Install Linux Mint on Lenovo X200

By Jimmy Bonney | July 6, 2009


In my previous post, I detailed how I partitioned the drive of the X200 in order to install Linux. I will now give a few words about the installation process of Linux Mint 7. The focus of this post is set on how to keep your boot loader as it is and allow a dual boot Windows/Linux from the Windows boot loader.

There are only a few things that I changed from the default installation. The first one concerns the partitioning. Since the drive is already partitioned, it is necessary to tell the installer which partitions to use for what. From the picture below, you can easily see which partitions are used and where they are mounted.

GParted Interface

The important thing is to mount /boot on the primary partition created previously (/dev/sda4 in the example above). I decided to create a partition for /home as well so that a future upgrade of the system doesn’t overwrite personal data. This is a good common practice unless upgrade means global cleaning to you.

During the last step of the installation process, it is important to click on the advanced button if you don’t want Grub to be installed on the MBR. As stated in introduction, I want to keep the MBR so I specified that Grub should be installed on the primary partition that was created (/dev/sda4).

When installation is finished, restart the computer. There is at the moment no possibility to boot Linux as the MBR as not be replaced and no entry has been added to Windows boot file. It is therefore necessary first to reboot the live CD so that we can copy Linux boot sector. To do so, open a terminal and enter the following command:

dd if=/dev/sda4 of=/media/disk/linux.bin bs=512 count=1

In the command line above, don’t forget to indicate the correct paths to the if and of parameters so that it reflects your installation. Note that in the example above I am copying the boot sector to a USB stick and it is necessary afterwards to copy from the USB stick to the C drive of windows.

When the boot sector is copied, we can copy it in a windows accessible folder and edit C:\boot.ini. If there is any problem to edit it, don’t forget to remove the Read-Only flag by right click > Properties. My boot.ini looks like the following:

[boot loader]
[operating systems]multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect

You can specify the timeout and default system to start by modifying the line below [boot loader]. You will notice that when you chose the Linux-Mint entry, Grub will be called offering you some more options.

If you want more detailed instructions concerning the dual boot procedure, I can recommend the following articles:

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