I just bought an HP Envy h8-1437c desktop computer (Intel Core i5 CPU, 1 TB hard drive, 12 GB memory). It came with Windows 8 pre-installed. I want to run Linux on it, specifically Linux Mint 14.1 Mate, but I'd like to keep the Windows 8 installation.
I configured Windows 8, and that's working just fine. The system has a 20 GB "Recovery Image" partition, presumably usable to reinstall Windows 8.
linuxmint-14.1-mate-dvd-32bit.iso to a USB thumb drive using UNetbootin (and I just now realized I really wanted the 64-bit version, but that shouldn't be relevant to my current problem), so the thumb drive acts like a live CD. (Linux Mint 14.1 is derived from Ubuntu 12.10.) I had to disable UEFI secure boot to get the system to boot from the USB drive.
I installed Linux Mint alongside Windows 8. The installer let me specify how to partition the drive; I allocated 200 GB to Windows, and the rest to Linux Mint. The installation appeared to finish with no problem.
When I rebooted the system, it booted into Windows. When I rebooted again and went into the boot menu, it didn't show me an option to boot the newly install Linux Mint. I can still boot from the thumb drive.
Now here's the weird thing. When I boot into Windows, it still shows that my Windows C: drive is nearly 2 terabytes. When I boot into Linux Mint with the thumb drive, I see a file system mounted at
/media/mint/2a9d26f4-df0f-4347-800f-817f8fb44051 that's about 1.6 terabytes. Since the entire drive is 2 terabytes, there's obviously an overlap of some sort.
Did the Linux Mint installer fail to set up the partitions correctly? Am I in danger of corrupting data, or of having done so already? Have I hosed my Windows installation? (It still seems to be working, but I haven't done much with it; in particular, I'm trying to to create too many files.)
Given that I installed the wrong version of Linux Mint, I suppose my best first step is to restore the Windows installation to the state it was in before I did the Linux installation. How can I do that?
If necessary, I don't mind reinstalling Windows from the "Recovery Image".
(I've just ordered a second hard drive, and I'm now planning to let Windows have the entire drive and put Linux on the other one. I suspect that will make things easier, but any solutions that let them share the same drive are welcome and may be more helpful to others.)
I have more detailed information if anyone needs it, but this question is already longer than I'd like it to be.
I've mostly solved the problem, though not quite in the way I'd like.
I tried to expand the partition holding the (now smaller)
C: drive from Windows, but without success. Windows shows a horizontal graph of all the partitions, with the large Linux partition to the right of the
C: partition. For whatever reason, it lets you expand a partition into free space to its left on that graph, not to its right.
I rebooted with the Linux USB thumb drive, and was able to see all the partitions, including a Grub partition between the
C: drive and the large Linux partition (that wasn't visible on Windows). I was able to convert the Grub and Linux partitions to free space, but the attempt to expand the Windows
C: partition into the free space failed with a message about an I/O error -- though it continued apparently running for a day or two after that.
I finally decided to reformat the large Linux partition as NFTS, and use it as an extra logical drive from Windows. Windows initially allocated it as the
K: drive. After I reinstalled Windows from the recovery partition yet again, now shows up as the
D: drive (and the recovery partition changed from
E:). I'm content with that layout; in some ways it's probably better than having all of Windows on one huge
C: drive. For example, if it becomes necessary later I'll be able to reinstall Windows onto the
C: drive without losing my data on
The next step will be to add a second drive (which arrived yesterday) and install Linux on it, giving me (I hope) a dual-boot system.
Installing Windows from the recovery partition didn't give me the option of messing around with the partitions; it just installed it on
C: without asking.