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Trouble with Windows 8

Hello, I have been a user of Mint Petra for a bit less than a year now. However, I'm new on this forum and community, so I'm not sure where to post this thread. Anyway, my lap-top was running just fine with mint 16, but because of some reasons (it's a really long....long story) I had to install Windows 8.1 alongside it. Now, it doesn't let me access my Mint anymore. I saw various ways to install it post windows installation, but I would kind of lose the entire partition with all the programs I've written and the book I'm working on right now. I really tried and tried, but I couldn't find a way to access the Mint next to windows. I didn't UEFI boot it, so I don't have the known option to access UEFI boot settings. If anyone knows something that could possibly help, please respond.

Comments

  • It sounds like you overwritten the grub boot loader. All you have to do it reinstall it. If you did not install windows 8.1 under UEFI then the fix should be a simple reinstallation of the grub bootloader. If you have your mint 16 install disk, insert it, boot from it, change root into the partition that has mint 16 installed:
    #sudo chroot <path of mint 16 partition>
    

    Then install grub.
    #sudo grub-install
    

    Grub will be installed to the current partition. Once installation has completed, update the grub bootloader.
    #sudo update-grub
    

    Then reboot your system and you should both mint and windows 8.1 listed in the grub boot menu.

    These instructions should help you in more details.

    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Grub2/Installing
  • It sounds like you overwritten the grub boot loader. All you have to do it reinstall it. If you did not install windows 8.1 under UEFI then the fix should be a simple reinstallation of the grub bootloader. If you have your mint 16 install disk, insert it, boot from it, change root into the partition that has mint 16 installed:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. A thousand times. It is not exactly how I got it fixed but the grub idea put me on the right track. It didn't let me chroot to the partition I was using, so it was a little bit trickier.
    First I mounted the partition (X is the letter of partition, and Y would be it's number)
    #sudo mount /dev/sdXY /mnt
    
    Then I installed the grub using:
    #sudo grub-install --root-directory=/mnt/ /dev/sdX
    
    That one also gave me a headache. I tried using it with partition number, but it doesn't work with it. I had to google a bit more to find out you must not use the partition number here. after which it worked. It didn't need to update, I restarted it, and the grub was there. Thank you again, the grub was the last thing on my mind, you really helped man. If we ever by some chance meet irl, the beer is on me. All of it. :D
  • It was my pleasure. You are right though. Grub is normally installed in the MBR. However, it can be installed within a partition. I started doing this when I developed a habit of installing multiple linux systems on my computers. If I got tired of one I removed it. I ran into a problem of my system not booting because the bootloader of the OS that I removed was removed from the MBR as well. So, I started installing Grub in partitions. Yet, normally, you would put grub in the MBR.

    You learn quick and the above commands you posted were the commands I have forgotten to add. Good job on your research. I will be looking forward for that beer ;-))
  • For starters, where do you keep backups? Are you making backups at all?

    Always backup your /documents folder at the very, very least. I back my /documents up to two different USB flash drives, Transcend and not failware such as Sandisk. it does not help to make backups and then you do it on a device that had been proven to be extremely unreliable. I also backup my entire /home folder both to an external old hard drive salvaged from an old laptop, via USB and I also back /home up to a larger Transcend flash drive.

    When I install Mint, I specify these partitions:

    /boot = 1GB (512MB is good)
    / = system, allow between 10-30GB
    /home = fifty percent of the remaing space
    /tmp = the remaining empty space

    I use Luckybackup to periodically (every four hours) to backup /home to /tmp/home so that there always is a fresh backup handy.

    Critics will come armed with sticks and guns because I mentioned Luckybackup. Yes, I know it is not being maintained but it remains to be THE most user-friendly, "fool-proof" little programme out there. It has a very friendly and straightforward UI and anyone can easily use it. It is just a very friendly graphic user interface for rsync. There are others but they are not as simple and straightforward to use as Luckybackup. Especially noobs and those not using Linux as a hobby will find it to be very accommodating.

    When you then run into the kind of problems you describe, salvage of "lost data" is easier than ever. I fail to understand why people generally do not make backups, why people spend $$$$$ on games and graphics cards and paraphernalia but I hardly ever see anyone forking out for a good backup regime and also a steady power supply. In my 30+ years in ICT, I can count the small business owners and career professionals who willingly invested in backup systems on ONE hand. This is to show how much trust is invested into systems that can and do fail.

    Of course I backup. I have like 10 USB drives where I keep my files. Programs I could have rewritten, but man I had 214 pages of my book. And I totally forgot that I transferred it from home computer to my lap-top. Anyway, all worked up nicely, as you may read, but I bought a new USB just for my book :)
  • saqman2060saqman2060 Posts: 777
    edited December 2014
    Hugenoot, if you know of a good backup program to use, and it is related to the topic of the thread, just post a link to it.
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