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I don't know much about computers, but I have Linux Mint installed on a laptop and it has a HDD and I would like to swap it to an SSD.

A) How do I install the Linux system without an operating system, as I installed Mint after Windows was running it from USB?

B) Can I just keep the USB plugged in, or get a new ISO bootable?

C) Will it run the USB as sda and cause a problem for me?

D) Also, when installing the Linux system, I currently have 8 gb ram, but seemingly have a 2 gb swap on the ram, and not the HDD?

E) Is this normal for a laptop as my useble ram is 6.8gb?

F) It has a 512 mb windows fat32 partition?

G) I installed a correctly aligned desktop installation, but am not sure with a "fresh" install on a laptop. Is there a different file partitions setup compared to desktop? Or is something wrong with having the win-fat32 partition? (boot/efi file I think).

Sorry but no pictures are available, as screenshot is not functioning as I have deleted something and don't know how to repair it.

Any help with the Linux transfer is much appreciated, Thanks.


Added:

H) Online sites say I should create double the ram swap space?

I am currently trying to render images, and am wondering why the ram is not listed as 8 gb. The 2 gb swap is activated only if 2 gb of ram is in use. Don't know why or how etc, as it was an auto-installation from USB. I have the old Mint 19.2 USB and am not worried about loss of data, as I have an external HDD copy of most things anyway.

I) Can I just plug in the USB, remove the HDD, insert the SSD and turn on to install from USB, or will it need files from the active OS?


Added:

J) Is there a particular reason why the video card needs to run off the main ram as a swap, and why would it activate at 2 gb and not always. It seems a video card is always active so it should not wait until 2 gb? So this would not be the case would it?


This is the ram data grouped into simple text and with a screenshot.

    total   used    free    shared  buff/cache  available
Mem:    6914    1846     248      94    4819        4690
Swap:   2047      17    2030

Error Correction Type: None
    Maximum Capacity: 8GB

Size: 8192 MB

memory: 2.2gib (33%) of 6.8gib      swap: 18.6mib (0.9% used) of 2gib

K) Is this a normal setup or should the swap be removed to double ram value on hdd/ssd?

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  1. while you still have the HDD with Mint, use it to make a bootable installation USB with the new Linux (ie, download iso, create USB from ISO (it's not a mere copy, but there are utilities to help).
  2. With the HDD still in boot on the USB. There is normally a "Live" option where you use the OS on the USB (your HDD is there, but read-only). Use this to assert that this new version works on your laptop (check video, network...).
  3. Stop the machine, replace HDD with SSD
  4. Boot on USB and install to SSD.
  5. As indicated by @K7AAY in the comments, you can find a USB adapter in which you plug your HDD so that it appears as an external drive from which you can copy things. Or you can use your backups (this will be a good occasion to test them...).

Don't be computer-shy, if the SSD installation doesn't work, just put back the HDD... You won' tb stranded without a computer.

Swap isn't in RAM, but it is possible that the RAM used by the video card is taken off the main RAM.

The FAT partition is likely the boot partition (Linux kernel)

I wouldn't bother making partitions on a SSD used with a single OS.

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https://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?t=290781 explains the options available to you, but were it me, I could just

1) Make a LiveUSB using the version of Mint you want

2) Remove the HDD from the PC

3) Install the SSD into the PC

4) Reinstall Linux Mint to the SSD

5) Attach the HDD through a USB external drive adapter and

6) copy the contents of /home to your new /home to preserve any data you had on the HDD when it was inside the PC.

a) How do I install the Linux system without an operating system, as I installed Mint after Windows was running it from USB? Install Mint to the SSD from the LiveUSB you created to install Mint on the HDD, or if there's a newer version of Mint, you can make a LiveUSB with it and use that. Up to you.

b) Can I just keep the USB plugged in, or get a new ISO bootable? Up to you, either works.

c) Will it run the USB as sda and cause a problem for me? When you complete the installation of Mint to the new SSD, the instructions say to shut the PC down and remove the LiveUSB. Then, when you power back up, the SSD becomes the system and boot drive, and probably becomes /dev/sda . I say probably, because some SSDs use a different naming system.

d) when installing the Linux system, I currently have 8 gb ram, but seemingly have a 2 gb swap on the ram, and not the HDD? When you boot from the LiveUSB, it puts the swap into memory instead of the HDD.

e) Is this normal for a laptop as my useble ram is 6.8gb? When you boot from a LiveUSB, yes.

f) It has a 512 mb windows fat32 partition? The EFI boot system has to have a FAT32 partition. That's OK.

g) I installed a correctly aligned desktop installation, but am not sure with a "fresh" install on a laptop. Is there a different file partitions setup compared to desktop? Or is something wrong with having the win-fat32 partition? (boot/efi file I think). To show us what you have, run lsblk and then click [edit] then paste the result of lsblk into your question so we can see it. Pasting test into a question is far better than linking to a screenshot.

h) Online sites say I should create double the ram swap space? As to swap size, I would follow table 15.1 at https://access.redhat.com/documentation/en-us/red_hat_enterprise_linux/7/html/storage_administration_guide/ch-swapspace which seems to be the best accepted answer.

i) Can I just plug in the USB, remove the HDD, insert the SSD and turn on to install from USB... Yes.

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