Upgrading Win7 to Linux Mint | MotorhomeFun | The Motorhome Support and Social Network

Upgrading Win7 to Linux Mint

Langtoftlad

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My main desktop is happily running Win7 and I'm loathe to change - but I know support for it is coming to an end.
My options are to upgrade to Win10 - I'm led to believe I can probably do that for free but I'm wondering if I should take a deep breath and go for Linux.
My previous experiences haven't been that great.

However, the majority of my usage is actually all but web browsing, email, downloading, media watching/listening. I convert a few video files to DVD format & burn those.
So not too many actual applications.

The thing that is dissuading me is the rather geeky methods of doing anything eg
Install the NordVPN repository
Open the terminal and run the following:sudo apt-get install {/path/to/}nordvpn-release_1.0.0_all.deb
Update the apt-get package list
Type this command:sudo apt-get update

I'm very used to going to a website & clicking on the 'download' button

Can any Linux users reassure me that transition won't be any more difficult that say switching to a Mac from a Windoze machine?
 

Jim

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I use Linux Mint, it's a slick and very quick operating system that will easily cope with your requirements (y) I have it on a laptop which I don't use that much to be honest, but I also have it on a partition in an iMac. I do a LOT on the iMac, but when I want to get away from all those mac windows and work, a dip into a simple and quick Linux and it is a pleasure.
 

Gellyneck

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I've used Linux in a number of distributions over the years including Red Hat, Mandriva, Suse, Ubuntu, etc, etc, ........ but settled on Mint when 13(?) was released.
Over the years Mint has developed into a good quality, reliable and user friendly distro that comes in an number of flavours including Cinnamon (the main version I use), Mate, etc. The reason I settled on Cinnamon is it's the most "Windows like" release.
Currently got v19.3 installed on 2 desktops (dual booting with Windows 7 Pro), 1 laptop likewise and 1 ancient laptop with only Mint.
If you've never used Mint you can download the iso and run that in a live environment which doesn't touch your Windows installation (but it is much slower). If you want to keep Windows 7 you could install in a dual boot environment and just chose if you want to run Mint or Windows on start-up.
A fair few Funsters do use Mint and there will be readily available assistance out there if required.
A number of common software packages, including Firefox browser, LibreOffice, VLC, etc are cross-platform and can be used in Windows and Mint. There is a number of DVD burning packaages in Mint but for the life of me can't remember the name of the one I use at home (it might be Brasero).
The key missing for me is Garmin BaseCamp which is only available in Windows or Mac formats. It might run under Wine in Mint but I haven't tried it.
I would highly recommend trying Mint before slashing out on upgrading to Windows 10 given all you use your pc for.

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Langtoftlad

Langtoftlad

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All rather scary at the moment - booted from dvd, got auto boot splash screen, then my display went white, now totally black apart from an intermittent white flashing cursor in top left corner... about 10 mins now.

Presumably something is happening?
 

Riverbankannie

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I’m following your progress as in same dilemma about changing though I think I would have to have new laptop as battery no longer holds charge but I only use it as a desktop so that’s no problem. Don’t want to change from Windows 7 and have disabled all updates.
 

Gellyneck

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All rather scary at the moment - booted from dvd, got auto boot splash screen, then my display went white, now totally black apart from an intermittent white flashing cursor in top left corner... about 10 mins now.

Presumably something is happening?
When you boot from the DVD (this assuming you've got the BIOS \ UEFI configured to do so) you should see a black screen with four lines at top left (after a few 10's of seconds) showing something like -
  • Start Linux Mint
  • Start Linux Mint in compatibility mode
  • Install Linux Mint (don't do this!)
  • Run a check on the disc
Select the first one.
You should hear the DVD whirring round and eventually the Mint desktop will appear. On it one of the options is to install (and this you would do if you want to) and will give a few options (4?) one of which will overwrite Windows 7, one will install alongside Windows (dual boot), etc.
If you are stuck at a "terminal" screen showing a flashing cursor there may be a fault in the DVD burning or the ISO is corrupted. Did you check the SHA \ MD5 of the ISO when you downloaded it?

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Langtoftlad

Langtoftlad

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Ok, moved on a bit - white screen looking for login.
Done
Boot up successfully
But
Display unreadable
Graphics driver issue obviously but how to fix.
Proceed with what I thought was side by side Windows... installation apparently successful
But
Reboot... Linux splash screen tells me to remove dvd... I do & it boots into... Windows.


Google Fu
Trying 32bit version. Boot up graphics clear so fingers crossed.
I've got a very crisp mouse cursor .
 
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Langtoftlad

Langtoftlad

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Installed sort of great - except my system is fcuking fubar ????.

Reboot
Error: no such device
Error: unknown file system
Entering rescue mode...
Grub rescue> _

No Windows, no Linux, nada

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Gellyneck

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Have you changed the boot order back to Hard Disc or is it still trying to boot from the DVD?
 
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Langtoftlad

Langtoftlad

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Boot order back to Hard drive.
Google Fu suggests missing or corrupted bootloader.
Unfortunately none of the repairs or fixes tried so far work.
I'm reluctant to push too hard incase I make things worse.
Luckily most of my data is on external hard drives. But inevitably there will be some things that aren't.

I do have a "professional" who will be able to fix it, and do a proper job on a dual boot.

So I'm not panicking just yet.
 

hilldweller

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Mint works a treat and I have the option to boot W7 if I need to.

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Gellyneck

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Boot order back to Hard drive.
Google Fu suggests missing or corrupted bootloader.
Unfortunately none of the repairs or fixes tried so far work.
I'm reluctant to push too hard incase I make things worse.
Luckily most of my data is on external hard drives. But inevitably there will be some things that aren't.

I do have a "professional" who will be able to fix it, and do a proper job on a dual boot.

So I'm not panicking just yet.
If it's missing the bootloader, which would be Grub if Mint installed properly, you could try installing it again and it may find the Windows 7 boot loader (NTLDR?) and then bring up the Grub loader screen on reboot but ......
Never had this problem over a number of years \ distros so not sure on what could have gone wrong. Gromett is the resident expert \ go to "what the heck have I done wrong on Linux".
You may also be able to run Linux from the DVD again which should give you access to the hard drive where you could copy your data off onto an external drive.
 
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Langtoftlad

Langtoftlad

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Mint works a treat and I have the option to boot W7 if I need to.
I'm delighted for you :rolleyes: .
But it's not very helpful.

I'm currently in Linux doing a copy/paste of data to an external drive. Most of my data is already externally stored, this is just the most recent stuff. Probably already backed up by the auto software. Just belt & braces.

I will continue to gently try to find a fix before calling in the professional.
Thanks Gellyneck.
It's almost impossible to diagnose remotely without seeing what's actually happening.
 

Gromett

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It's almost impossible to diagnose remotely without seeing what's actually happening.
This is exactly the issue. If you ever get a weekend at Jim's I would be happy to show you around Linux or have a look at your issues.. (give me notice to ensure I will be around).


PS: Try writing the install media to a USB drive, it works much faster than a DVD and is more useful and user friendly.

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Don’t want to change from Windows 7 and have disabled all updates.
Disabling updates is a very effective way to get viruses and ransomware. Windows 7 was great at the time, but Windows 10 is an improvement in all respects.

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I like Windows 7 it's my favourite OS. Windows 10 us certainly not an improvement in all respects. One possibility is to use win7 as a host and use Linux variants as guest virtual box VMs.
 
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Langtoftlad

Langtoftlad

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If you ever get a weekend at Jim's I would be happy to show you around Linux or have a look at your issues...
Very kind Karl, I appreciate that... but unfortunately I have a non accessible desktop currently. So I want to resolve that asap.
I'm sure it can be sorted easily - by someone who knows what they are doing, which I don't.
Practically, I'm sure my local guy's fees won't be much different from that incurred by driving to Sutton on Sea & a pitch fee.
I'll try the USB route but I see no logical reason that will repair the corrupt bootloader issue.
I'm not convinced I have a boot from USB option... card reader, yes.
 

Gromett

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Very kind Karl, I appreciate that... but unfortunately I have a non accessible desktop currently. So I want to resolve that asap.
I'm sure it can be sorted easily - by someone who knows what they are doing, which I don't.
Practically, I'm sure my local guy's fees won't be much different from that incurred by driving to Sutton on Sea & a pitch fee.
I'll try the USB route but I see no logical reason that will repair the corrupt bootloader issue.
I'm not convinced I have a boot from USB option... card reader, yes.
If your computer doesn't have a boot from USB option it is likely extremely old? If so you may have issues with the latest release of Linux Mint booting side by side with windows.

Here is what I do for my desktop..

I have windows installed on hard disk A.
I buy a second hard disk.
I remove hard disk A (windows) and install hard disk B.
I install linux as a stand alone install.
I then plug hard disk A back in as a secondary hard disk.
I then run this command.
sudo update-grub

Grub will then scan for additional OS installs, find windows on the second hard disk and add it to the boot menu.

You can then set which one you want as the default from within the admin/preferences utility in Mint.

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Gellyneck

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Langtoftlad
Karl raises a good point on the age of your desktop. If it is too old Mint 19 may not run effectively. I had this issue with one machine but 18.3 installed no problem.
Looking back at your posts I see that you installed the 32bit version of Mint, and working on the assumption the 64bit version wouldn't install, this could support the age issue raised by Karl. If it is a 32bit machine it will be of a fair age.
If you've got the original Windows 7 install discs (and key) you could do a clean install of this and then do all the updates to bring back to "pristine" condition. I did this rebuild two or three weeks back on one of my desktops and it significantly improved performance (cleans out all the crud!). It was in preparation for the ending of support for Windows 7 early next year. Might be worthwhile considering this if you can get your data off as it will be overwritten.
 
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Langtoftlad

Langtoftlad

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Thanks Gellyneck & Gromett
It Is an older machine i3 but has the 64bit version of Win7 installed.
It didn't come with a Windows disk, the recovery software is on a hidden partition (which obviously I can't access :doh:)

If I had access to another Windows machine I might have tried some of the suggestions such as a different version of Linux but I don't.

The whole project started to see I could live with Linux rather than Win10 when support finishes for W7... so I really don't want to start buying & adding new drives etc.

But I have seen enough to suggest I can.

So I'll be booking it in with my local guy.
 
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Gromett

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If it is an i3 then it is a 64 bit computer and you should't be using 32 bit linux. Also that is new enough to support boot from USB.
My old Core Duo supported it.

As for install disks you can download them legally from Microsoft direct if you have a valid authentication key.


A second hard disk can be had really cheap. If you current one is an HDD then an SSD will also speed things up for you.

480GB for £48. Although on the same page you can get a 240GB for £32...

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