Gray Matter


Three Laptop Computers Dual Booting Windows and Linux

three laptops dual bootingI didn’t spend more than a few hours setting up three laptop computers for dual booting Windows and Linux, but I easily could have. The only one that took me more time than I wanted was my own. One of them belonged to Sean, a first cousin. The other belonged to Cathy, one of my daughters-in-law.

I used Ventoy on a 64 gigabyte USB flash drive, with the Windows 10 and Linux Mint Cinnamon Edition ISOs on it. I put Kubuntu (for the KDE desktop environment) and Lubuntu (for the LXQt desktop environment) on it as well, just in case one laptop computer or another had issues with Linux Mint. As it turns out, I didn’t have any problems with any of the laptops.

My Laptop Computer First

I planned for Sean to be here on Saturday, but I didn’t plan for Cathy at all. She was a “me too” person. Sean wants to transition from Windows to Linux, but he wants to be familiar with Linux before giving up on Windows. I wanted to be prepared, so I installed Windows on my first drive, which is a hard disk drive. It was originally on that drive, but I later switched to running Windows 10 on a VirtualBox machine.

I had to remove the solid-state drive before starting with the Windows installation. Windows likes to take over everything. As I mentioned when I wrote about external data storage solutions, the solid-state drive sits inside a drive caddy, which replaced my DVD drive. I never used the DVD drive anyway, not even once.

I only had one issue after reinstalling the drive caddy. The BIOS only displayed one UEFI drive instead of two. After checking every EFI partition, which probably took me more than an hour, I figured out that all I had to do was click on the UEFI drive in the BIOS and move the “ubuntu” bootloader to the top (duh). For whatever reason, Linux Mint shows up as “ubuntu” there, which doesn’t bother me since Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu.

Sean’s Laptop Computers

Sean brought over two laptop computers, one a Lenovo model at least five years old, and a Toshiba Satellite, at least 10 years old. The Lenovo had a one terabyte hard drive in it and the Toshiba had a 640 gigabyte hard drive in it. Both laptops had four gigabytes of memory installed.

I installed Windows 10 and Linux Mint Cinnamon Edition on the Lenovo. I shrunk the Windows partition to 100 gigabytes, as it’s shown in the GParted application on Linux Mint (on the USB drive) before installing Linux Mint on it. Although I didn’t time it, it seems like in took around an hour to install Windows 10 (including the initial setup) and around 30 minutes to install Linux Mint.

The Toshiba was running Windows 7. Instead of installing Windows 10 and Linux Mint on it, I just installed Linux Mint by itself. Luckily, Sean had somewhere else to be, or he would have gladly watched me let all the updates install on both laptops. I told him what to do to get everything updated, on both operating systems, from the comfort of his own home.

I checked with Sean, by phone, on late Sunday. He told me didn’t have any problems with anything he had to do. Since I’m only a phone call away, by Skype, I’m sure I can help him with anything he can’t figure out on his own.

Cathy’s Laptop Computer

Cathy has an old HP laptop computer from 2014. It’s the only one where I had to punch in the license key to install Windows 10. I had replaced Windows 10 with Linux Lite more than a year ago while we were still living in Hawaii, but she rarely used it for anything other than watching videos on YouTube.

I did her laptop computer just like I did Sean’s Lenovo, and she hasn’t turned it back on since then. At least I know both operating systems work properly on them. I sincerely hope it was the last time I had to look at her laptop computer, for anything.

Image Attributions: Original work: Microsoft / Public domain and Larry Ewing and The GIMP / CC0

Author: RT Cunningham
Date: May 17, 2021 (UTC)
Categories: Computers
Tags: linux, windows

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