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  1. #1

    Dual Booting - My Best Option?


    Hi there, I have a new HP laptop with Win7 and I'd like to dual boot with Linux Mint.

    The problem is that the machine is already sent with the maximum of 4 primary partitions-C, Recovery, HP Tools, & System. One of them must be deleted for an extended partition to be made for Linux. If not, any extra space will be labeled as "unsuable" instead of "unallocated" and gparted won't let me do anything with it.

    On my previous laptop, I dual booted after deleting the recovery drive. Ironically, I started having issues with it shortly after. I eventually learned that the issues were caused by heating damage to my motherboard, but the whole diagnostics process and trying to restore the computer, etc. was very frustrating without the recovery drive.

    For this computer, I'd like to keep recovery, which leaves me with HP Tools and System. I don't know too much about these, but I think HP Tools has some diagnostic and hardware-checking programs. I've heard that System either has the boot sequence or BIOS settings and probably shouldn't be messed with. So I was considering the following options:

    1.) Putting HP Tools on a USB Drive and then deleting it (If anyone had tips for this process, that'd be amazing).
    2.) Installing Linux to an external HDD (though I heard that would perform slower than on an internal hard drive)
    3.) Somehow combining my current partitions if possible to leave an extra one for Linux (again I'd need steps and tips for this).

    What do you think is the best option? I'd really appreciate any tips, procedures, or advice. Thanks for reading

  2. #2
    Linux Guru
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
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    that's windows in a nutshell for you.

    a hard choice to make. i'd go with recovery, but it seems you lean more towards the hp tools. not sure if cloning the partition to usb helps; maybe you have an installation disk with hp tools somewhere?

    yes, you have to delete one partition so it becomes unallocated, then shrink the other partitions around it or even move them around (it has to result in contiguous physical space on the drive for the new extended partition). a resource-intensive task. make backups.

    ps: there may be other solutions, but i'm no windows user.

  3. #3
    Just Joined! sidzen's Avatar
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    First, I would purchase a Win7 Boot or Recovery Disc (can no longer make for free, I hear!) before beginning, should I want to be sure to keep Win7.

    The following is what I did on a HP laptop to get it to dual-boot Win7/Linux:

    Burned the HP_Tools to DVD and deleted it;
    Using Windows, I moved the System partition to a sub-directory of C:\;
    Still using Windows, I shrank the C:\ to a partition size where space used was 40% of the total partition size;
    Then, using Gparted from SystemRescueCD, I created a 20GB primary partition for / (root) and the remainder became an extended partition wherein the swap and /home logical partitions were to reside;
    Installed Linux to created / and others, loading GRUB2 onto root rather than MBR;
    Used EasyBCD (another neosmart product) for Boot Loader.

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