I had a Lenovo laptop with Windows 8 on it but I wanted to switch to Linux Mint. After disabling UEFI secure boot and some other things I managed to get Linux Mint installed on the 24GB SSD.

I'm new to this so I assumed that the install wizard would sort out everything so that it would work alongside my 1TB HDD. I realize I was mistaken.

My question is, what is the best way to set up/install Linux Mint using the 24GB SSD and the 1TB HDD? From what I've found online I've just got more confused as there seems to be many different ways of doing this. Basically I think I need to choose a drive for 1: the OS, 2: the swap space, 3: the data.

Also, what do I do with the partitions in the 1TB HDD. There are currently 7 partitions on it....

  1. 949GB: windows8_OS (NTFS)

  2. 24GB: lenovo drivers (NTFS)....are these important?

  3. 21GB: Microsoft Windows Recovery Environment (NTFS)

  4. 1GB: Microsoft Windows Recovery Environment (NTFS)

  5. 1GB: bfbfafe7-a34f-448a-9a5b-6213eb736c22 (FAT32)....I think this is windows related?

  6. 273MB: EFI System (FAT32)

  7. 134MB: Microsoft Reserved (unknown)

Laptop info:

  • Lenovo ideapad u410 touch
  • Processor: Intel® Core™ i7-3537U CPU @ 2.00GHz × 4
  • Memory: 7.7GiB

I use my laptop mostly for heavy browsing, watching movies, programming, wordprocesing etc

  • What are you actually trying to do? Do you want to be able to use the TB as storage from Mint or do you want two copies of Mint one on each drive and choose which to use on boot? Commented Feb 18, 2014 at 20:22
  • I just want 1 version of linux instead of windows but because I have both a HDD and a SSD I don't completely understand how to install linux. I think I should use the SSD to boot linux because it is faster? How do I use the HDD as storage? Do I just format the entire disk? Are the existing partitions important?
    – Mark158
    Commented Feb 18, 2014 at 20:28
  • @Mark158 is 24 GB SSD enough for Mint? Don't you run short of memory for new progs? Commented Sep 17, 2015 at 15:52

2 Answers 2


Unless you're sure you're never, ever, going to want to have Windows 8 back on the system and you really need every byte that can be made available from the 1Tb drive, I would leave all those partitions as they are. You may never want Win8 back for yourself, but it might influence your chances to sell the machine at some point in the future.

  • If your laptop didn't ship with CDs for the OS and hardware specific drivers I would assume 2, 3 and 4 are there to be able to recover/reinstall Windows 8. Don't delete them unless there are instructions on how to make CD/DVD copies of the information therein
  • 6 is probably necessary for booting Win8 via UEFI.
  • 5 and 7 are a bit more mysterious

There used to be machines that could only boot from CD via code in some partition on the HD or from floppy and not directly from the BIOS. Once you wiped those special partitions there was no way to boot from CD unless you had a special floppy (which I didn't, of course).

If you need some, but not all of the disc 1TB disc, and want to leave Windows in place, I would recommend shrinking the NTFS partition and creating enough space for a new extended partition that you use for Linux data. The details on how to do that are dependent on the partitioning of your disk.

  • Thanks for the help, that helps me understand what some of those partitions are actually for. I decided to wipe my HDD and luckily my laptop still boots. I probably shouldn't have deleted those partitions... but I was curious :)
    – Mark158
    Commented Feb 21, 2014 at 2:10

Assuming that the SSD has Linux Mint installed properly. What you want to do is mount the 1TB drive you can either format the 1TB (assuming that you don't need the content it has currently) or use FUSE to mount the NTFS drive in Linux. If you don't understand mounting check out the wiki page and refer to the this for a simple example. As an overview mounting is a way to assign location in the filesystem to a device. For example you could have /TB point to the terabyte, although you should probably choose a more descriptive name. Depending on what Desktop Environment you use there might be a way to do it through their interface.

Edit: The line you add in fstab should look something like this:

/dev/NTFS-part  /LOCATION  ntfs-3g   defaults         0       0

where LOCATION is where you want the drive mounted and /dev/NTFS-part is the location of or UUID of the drive you want to mount.

  • I'm fairly confident that Linux Mint was installed properly. Is it okay to have the swap space partition on the SSD? I don't have any important personal data on the 1TB drive but are those lenovo drivers important? I think I'm okay with mounting, if I format it, which format should I use? ex4? ntfs?
    – Mark158
    Commented Feb 18, 2014 at 20:40
  • 1
    The swap can be on Whatever harddrive you please it's probably not going to make too much of a difference in the grand scheme of things. I'm not going to tell you what to or not to delete from your harddrive. If you never think you're going to need windows wipe the whole drive, otherwise you should keep the partitions related to recovery. Commented Feb 18, 2014 at 20:42
  • Thanks for the help. I decided to completely wipe the 1TB HDD, formatted it and partitioned it with 8GB of swap space and used the rest as the mount point for /home. Working perfectly so far.
    – Mark158
    Commented Feb 21, 2014 at 2:03
  • Good to hear. When you find an answer that works for you be sure to accept the answer. It also serves to mark the problem as solved so other people can find it in the future. Commented Feb 21, 2014 at 2:24

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