BIOS Initial Display Device


1. Did you unplug the Windows drive to install Mint on the other drive, or did you leave the Windows drive plugged in during the install process?

My initial Ubuntu install was done by unplugging the other drives. Tbh the only reason I did it that way is because I have 3 SSDs with the same display name so telling them apart is… difficult. For the Mint install, however, after creating a live USB and running the installer, I think I chose to install it alongside the Windows Boot Manager (all my drives were plugged in this time around), an option that wasn’t there for the Ubuntu install but was for the Mint install. Frankly, I actually have no idea where Mint is physically. I can find out, but since I got it all working I’ve been reluctant to rock the boat

2. If you unplugged the Windows drive, then GRUB would certainly be installed on the secondary drive. If you left the Windows drive plugged in, did you put GRUB on the same drive as Windows? Or did you put GRUB on the Linux drive? Did you tell Mint to install GRUB to the MBR? This could be tricky, because your SSD’s are probably GPT, not MBR.

I don’t remember choosing anything specifically related to GRUB. I’ll put as detailed a description of my install process as I can at the end of this post.

3. This UEFI stuff is making installs harder for a lot of people. What UEFI settings did you use, or which needed to be changed, so that your dual-boot system works as expected. Secure Boot, Fast Boot, UEFI-mode versus CSM (legacy mode), boot order, are some that frequently need tweaking (although what works for some people does not always work for others). Were there any other UEFI tips/tweaks you needed?

Secure Boot – Off (For my UEFI, it was called ‘Windows 8 Features’, and I set that to ‘Other OS’)

Fast Boot – Off

UEFI mode

Boot order didn’t matter so much this time around.

4. How do you choose your OS at boot time now? Does GRUB come up consistently and allow for both OS’es? Or do you need to use the UEFI boot menu (I think you said F12 for your computer)?

I have my Windows drive as the default boot drive, whenever I need to use Mint I F12 and use the rEFInd boot manager to launch Mint. For some reason my Windows Boot Manager is broken. Something I’ve considered trying to fix, but again, rocking the boat. GRUB and rEFInd don’t list the Windows 10 install, only the Windows Boot Manager, which is broken. I might wipe my system drives and try to do this cleaner at a later date.

@wizardfromoz Cinnamon. It’s the one I used before and I quite liked it so I went with it again. Specifically it’s Mint 18.1 Cinnamon AMD64

Install steps, as detailed as I can recall:

– Created a live USB of Linux Mint using USBWriter 1.3 from Windows 10 and an ISO from the Mint website. Previously I’d used Live USB Install 2.5.11 for the Ubuntu install, but it didn’t have Mint 18.1 listed so I had to get the ISO myself. I chose 18.1 specifically because I saw it mentioned somewhere that 18.1 addressed the Nvidia driver issues I was having with Ubuntu

– Booted to the USB. For boot options I deleted ‘quiet splash’ and added ‘nomodeset’. Didn’t have to worry about the initial display device in UEFI this time because nomodeset did the trick.

– Installed Mint from the desktop icon in the live version. Chose the option to install it alongside the Windows Boot Manager.

– After installing, booted Mint, still using the nomodeset boot option

– Installed the Nvidia proprietary drivers using the ‘drivers’ settings in Mint

– Rebooted and all was well. I had rEFInd boot manager already installed from trying to get Ubuntu to work, so since I had no idea where Mint had installed to and Windows Boot Manager wasn’t working, I used that to get into Mint

– I set nomodeset as a permanent boot option because the login screen still wouldn’t work without it. My guess is that the Nvidia drivers aren’t loaded until after Mint has booted fully. However Mint automatically switches to the onboard GPU once the desktop loads, so no problems there.

And that’s it, all working find (except for Windows Boot Manager, no idea what I did to break that, though I have a feeling it was broken long before I tried to install Linux, I just never paid much attention to it).

Curiously, rEFInd doesn’t actually list my Windows 10 install, instead it only has Mint and Windows Boot Manager (which doesn’t work). Which is why I still need to use the F12 boot menu to load the Windows drive manually, or rEFInd for Mint.

Despite having chosen to install Mint alongside Windows, I doubt the process would be a whole lot different if I had instead manually created the Mint partition on a separate drive. This is likely how I’ll do if I decide to do it all again.

If I decide to wipe it all and start again, trying to get a cleaner setup, I’ll post here with the steps I took to do that.