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I want to install Linux Mint along with Windows on my computer. I have two hard drives - 1 TB (which mint finds as sda) and 640 GB (which Mint finds as sdb).

The 1 TB hard disk has a 790 GB partition, and I want to split it and give Linux Mint a 100 GB partition. But, when I try to run the Linux Mint installer, it does not allow me to choose sda at all, just sdb (when I click on drop down, there is only one option there):

Screenshot of XXX

However, if I click on "partitioning tool", sda and my desired volume are there:

Screenshot of XXX
All file systems are NTFS.

I find manual partitioning to complex and am afraid to lose all my files. Is there a reason why automatic partitioning tools cannot see my sda disk? Is there a way to fix this?

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Try to remove 790 GB partition and see if installer can choose unused disk space. –  Miro Jun 22 '12 at 10:10

1 Answer 1

The installation only shows sdb, because (guessing from the fuzzy image) that's the only drive that has any free partition space. (It looks like sdb has a 434 GB partition and the rest free?).

The installation tool can't do partition resizing. That's what you are asking for, when you say you want to split the 790 GB partition into two, while keeping the existing files. I would suggest the following:

  1. Backup the 1 TB drive (assuming that's where the Windows files are that you want to keep). It's very easy to blow away a partition when you are learning new tools, or if you accidently pick the wrong installation type during a mixed OS install.
  2. Download the GParted ISO boot disk.
  3. Check that you did step 1.
  4. Resize the Windows partition to make the 100 GB space.
  5. Install Mint. It should now see this free space on sda and allow you to boot into it.

Be aware that Linux will replace the Windows boot loader with GRUB 2. If you ever want to remove Linux, you can easily retrieve the Windows bootloader later, but GRUB 2 is the preferred boot manager for this type of dual boot.

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