"Error" setting up Dual boot with Windows 10 and Mint

Hi I have a problem …
Following a video on YouTube from FOSS.
I have Windows 10 installed on a 128gb Samsung SSD - seems fine.
There are three partitions: Recovery, System and Main Area (I think that’s what they are)
Opened Disk Partition Manager, shrunk “Windows Main Area”, leaving about 80gb unused/free space.
Started Mint 19 installation.
Clicked on “Something Else” so as to leave Windows intact.
Selected ~80GB “Free Space”, Created “Root” partition (~20GB). Then another 20GB as “Swap”.
HOWEVER here’s the problem, the remaing “Free Space” beocmes “Unusable” and is greyed out.
I can’t create the “Home” partition as shown in the video example.
As may be expected, and predicietd by the installer, the Mint installation (whille continuing fairly well) does not complete sucessfully (something to do with GRUB not being right).
Clearly, there is something else going on that is not occuring in the video on YouTube.
I’ve also tried selecting “Logical” as opposed to “Primary” when trying to utilise the Free space, but there is no difference in the failed outcome.
I read somewhere that changing the free space in Windows to “extended” (someting like that) might help … it didn’t make any difference.
Finally, I read somewhere else that the original Windows installation created too many partitions of a certain type, which means the Linux installation can only create the “Root and Swap” because of a limitation of 4 maximum ,that is a legacy from the DOS days.
What ever the problem is, it wasn’t evident on YouTube and I’m stuck.
I hasten to add that I’m not especailly savy in Linux or Windows, I know enough to get by and enought to casue real problems!
Any help would be appreciated.

This only applies to MBR disks. https://duckduckgo.com/?q=how+to+check+if+mbr+or+gpt&ia=web

You should upload pictures of every error message and weird behaviour.

That said, you can read other guides here which could possibly help you additionally in achieving a correct dual boot setup: FAQ - Read before you post a request for help

I have did that with W10 but it isn’t easy. If you want to run any Linux on W10, then do it from a VirtualBox or VMware VM, much easier and a lot easier to get out of running Linux. Your choice but I would strongly oppose the dual boot with W10.

Hello Trevor,

20 GB is a lot of swap space and I really mean it is a lot and waste of disk space.

Here’s what I suggest to you:

  • Create a single root partition of the entire 80 GB of free space. Linux Mint will automatically create home partition and a swap file of 2 GB. You can increase the size of swap file later.
  • Create a root partition of around 30-35 GB and the rest 40-45 GB for Home partition. In this partitioning scheme, your Home directory is independent of the root partition (helps in reinstalling the same distribution without losing personal data). The root will contain a swap file of 2 GB size which you can extend later.

Do let me know if it works or not.

1 Like

Why would you say that?

1 Like

One loses very little when running Linux in a VM compared to what is lost when running Windows in a VM. One can setup Linux on another drive and write grub to that drive, and change the bios to boot the Linux drive. One will then chose the OS to boot from the grub boot loader. If one is running an older version of Windows, like XP or W7, then sure, shrink the drive and run Linux along side of Windows. Just make sure a system image of Windows is made first. This machine I am running now has Arch on one SSD and three Linux guest VM,s using W10 as the host. Like I said, it can be done, but after reading Trevor’s post, I might ? his ability to do this, 20G for a swap? anyone should know better than that. By what method does he plan to create the Linux partitions, Windows sure will not.
If he wants to learn Linux, then use a VM.

As @Akito asks: Why not?
Not the same situation as @Trevor, I have a Linux Mint / Win10 Dualboot. But on 2 seperate drives.
I did it a while before on on hdd too. Like the way @abhishek suggests.

For me, grub will never be installed to the MBR of W10, I will install grub to the MBR of the drive that Linux is installed on. I will then use Grub Customizer to edit grub and put Windows for the first OS to boot. If I am working with an older PC, then I could care less. All I am saying is a lot of bad things can go wrong when trying to resize and partition a drive with an OS already in place.

This is true about a lot of things. I’m been running Win 10 and Linux Mint as dual boot on both a desktop and a laptop for 2 years. On both PC’s, Win 10 was there first. Yes, there were problems, but as in anything new, there is a learning curve and you can expect some problems. Just be sure you have a backup.

Welcome @Trevor to the community.
– Your problem “rang a bell” for me when I was installing Linux Mint. Before I begin, make sure you have a backup / restore procedure for Win 10. I use Macrium Reflect. It’s free and works great. But as long as you have a solid backup / restore procedure, you can have learning experiences (mistakes) that you can recover from.
– When I ran into the partition problem you described, I booted Win 10 and set up my partitions for Linux there under Win10. Another free product for Windows is EaseUS Partition Master which I found easy to use. I set up a partition for root (/) at 30GB, swap at 4GB, and the rest for home.
– After setting up the partition under Win, then start the install of Mint and yes, I also used “Something Else”. Use the change option to define the partition to Linux and mark it to be formatted for root (/), swap, and Home. This seem to work good for me.
– After installing Linux and you restore Win 10 for some reason, you might also wipe out the dual boot option stored at the MBR partition. That is until you backup Win 10 after the dual boot is installed.
– I ended up installing Linux Mint several times due to my learning curve both with Linux and the MBR partition. But again, with a solid backup / restore procedure, no harm done.