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Old 08. May 2013, 08:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default A partitioning scheme

I am using one of what I call an ultrabook clone; ultrabook but cheap. It has a large HDD and one of these new m-sata SSDs, this one 24GB. Currently the SSD is not in use as I had to disable it in order to dual boot Win8 with Mint Cinnamon. I'm already very happy with Linux and this time I think I really will make the break and stop using Win8 except for occasional uses.

I am thinking of reinstalling Mint from scratch in order to make some use of the SSD. I plan to put Linux's / on the SSD, which Linux treats as an empty sda. If I also put an 8GB swap partition on sda I'll have a / partition of about 16GB. I don't know whether this is enough or if I'll have to split / into 2 partitions, 1 of which on the HDD. I've heard that its both a great and a bad idea to put the swap on SSD (such is the breadth of opinion on the net), but I'm not too bothered about the wear (4GB of ram and may double, so swap is not a huge drain).

/home would remain on the HDD and be a small partition holding symlinks to the main D:\ ntfs drive that holds my data.

sda1 - /
sda2 - swap
sdb1-4 - boot, uefi etc
sdb5 - Win8
sdb6 - data partition
sdb7 - /home

Does this make sense? How might I improve it? I would appreciate comment, thanks.

Regards
David
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Old 09. May 2013, 02:35 AM   #2 (permalink)
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My only input is the proposed size of the swap. With 4 GB's of ram your swap doesn't need to be very big at all maybe 1 or 2 GB's. Heck you could probably do just fine with no swap drive at all. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 09. May 2013, 06:22 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by wdhpr View Post
My only input is the proposed size of the swap. With 4 GB's of ram your swap doesn't need to be very big at all maybe 1 or 2 GB's. Heck you could probably do just fine with no swap drive at all. Just my 2 cents.
True. I have 4G and never set a swap partition unless one happens to appear automatically with a default install.
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Old 09. May 2013, 08:24 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks both, but I assumed that Linux was also using the swap file for hibernation. If not, then where is the hibernation file kept?

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David
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Old 09. May 2013, 08:30 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Well that was a load of fun then. Not!

Cleaning off the 2 unknown partitions that Intel put on the sda m-sata as part of their rapid start stuff seems to have given Mint's installation program a fit. Going through the installation program I told Mint to use sdb for boot (as it is), I then set up the partitions as per my first post. Mint then asked me to set up a small boot partition on sda, which I did. At the end of the installation Mint told me it couldn't complete the boot installation and failed.

Oh fine I thought, I'll just install Mint as it was. I cleared all the Linux partitions I had created and restored the 4 uefi/boot partitions, but now Mint completely fails to install properly - well it appears to but I don't get a grub menu and so go straight to Win8. I've tried every possible combination but no Mint.

I have a feeling that the only way through will be to restore to factory conditions but I really hate having to do this just so that Win8 will be there in the background. Perhaps an alternative would be to accept that I don't like Win8 and will never like it, and just hose the HDD and install Mint as the only OS. Presumably that installation would be mbr/mft instead of GPT.

What I can't understand is why the SSD gets to be sda and the HDD with the boot partitions is allocated sdb.

I appreciate that this is not a specialist forum for this sort of thing but any thoughts from your collective experience would be appreciated.

Regards
David
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Old 10. May 2013, 02:00 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dollyp
Thanks both, but I assumed that Linux was also using the swap file for hibernation. If not, then where is the hibernation file kept?
I'm only speaking for Linux Mint 14 Mate, but there is no hibernation option. OOPS yes there is its offered during shut down. Still though, never used it just set my box up to go to sleep through the power management app.
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What I can't understand is why the SSD gets to be sda and the HDD with the boot partitions is allocated sdb.
As far as SSD's I have no experience but I would think it should work as a HDD. I have installed full Linux Distros onto a 16 GB USB drive and it acted just like a HDD allowing me to boot to it as well as saving all my changes to that drive
I suggest you first sort out your partitions the way you want. I dual boot with Win7 and use its partitioning tool to setup my partitions (my preference)
Anyway having worked with Linux for so long I can tell what partition is what just by looking at the sizes while setting up Linux mint for install. You can install Disk manager (I believe its called Disks now) while in live mode and then check out your partitions and see what is labeled what IE: sda1, sda2, sdb1 etc etc. You can then use that as a guide for installing Mint.

Secondly I suggest you install Easy BCD and from within Win8 set up your boot options for Windows and your linux distro. Lastly I install Grub to the Partition where my Linux distro resides and then point Easy BCD to that partition thus giving you the option to boot to windows or Linux during computer start up. There are a ton of tutorials for dual boot computers so I'm sure you can find something that matches with your preference.
Good luck

Last edited by wdhpr; 10. May 2013 at 02:28 AM. Reason: Corrected myself
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Old 12. May 2013, 10:21 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by wdhpr View Post
I'm only speaking for Linux Mint 14 Mate, but there is no hibernation option. OOPS yes there is its offered during shut down. Still though, never used it just set my box up to go to sleep through the power management app.
Yes, its there in Cinnamon also. I guess you must have a box that is attached to mains power all the time. Those of us with laptops need to be sure that we don't lose what we were doing if we don't get to a power socket in time. Hibernation is vital.

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There are a ton of tutorials for dual boot computers so I'm sure you can find something that matches with your preference.
Good luck
I tried EasyBCD as you suggested, also something called GPT fdisk, but both reported no problems with my boot partitions and I wasn't prepared to do something silly with the efi partitions ... but then I did and lost the whole disk. Doh!

There are lots of tutorials but this efi thing is so complicated that we don't seem to have simple tools to deal with it yet. Since the simple hadn't worked with my setup I was stumped with trying rather more complicated cli solutions. Perhaps Linux is just too complicated for me.[rant] I'm so annoyed that Microsoft have put in place a system that seems designed to make it impossible for ordinary folk to change their OS [/rant]

At the moment I'm back with Win8 and very nervous about trying Linux again. If I can pursuade myself to do it I will plan to move not to a dual boot system but one that is Linux only; I'm just not sure. If I delete all the boot partitions i.e. clean the disk, before installing Linux, will Mint be clever enough to create the efi partitions, or is that another problem?

Regards
David
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Old 13. May 2013, 03:42 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I'm really sorry your having such a difficult problem. That said you may want to hold off on abandoning linux. Try reading this excellent article by dedoimedo it goes into hardware requirements for linux and talks a little bit about efi.
http://www.dedoimedo.com/computers/linux-hardware.html
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Old 13. May 2013, 08:54 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by wdhpr View Post
I'm really sorry your having such a difficult problem. That said you may want to hold off on abandoning linux. Try reading this excellent article by dedoimedo it goes into hardware requirements for linux and talks a little bit about efi.
http://www.dedoimedo.com/computers/linux-hardware.html
Well I've finally done it. Got fed up trying to get Mint to dual-boot with Win8 and also to use the m-sata ssd.

I deleted all the partitions on both hdd and ssd and installed Mint Cinnamon as the sole OS. Worked perfectly with no issues. Put / and swap on the ssd and /boot and /home on the hdd together with what appears to be a mbr boot partition. Boots to login within 12 seconds, and I've got rid of all the difficulties with linking shortcuts with the ntfs shared data partition.

Time wll tell whether I'll regret losing Windows but I do still have my old laptop with that on it. Thanks for all your help. Now comes the learning curve.

Regards
David
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