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  • Long term viability of Mint full install to USB

    Posted on LHiggins Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums AskWoody support Non-Windows operating systems Linux – all distros Long term viability of Mint full install to USB

    This topic contains 47 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  LHiggins 3 weeks, 3 days ago.

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    • #1952137 Reply

      LHiggins
      AskWoody Plus

      Hello,

      I am hoping to get some information and ideas on how viable a full install (not Live) to USB would be for long term use. I am running Linux Mint 19.1 from a full install on USB on my Win 7 laptop, and I really like having it set up this way, rather than a dual boot. I initially set it up back in the spring, with a lot of help from everyone here in the Linux forums, but didn’t use it much till about a month ago. With the upcoming end of Win 7, I decided that I needed to really put it to the test to be sure it was what I wanted to be using come Jan.

      However, I am concerned about several aspects of this type of set up.

      My first question is how viable will this be in the long run? I understand that USB drives can break down over time, and since Mint is running directly from the USB drive, how long can I expect it to last? Right now I have a 64GB 3.1 San Disk USB drive connected through a powered 3.0 USB hub to my one USB 3.0 port. It runs fine – fast and no issues so far.

      I am also concerned about the size of that USB drive. When I first set this up, I thought that 64GB would be enough – and perhaps it will be since I can see the Windows side hard drive and save to that drive instead of the USB. But right now I know that Thunderbird, FF, Opera, and some documents are all saved to the USB, along with the Timeshifts that I create.

      So would a larger USB drive be a better choice? (And as a side note – how would I go about checking just how much has been used on the drive? Right now, I am only going by the Timeshift page that tells me that right now I have 38.8GB available. Is there another way?)

      As I said, I really like this set-up, since it leaves my Win 7 laptop “untouched” as far as any changes to that system. I can access my Windows side files while in Mint, and the laptop shortcuts work the same in Mint – like the sleep shortcut and the backlit keyboard.

      I would like to continue using it this way, but before I get too far down the road, I just wanted to see if this is a good path to be pursuing. I welcome ideas and thoughts on the viability of a full install, and the size of the USB drive.

      Thanks so much!

      LH

    • #1952252 Reply

      MrJimPhelps
      AskWoody_MVP

      The main concern I would have is the longevity of the flash drive – as you say, they don’t last forever. Also, it won’t be as fast as a hard drive or a solid state drive.

      Here’s what I did for a time: I had a SATA power switch panel, and multiple hard drives:
      * Windows drive
      * Linux drive
      * Data drive

      The power switch panel is used to turn power on or off for each drive that is connected to the panel.

      When I wanted to run Linux, I powered the computer down, turned on the Linux drive, and turned off the Windows drive. (When I wanted to run Windows, I powered on the Windows drive and powered off the Linux drive.)

      My data drive stayed on all the time, so that my data would be available all the time, no matter which OS I was running.

      The above method worked well for me when I was dual booting between Linux and Windows.

      Group "L" (Linux Mint)
      with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #1952615 Reply

        LHiggins
        AskWoody Plus

        This is an interesting suggestion! It sounds a bit like what I am doing now to be able to go between Linux on the thumb drive and Windows on the hard drive.

        Here’s my set-up – I have a powered USB hub that I have plugged into my one 3.0 USB port. It has individual switches to turn off and on each of the 4 ports. I have the Mint thumb drive plugged into one of those ports – that way I have access to the other three for other devices if I’d need them.

        When I boot into Mint, I generally don’t log out or shut down each day – just put the laptop to sleep and keep that drive plugged in and the power turned on. That probably isn’t a great idea – but it seems that if I turn the power off on the hub – it will cause Mint to crash even though the laptop is asleep? Another issue I guess – and also begs the question of whether that is contributing to a shorter life for that USB drive. But the laptop wakes right up and I am ready to go as soon as I open the lid – much quicker than Win 7.

        I like that set up since the hub is small and doesn’t interfere with the portability of the laptop – and I do restart every couple of days.

        Your method seems to be a more permanent solution to switching between operating systems – and again, something new to look into!

        Thanks for the ideas – and link, too!

        LH

        • #1952794 Reply

          MrJimPhelps
          AskWoody_MVP

          I would strongly suggest that you not put your laptop to sleep and then swap drives. The computer will be looking for things to be just like they were when it went to sleep, and it won’t find them that way. I would be afraid that something would get corrupted by doing that.

          I would either (1) power down and then swap drives, or (2) put it to sleep and leave the drives as they were when it went to sleep. Only option #1 accomplishes your purpose – a dual-boot situation.

          I like the way you are doing it – powering down the drive you don’t want to use, and powering up the drive you want to use. As I said, the only change I would make to that plan would be to power down the computer before hitting the power buttons on the USB hub.

          But an even better way to do it would be to have multiple hard drives rather than multiple USB flash drives, because (1) the drives will be faster and more reliable, and (2) the drives will be bigger.

          The one big advantage in using flash drives over hard drives is that you can take them with you. It would be the equivalent of carrying your computer around with you in your pocket, plugging in the flash drive as needed to whatever computer you are using at the time. The only concern I would have about that is if there is malware on the computer you are using, and your flash drive is set up to allow you to save the Linux config and store docs on it, you could get the malware on your flash drive. To protect against that situation, you would need to have a read-only flash drive, or simply boot with a read-only CD or DVD.

          Group "L" (Linux Mint)
          with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #1953028 Reply

            LHiggins
            AskWoody Plus

            Thanks! Yes – right now I always restart and when I want to use Mint, I tap into the boot menu to activate th USB boot – otherwise it will just boot into Windows. I was concerned that prolonged days of sleep and wake would also affect the thumb drive, but I guess that will be something that I’ll need to keep an eye on.

            But an even better way to do it would be to have multiple hard drives rather than multiple USB flash drives, because (1) the drives will be faster and more reliable, and (2) the drives will be bigger. The one big advantage in using flash drives over hard drives is that you can take them with you.

            I agree that an actual external SSD or hard drive would be faster – but then I run into the form factor of the drive – which is why I opted for the thumb drive in the first place. Initially I thought I could keep the thumb drive plugged into the main 3.0 USB port on the laptop itself – but found that Windows didn’t like it there and kept telling me it needed to be reformatted, so I went to this powered hub set up. I am even thinking of actually attaching the hub to the lid of the laptop to keep things, well, attached, since I can power down the hub whenever I need to.

            I don’t foresee ever taking the thumb drive to another computer, so no worries about malware, etc. I will just be happy if I can keep using it as the Mint drive until I am really ready to actually do a dual boot.

            The suggestion about cloning the USB as a backup is something I want to look into more, as that was something I was concerned about. If I can clone that drive and keep a backup copy, then if the drive fails, I won’t have lost everything.

            Thanks for the input – I am always glad to hear different ideas and keep learning about this whole process. All still pretty new to me, but so far I am happy with the results.

            Lily

             

            • #1956285 Reply

              MrJimPhelps
              AskWoody_MVP

              It is good that you have a powered USB hub. Sometimes the non-powered USB hubs don’t obtain enough power over the USB line in order to power everything connected to them. This is especially important with some external hard drives which have no AC adapter – they draw all of their power from the USB line. A powered USB hub will have plenty of power for such devices.

              Group "L" (Linux Mint)
              with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
              1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #1952255 Reply

      MrJimPhelps
      AskWoody_MVP

      Here is the SATA power switch panel I installed in my computer:

      https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009XPCL6Y/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

      Actually, I believe it is a newer version of the one that I purchased. The one I bought works like a champ; but the comments on the updated version indicate that the newer version isn’t as reliable. Therefore, do some research before purchasing this type of device.

      Group "L" (Linux Mint)
      with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #1952258 Reply

      anonymous

      ? says;

      i’ve been using ubuntu on 32gb sandisk sticks for 3 years or so. i was waiting for winx to be sorted out before win7 eol, however; doesn’t look like winx will be a relaible user freindly os anytime soon. i don’t know how long the average stick will last i’ve been using and reusing the same ones for live, live persistent and full installs. you can easily clone your mint stick and have it for backup. i recommend clonezilla because it is free, fast, and easy to use and also works for windows and linux. you could clone your mint to another usb stick or hdd or ssd or external drive. the ubuntu gurus usually take the position that a full install on usb is the way to go because you can update it, however; it depends on how you will be using it. hopefully, some of the loungers who use mint will offer their experience on the subject .

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #1952609 Reply

        LHiggins
        AskWoody Plus

        you can easily clone your mint stick and have it for backup. i recommend clonezilla because it is free, fast, and easy to use and also works for windows and linux. you could clone your mint to another usb stick or hdd or ssd or external drive.

        This was going to be one of my questions – cloning the USB drive so that I can always restore it if the first drive fails. I will look into Clonezilla – and I think there have been a few discussions here about it – since I really am unfamiliar with it.

        So  as with Ascaris’s suggestion for Timeshift – I’ll need to figure out which kind of drive I’d need for this as well.

        Thanks so much!

        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #1952327 Reply

      Ascaris
      AskWoody_MVP

      How long will the USB drive last?  That’s a good question.  Compared to a real SSD, a USB stick doesn’t have the same kind of wear-leveling capabilities that keep the memory cells relatively the same in terms of wear and tear, and they’re considerably slower.  Of course, any important data should be backed up, regardless of what kind of device it is in question, so if the thing fails, you can restore it. That’s just as true with a USB installation as one on a hard drive.

      The 64 GB on your USB stick should be plenty for a typical Linux installation.  While Windows 10 manages to make a 32 GB internal drive insufficient for merely updating itself even if there are no applications installed, Linux will fit nicely into a few gigabytes, including Firefox, Thunderbird, LibreOffice, and all of the other stuff that comes with Mint out of the box.  Of course, if you want to store a lot of stuff on it or install some of the really heavy programs, 64 GB will run out pretty quick, but as you noted, you can still use the NTFS hard drive too.

      As far as Timeshift backups (for want of a better word), you don’t have to store those on the USB stick.  You can plug in another USB drive and put them on that.  I have a 2 TB (I think) external hard drive I use exclusively for Timeshift data, with one partition each for my desktop, my Dell G3, and my Acer Swift, my main three PCs now.  That would work even if I had another USB port taken with the USB drive used for the OS, unless there was only one USB port of which to speak (which probably is not the case).

      Perhaps after you’ve used Mint a while, you will grow more comfortable giving Linux some hard drive space for a more permanent and faster setup, and that can easily be accommodated later too.

      Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.16.5).

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #1953029 Reply

        LHiggins
        AskWoody Plus

        Just wanted to add that I am reading through your posts about Veeam as a way to backup the thumb drive, besides using TImeshift. Will that be something that I might consider, along with Clonezilla as a way to make a clone/backup of my original USB Mint drive so that I have a fall back if that drive does deteriorate with use? I’ve just started rereading, but will Veeam back up all of the info that is needed to recreate Mint on a different drive?

        Thanks! Will read through your posts on that and post back here if I have questions.

         

        • This reply was modified 4 weeks ago by  LHiggins.
    • #1952582 Reply

      LHiggins
      AskWoody Plus

      Good morning and thanks to you all for the great advice. I knew I could count on this forum to give me some help with this situation! Much appreciated!

      I do want to respond to each suggestion – but wanted to say thanks in advance to you all for the input!

      Lily

    • #1952591 Reply

      LHiggins
      AskWoody Plus

      Thanks for the great advice, Ascaris! I  did think that 64GB was going to be plenty, but I was starting to worry about taking up space with things like Timeshift, which you addressed. So for right now – it sounds like I don’t need to immediately get a larger thumb drive – at least till I decide for sure what the final “configuration” will be for this laptop.

      As far as Timeshift backups (for want of a better word), you don’t have to store those on the USB stick.  You can plug in another USB drive and put them on that.

      This has really helped to put my mind at ease, since that seems to be what is taking up space on the thumb drive right now – but not sure exactly how to do it! I guess I need to find another drive for the Timeshifts – will a larger thumb drive work – or should I look into an external drive? Still pretty new at all of this!

      Perhaps after you’ve used Mint a while, you will grow more comfortable giving Linux some hard drive space for a more permanent and faster setup, and that can easily be accommodated later too.

      That was my original goal – but for some reason, I just can’t yet commit to the dual boot  even though I know that this laptop isn’t going to be useful for Win 7 after January. Maybe after using the full install setup – with the Timeshift figured out – for a bit longer, I’ll feel more confident.

      A question – right now I like that I can access my Windows side files when in Linux – will that continue to be the case with a dual boot – will I still be able to see and access those files if I do dual boot?

      And – right now I have 4GB RAM on this laptop – my computer guys said them might have some RAM “laying around” that they could put in to boost it to 8GB. Is that really necessary – and is that even a good idea? It is running well now with just 4GB – but would a dual boot need more?

      Thanks for the Timeshift suggestion – I am definitely going to look into it and see what kind of drive I have that I can use – I think I have an older 2TB drive that I’ve used for some backups that I could experiment with.

      Thanks again!

       

      • This reply was modified 4 weeks ago by  LHiggins.
      • #1952803 Reply

        MrJimPhelps
        AskWoody_MVP

        A question – right now I like that I can access my Windows side files when in Linux – will that continue to be the case with a dual boot – will I still be able to see and access those files if I do dual boot?

        The best way to make sure that you can access all of your files when in the other operating system is to have a third drive which is for your data – and you leave it on and ready all the time. Not only does this make your data accessible all the time, but if you ever have to do a clean install of Windows or Linux, your data will not be affected (i.e. overwritten), because it is on a separate drive.

        And – right now I have 4GB RAM on this laptop – my computer guys said them might have some RAM “laying around” that they could put in to boost it to 8GB. Is that really necessary – and is that even a good idea? It is running well now with just 4GB – but would a dual boot need more?

        4 GB can be a bit slow these days. 8 GB will give you plenty of elbow room in just about every situation. By “elbow room”, I mean “speed”.

        There are four primary areas which can slow you down:
        * Memory – this affects normal computer operations.
        * Mechanical hard drive vs SSD (solid state drive) – this affects when you are reading from or writing to the drive. A lot of this goes on in the background, so having an SSD as your primary drive can make your computer faster much of the time than having a mechanical hard drive as your primary drive.
        * Video memory – Modern computing is very graphics-intensive. Lots of video memory can speed up graphics-intensive moments.
        * Internet speed – when you are on the web, a fast internet connection can really help, particularly if you are streaming a video.

        Of the four, I would say that memory (#1) is the most important. If you have at least 8 GB of memory, you will reap the most benefit of all of these suggestions.

        Group "L" (Linux Mint)
        with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #1952805 Reply

      anonymous

      ? says:

      LH,

      you can look at your current ram useage using a built-in mint tool and decide if you “need,” more memory:

      Monitor Resources With System Monitor In Linux Mint 18.2

       

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #1953000 Reply

        LHiggins
        AskWoody Plus

        Thanks for that link about the system monitor. Mine looks like this:

        Screenshot-from-2019-09-16-17-18-53

        I am not sure why it is showing 4 CPUs but they are all running pretty much the same.

        So, if CPU usage is pretty low, then I am probably not maxing out the RAM – or am I not looking at the right info?

        Thanks again!

        Attachments:
        • #1953117 Reply

          anonymous

          ? says:

          if you go one tab to the left you can sort your processes by cpu and memory, one tab to the right and you can view your disk by file systems. looking at mine on ubuntu 16.04 i’m currently using around 700 Mib with firefox 69 running. i do have several processes that i don’t use disabled so i guess since you are running mint 19 that is about double the memory i use (1GB) with the ubuntu 19 i have on another stick. i also disable the swap because i never use up the memory so that it never kicks in whereas you are using 10% of your 2GB in the screenshot. if you never get grayout or slowdowns while using mint then you have enough memory, however; since you probably won’t get into customizing then extra ram would keep you running smoothly and eliminate potential memory problems. i think you can also allocate extra swap without too much trouble if you need it.

    • #1953104 Reply

      OscarCP
      AskWoody Plus

      Does it have to be a thumb drive? Why not an external HD or SSD? Those can have a large storage capacity inside small boxes easy to carry around and have much longer lives, pretty much assured, than thumb drives. Once I experimented with using one as an external disk. Admittedly, that was years ago and thumb drives are probably better now. Be all that as it may, the result, then, was not good. I have always done very intensive number-crunching work. After a few months of this, the drive gave up the ghost. Fortunately not all at once, giving me time to get most, but not all, of what I had in it and had not yet backed up to a regular external HD.

      I imagine that, from the point of view of the likely life span of the gadget, there has to be some close equivalence between using an external drive for storage and retrieval of data during software runs, and having the operating system actually installed in it, which is the idea under discussion here.

      Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group B & macOS + Linux (Mint) => Win7 Group W(?) + Mac&Lx

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #1953105 Reply

        LHiggins
        AskWoody Plus

        I guess you are right – it doesn’t have to be a thumb drive. And I can probably get a large SSD external drive for pretty much the same cost as a large thumb drive.

        So – would I do the same process as I did when I set up the thumb drive as far as creating a bootable drive? And then all of the “saving” would be to the external drive – it would act as my Linux computer – so saving to it wouldn’t be an issue of running out of space. Not that I am anticipating downloading any really large programs or file.

        Guess I should look into external drive alternatives too.

        Thanks!

        LH

        • #1953127 Reply

          OscarCP
          AskWoody Plus

          I would really like to know how this goes after you tried using an external mass storage device other than a pen drive — if you actually manage to try that. Or if you learn of some reason why doing so is not a good idea.

          Right now, your idea of installing another OS in a bootable external drive of some kind looks like a capital one to me.

          Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group B & macOS + Linux (Mint) => Win7 Group W(?) + Mac&Lx

          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #1954770 Reply

            LHiggins
            AskWoody Plus

            I would really like to know how this goes after you tried using an external mass storage device other than a pen drive — if you actually manage to try that.

            Indeed – I am curious myself as to how it will all go – and which way I decide to go, too! 🙂

    • #1954546 Reply

      JohnW
      AskWoody Plus

      I would really like to know how this goes after you tried using an external mass storage device other than a pen drive — if you actually manage to try that. Or if you learn of some reason why doing so is not a good idea.

      Right now, your idea of installing another OS in a bootable external drive of some kind looks like a capital one to me.

      I would guess that if there is a catch, it would be that does your UEFI or BIOS allow booting directly from a USB device other than a thumb drive. I don’t know the answer to that one…

      If that was an issue, I imagine there are some workarounds with dual-boots and having a boot loader installed on an internal hard drive.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #1954737 Reply

        LHiggins
        AskWoody Plus

        Hi John!

        I would guess that if there is a catch, it would be that does your UEFI or BIOS allow booting directly from a USB device other than a thumb drive.

        I guess that could be an issue – and not sure how to actually test that. Hate to do too much experimenting with an external drive – though I do have an older one that I need to look at and see what is on it.

        Looks like more research – LOL!

    • #1954764 Reply

      LHiggins
      AskWoody Plus

      Thanks for all of the information – certainly a lot to think about!

      And (of course) a few questions:

      As far as Timeshift backups (for want of a better word), you don’t have to store those on the USB stick.  You can plug in another USB drive and put them on that.

      OK I tried to use another USB stick to see if I could set it up to store a Timeshift on that, and got the message that the drive did not have a Linux partition. What should I do in that case – use GParted to create a new partition on that drive? Not sure how to do that.

      And a question about cloning the Mint USB:

      you can easily clone your mint stick and have it for backup. i recommend clonezilla because it is free, fast, and easy to use and also works for windows and linux. you could clone your mint to another usb stick or hdd or ssd or external drive.

      I have been trying to find some information on how to use Clonezilla since being able to make a cloned replica of the USB drive that I am using now would give me something to fall back on in case that first drive does fail.

      I like the idea of being able to save the Timeshifts to another drive, as well as possibly using another drive as a back up. If I can save Timeshifts to an alternate drive, that would help to make the 64GB a workable size – I don’t foresee adding a lot of software at this point.

      I need to look more into whether an external drive or a good USB thumb drive is going to be the way to go with this laptop. I don’t want to bog it down too much with whatever hardware I attach to it – and maybe in the long run, the dual boot is going to be the best option down the road.

      Thanks everyone – all input is greatly appreciated.

       

    • #1955040 Reply

      LHiggins
      AskWoody Plus

      OK I tried to use another USB stick to see if I could set it up to store a Timeshift on that, and got the message that the drive did not have a Linux partition. What should I do in that case – use GParted to create a new partition on that drive?

      I think I have it sort of figured out – but what file format should I use – ext4? And how big should the Linux partition be if I am just storing Timeshifts to it? I was planning on using an old 16GB thumb drive and allocating whatever size makes sense to the Linux partition to try it out.

      Thanks!

      • #1955579 Reply

        Ascaris
        AskWoody_MVP

        Yes, Ext4 will work nicely.  The reason for this requirement is that the default backend for Timeshift, Rsync, uses Linux hardlinks to manage the various versions of the files without having to have multiple copies of them (wasting room!), and it has to be a native Linux partition type to support that.  FAT32 or NTFS won’t work.

        You can just reformat the whole drive in Ext4… there is no need to create any new partitions if your plan is to use the whole thing.  The entire thumb drive will be one partition, in that case.

        Timeshift is such a useful utility that a couple of weeks ago, I made a donation to its developer, Tony George.  He’s also the author of another useful utility, Ukuu, and so few people have chosen to support it with donations that he’s felt the need to make a paid version of it.  That’s a shame, really… there really are a lot of free programs out there that are good enough to be commercial, and I’ve donated to a bunch of them (another one being Waterfox).  Other authors of free software may just get discouraged and give up and stop developing the program, which would be even worse than abandoning the concept of free software.  Just something to think about!

        Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.16.5).

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #1956249 Reply

          LHiggins
          AskWoody Plus

          Thanks for that info – I’ll sort out which drive I’ll use and reformat it. I think that I will probably just make one partition on it and dedicate it to Timeshift backups – that way I won’t use space on the thumb drive where Mint lives now.

          Other authors of free software may just get discouraged and give up and stop developing the program, which would be even worse than abandoning the concept of free software.  Just something to think about!

          Yes – that would be a shame since we all enjoy using free software. Good reminder about supporting those developers!

          Thanks again – I’m pretty sure how to format the drive, but I’ll post a question if I run into issues once I settle on a drive to use.

          LH

        • #1957364 Reply

          LHiggins
          AskWoody Plus

          Yes, Ext4 will work nicely.  The reason for this requirement is that the default backend for Timeshift, Rsync, uses Linux hardlinks to manage the various versions of the files without having to have multiple copies of them (wasting room!), and it has to be a native Linux partition type to support that.  FAT32 or NTFS won’t work. You can just reformat the whole drive in Ext4… there is no need to create any new partitions if your plan is to use the whole thing.  The entire thumb drive will be one partition, in that case.

          I was looking more into reformatting the USB and see that I have a program on my Mint version called USB Stick Formatter. Can I use that to reformat the USB to ext4 instead of using gparted? Looks easy since I would be making just one partition.

          Thanks!

    • #1955347 Reply

      anonymous

      ? says:

      if you google clonezilla the first hit is their page and then go to the function you want to use and the how-to info is there. i use it to clone exact copies of the system i want to have in case of unrecoverable crash. i downloaded both 32bit and 64bit iso’s and burned them to cds since they are small. the two things i do when cloning are write the cd to ram and then use other or advanced so i can have the target system use the whole disk i’m cloning to since i don’t partition. i don’t dual boot anymore just keep each os on a dedicated drive. ubuntu security updates have NEVER crashed my system unlike other brands i use (for now.) keeping things simple seems to work best. if you want to estimate how much space to allocate for example “timeshifts,” set up your filesystem to show you SIZE, TYPE and (Date) Modified.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #1956253 Reply

        LHiggins
        AskWoody Plus

        Thanks for the Clonezilla info. I checked out their page and there is a lot to read – so something that I’ll definitely need to study a bit before attempting it. But as you said, “keeping things simple seems to work best.”

        if you want to estimate how much space to allocate for example “timeshifts,” set up your filesystem to show you SIZE, TYPE and (Date) Modified.

        Thanks! Yes, knowing how much space I’ll be using is important for choosing the right size USB stick. Thanks for that tip – I did try it and can see the file sizes now.

        • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 5 days ago by  LHiggins.
        • #1956279 Reply

          LHiggins
          AskWoody Plus

          But – OK – where are the Timeshift snapshots stored?

          Thanks!

          • #1956325 Reply

            LHiggins
            AskWoody Plus

            And I think I found where to look!

            Wish that edit button would stay around a bit longer…

        • #1956368 Reply

          anonymous

          ? says:

          personally, for the way i use ubuntu usb sticks work well. and, yes it took me 30 minutes to read how to clone with clonezilla and the program came up with a perfect copy of 20+GB of windows 7 in 7 minutes… just remember to write it to ram at the first part and use the advanced setting to make it use the whole disk you are writing to unless you want to build seperate partitions on your target media

          glad you got the file system to show you what you need to know

          1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #1955508 Reply

      OscarCP
      AskWoody Plus

      LHigggins

      After doing some research on this question, what I’ve found tells me that YES, one can have Windows installed in the PC’s internal hard drive or SSD, have another operating system, such as Linux Mint, installed in an external hard drive or SSD — and be able to boot up from either one to work with Windows or with Linux. There are several, perhaps many, articles on the Web on this question that one can find and read online, preferably after searching for those not older than one year, to make sure the advice given there is still valid.

      For example, this one looks to me comprehensive enough and also free from excessive jargon. In it there is advice on how to do this in both Windows PCs and Macs:

      https://m.wikihow.com/Boot-from-an-External-Hard-Drive

      Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group B & macOS + Linux (Mint) => Win7 Group W(?) + Mac&Lx

      3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #1956255 Reply

        LHiggins
        AskWoody Plus

        Really great article – thanks! And there are a lot of different tutorials and things to read at that site, too – great resource! Much appreciated!

    • #1955968 Reply

      JohnW
      AskWoody Plus

      Oscar

      That’s a good article. I found another, similar one here: https://smallbusiness.chron.com/boot-laptop-externally-44299.html

      It seems to be a common requirement that the external drive that you choose in your BIOS must already have a bootable image of some type installed. That step would need to be accomplished first using whatever OS you were already using on the machine, such as Windows, Mac, Linux, etc.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #1955997 Reply

        anonymous

        ? says:

        i guess that is correct? i use linux on a laptop with BIOS only and no hdd\ssd. i boot to usb sticks that have a “bootable image of some type installed.” i can plug in any hdd\usb\external with any os or file system installed into another usb port and manipulate from there. i can install linux to the secondary usb port, however; Windows refuses to install to usb connected devices…

        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #1956082 Reply

        OscarCP
        AskWoody Plus

        JohnW and anonymous: At least as I read it, steps 4 to 6 in the article of the link in my earlier reply indicate how to create a bootable HD with a different OS using Windows, for example one with a Linux installation disk image saved previously to it, strongly suggesting there are no problems doing that.

        I wonder what you know that makes that not possible. It is not obvious from the article, the way it is written. I am interested in this idea, and I suspect LHiggins is to, so really want to get to bottom of this.

        Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group B & macOS + Linux (Mint) => Win7 Group W(?) + Mac&Lx

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #1956099 Reply

          anonymous

          ? says:

          i guess this is LH’s info quest, anyway i’ve tried to install windows to a spare hdd using the digital river iso in the cd drawer booted to a linux stick and no matter what i try i get the “we’re sorry there is nothing we can do, ” message. i can install linux anywhere, anytime to anything with no problem(s). humm…

          so, sorry LH we are standing by to help

          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #1956123 Reply

            OscarCP
            AskWoody Plus

            Anonymous, I do apologize if you already made this clear in some earlier entry in this thread that I have not been able to found, but what version of Windows are you running on your PC?

            Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group B & macOS + Linux (Mint) => Win7 Group W(?) + Mac&Lx

            • #1956132 Reply

              anonymous

              ? says:

              sorry, my bad currently i have 6 pc’s with access to 10 or so active operating systems and a dusty closet full of hdd with everything from win98se to win7. then ubuntu 16.04lts, 18.04lts netboot 988 files total and full boat 19.04lts (patiently waiting for 20.04lts due April 2020.) oh, wait i have 3.11 on huge 5.25 floppy and ’95 on 3.5 in there as well…

              i stopped installing windows at 7 and started using linux when the writing on the wall became ever so clear a few years ago.

              and you are correct, i can boot windows varities installed to hdd to the desktop from BIOS through a spare usb port (micro center ide\sata to usb)

          • #1956261 Reply

            LHiggins
            AskWoody Plus

            i guess this is LH’s info quest…..so, sorry LH we are standing by to help

            No worries – it may have started as my info quest – but these discussions always lead to a great learning process for many involved. I appreciate all of the information – and what others have learned or may experience will certainly help us all in the long run. I am always so amazed at how helpful everyone here is – and how easy it is to get help when you need it!

            So thanks to you – and everyone who has contributed. I may not have resolved the issue yet, but I definitely am learning a lot! 🙂

            • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 5 days ago by  LHiggins.
            3 users thanked author for this post.
        • #1956254 Reply

          LHiggins
          AskWoody Plus

          I am interested in this idea, and I suspect LHiggins is to, so really want to get to bottom of this.

          Indeed! 🙂

           

      • #1956256 Reply

        LHiggins
        AskWoody Plus

        And great one here, too John! Thanks!

        I think that you are correct in saying:

        It seems to be a common requirement that the external drive that you choose in your BIOS must already have a bootable image of some type installed. That step would need to be accomplished first using whatever OS you were already using on the machine, such as Windows, Mac, Linux, etc.

        I guess my decision is going to need to be whether to set up an external hard drive to boot to or continue with the USB I currently have, at least in the short term.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #1956327 Reply

      LHiggins
      AskWoody Plus

      Just a quick update to thank everyone again. I hope I got to reply to you all – I have a lot to read and sift through, that is for sure.

      I think I am going to need to make a list of my various options and a pro/con sheet for each to get a better handle on where to go next with this set up. I can see good points to all of your different suggestions – just a matter of figuring out which is going to work the way I want it to and make the best use of the hardware I currently have now.

      For the time being, I am happy with the full install on USB stick – and will keep my fingers crossed that the USB keeps working well. Linux itself has been great and I do want to keep using it. I also have a 2-month new Win 10 Pro laptop that my husband uses, and after 2 months of nail-biting update cycles, I am so glad to return to my Linux laptop which seems to run just fine without all of the drama that comes with Win 10!

      Thanks everyone – much appreciated!

      Lily

      • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 5 days ago by  LHiggins.
    • #1957661 Reply

      johnf
      AskWoody Lounger

      One other option would be to convert your Windows 7 install into a Virtual Machine that can be run in VMWare. Here’s a link https://www.howtogeek.com/213145/how-to%C2%A0convert-a-physical-windows-or-linux-pc-to-a-virtual-machine/

      (Put it on USB hard drive not attached to your PC)

      Once you’ve done that, you can format the whole drive to Linux Mint, install the free VMWare player for Linux, then just copy and run Windows 7 VM(you’ll need sufficient Ram, best to have 8 gigs installed). That way, you don’t have to worry about dual boot, and you can isolate the W7 VM from the internet (as well as having a full backup if things go wrong).

       

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #1957790 Reply

      JohnW
      AskWoody Plus

      One other option would be to convert your Windows 7 install into a Virtual Machine that can be run in VMWare. Here’s a link https://www.howtogeek.com/213145/how-to%C2%A0convert-a-physical-windows-or-linux-pc-to-a-virtual-machine/

      (Put it on USB hard drive not attached to your PC)

      Once you’ve done that, you can format the whole drive to Linux Mint, install the free VMWare player for Linux, then just copy and run Windows 7 VM(you’ll need sufficient Ram, best to have 8 gigs installed). That way, you don’t have to worry about dual boot, and you can isolate the W7 VM from the internet (as well as having a full backup if things go wrong).

       

      I have virtually done the same with Windows XP after end of life. But using VirtualBox, which is similar to VMWare.

      That Win XP VM has been run successfully on a dedicated Linux host under the Linux version of VirtualBox. Has also been run as a VM under a Windows 7 and Windows 10 host running the VirtualBox for Windows.

      I think Win 7 as a VM would be a great way to keep it around after end of life.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #1958948 Reply

      LHiggins
      AskWoody Plus

      Thanks JohnW and JohnF. Now you’ve given me something else to consider for my pro/con options list – though VirtualBox is something I know the least about.

      Thanks!

    Please follow the -Lounge Rules- no personal attacks, no swearing, and politics/religion are relegated to the Rants forum.

    Reply To: Long term viability of Mint full install to USB

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