to choose Mint(On the SATA SSD) or Windows from the M.2 SSD.

      Is this possible and not having Grub involved in the OS Dual boot selection process and run Linux from the SATA SSD like it was a Live Persistent  but  with Linux Mint 19.3 actually installed on and running from the SATA SSD only.

      Currently the SATA SSD is formatted NTFS as a non bootable drive. And I want to avoid corrupting the Windows 10 install if possible as Windows 10 has its issues. But I’d really like to try out Mint 19.3 as a full install owing to the Gaming Laptop’s APU based Vega graphics paired with a discrete mobile Radeon RX 560x GPU(Laptop Variant) that’s based on the Polaris GPU micro-architecture. So some things graphics driver wise have to be tested from an actual Linux Mint install and not from a Mint Live USB or DVD image.

      • #2141114

        Assuming the laptop is UEFI then the drives are always bootable once formatted.

        I would try taking the M2 disk out, boot from the Mint USB and install, then put the M2 back in and test – after making an image backup to external disk, of course.

        cheers, Paul

        • #2141154

          I’ve got the 7 style System Image backup of Windows 10 for my system and a Windows 10 recovery USB stick as well, freshly created,  that has the just the OS and hopefully my laptop’s specific Windows 10 drivers on the recovery USB as well(The notes say to create that 10 recovery media USB, or DVD, for 10 at least once a year).

          So I could give it a try and I’ve had to use the Linux Automatic/Default Install beside Windows 7 dual boot option on all my old laptops as the with the “Other Install Options” under Linux Mint’s installer I had issues with the drive as I was attempting to custom create my own partitions for the Linux install.

          Does anyone have knowledge of the install script that  Linux Mint 19.3 makes use of when one chooses the “Install Linux alongside Windows” default option. As that’s what I need to know and maybe  there could be the Linux Mint maintainers offering an option that’s specifically designed to install Linux Mint to a D/other drive and leave the C drive/it’s partitions, Windows boot loader, and the Windows 10 install alone. Something that requires the user to use the BIOS boot order to boot into either Linux or Windows instead of having the Grub Boot/subsystem encapsulate the Windows boot loader and then offer up the options under a Grub boot session.

          I’ve been looking at some online posts regarding doing just what I need but the answers currently are not detailed enough. I have also read that Windows 10, after some update/feature update, can corrupt the Grub boot loader so  I’d rather not have anything rely on the Windows C drive/partitions for booting into Linux Mint on the laptop has separate physical drives(M.2 and SATA SSDs).



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