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I have Windows 7 already installed from a long time ago and I have no Windows/update CD. I want to install Linux Mint. I created a partition, formatted it as Ext4 (in Linux), and labeled it E. I got a LiveUSB version of Linux Mint v15 and proceeded to install it to the E partition. I made its start point a backslash (/) and installed Linux. It all worked out except that I still don't see Linux anywhere in the boot menu. it doesn't appear when I spam F12 or when I let the computer decide (in which it just loads Windows, and forget everything else). I use a Toshiba Satellite laptop (x86) and a 32-bit version of Linux Mint. I've heard that Linux Mint 15 should have something called GRUB and it should automatically work (or something like that) after Linux is installed. To be clear, I installed Linux after Windows.

I'm sure I'm asking a very stupid question, but I just figured out what Linux was today. What would I need to do in order to get Linux to be able to dual-boot with Windows, without doing a clean install and changing as little of what I did as possible?

(and yes, I know I did not create a swap space, but I will address that when I get there. I think I am capable of that)

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I recommend you read http://www.linuxmint.com/documentation/user-guide/english_5.0.pdf It's a good reference book and It'll give you a bit of a overview of what you're working with.

GRUB is a boot loader, it allows you to boot into a specific OS by listing them out along side their partition. You've probably missed something in the installation OS-Prober couldn't find your windows install.

There is a simple solution to this, you can fix your GRUB by downloading a tool Rescatux to your USB and install it via YUMI, YUMI is a tool that allows you to install several distro's onto one drive using its own boot loader and Rescatux is a recovery tool for Linux, that's proven to be invaluable after a lot of broken installations.

You could also recover your GRUB from the live CD following the instructions here: http://community.linuxmint.com/tutorial/view/245

But if you're new to Linux I think you'll find Rescatux to be a helpful tool as you can recover your grub in less then a few minutes, and It's very straight forward.

tl;dr

  1. Download YUMI
  2. Download the image of Rescatux
  3. Burn Rescatux to your USB/CD via yumi
  4. Boot into rescatux by booting into your USB/CD
  5. Use the grub restore options to restore your GRUB
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You are mixing your apples with your bananas here. You do not install Linux from within Windows. Instead:

  1. Download your Linux Distro version ".ISO" file and burn it onto a Linux live CD/DVD, or create a bootable live USB with it.

  2. Boot your system from that Linux live CD/DVD or live USB you just created and proceed to install Linux once the Live CD/DVD/USB boots.

  3. There is no drive C, D, E etc. in Linux. Physical drives and subsequent partitions are labeled totally different under Linux, they will show as /dev/sdX for physical drives and /dev/sdXP for partitions of drives, where X is an alphabetical identifier for the whole hard drive, which is listed in the same order of the SATA/IDE ports where the physical drives are plugged into your motherboard. EXAMPLE: SATA/IDE port 1 would be /dev/sda, SATA/IDE port 2 would be /dev/sdb, etc. P is a numeric identifier for different subsequent partitions residing on the same physical hard drive. The first partition on the physical drive /dev/sda would be /dev/sda1, the second /dev/sda2 and so on.

  4. However, when filesystems are mounted, all of this is transparent to applications, they see just one large tree that is composed of one or more filesystem.

  5. The Windows bootloader and its menu it's somewhat exclusive and handicapped, you do not boot Linux from a Windows boot menu, but install Linux, with it's bootloader GRUB2, and boot the system from it. The GRUB menu will have entries for both Linux and Windows.

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Newer systems will no longer let you change the OS Boot Manager

https://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=296423

The "OS Boot Manager" is hard coded to load the Microsoft EFI file and will always run before any other local EFI files.

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