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6.3 Dual Boot Linux Mint with Windows XP or Windows 7

This section reviews how to add Linux Mint to a computer that already has Windows XP or Windows 7 on it so that you can use either system. This will allow you to keep the Windows operating system on your computer while you are learning how to use Linux Mint.


We will now show you how to create a Dual Boot system on your home computer so that you can have more than one operating system.
Dual booting means installing two operating systems on one hard disk and being able to boot into either of them. This article explains how to install Linux Mint 15 alongside Windows 7, but it will also work for any other version of Mint. If you have a Windows Vista or XP computer, the instructions are about the same. Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 all use a boot process called BIOS and a partition table based on the Master Boot Record (MBR). However, if you have a Windows 8 computer, you should read this chapter and also the next chapter for how to deal with the problems presented by Windows 8. This is because Windows 8 uses a completely different boot process, called UEFI with secure boot, and a completely different partition table arrangement, called Graphic Partition Table or GPT.

There are many pitfalls to the dual boot process with Windows and many tutorials on the process fail to adequately warn users about potential problems. So we will provide a more complete set of instructions in this and the next chapter.

The main purpose of this dual boot is to allow you to keep your current Windows system to run your current Windows programs, and then use Linux Mint to run free open source programs and to access files for the rest of your work and play. But a dual boot is also extremely useful if (when) your Windows operating system crashes. Having a second safer and more reliable operating system will allow you to protect your important files and continue getting your work done even if your Windows operating system crashes. Below is what a dual boot startup option looks like with the Windows Boot Manager. We will show you two ways to do a dual boot - one way keeps the Windows Boot Manager and adds Linux to it.



The other way replaces the Windows Boot Manager with a better boot manager called the GRUB 2 Boot Manager which automatically adds Windows to it.



Download the Linux Mint 15 x64 bit ISO file from

http://www.linuxmint.com/download.php



Because I am installing Linux Mint on a 64 bit computer with at least 4 GB of RAM, I have selected the 64 bit version. But if you have a computer with less than 4 GB of RAM which is a 32 bit computer, then select the 32 bit version of Linux Mint Mate. Then on the next screen, scroll down the list to your country and pick one of the download centers. This will bring up the Download Notification screen. Click Save. It is a very large 1 GB file and may take up to an hour to download.

Be patient and do not try to access the file until it is fully downloaded.

The next step is to download UNetbootin to create a Live USB.

Use UNetbootin to create a Live USB Flash Drive
UNetbootin allows you to create bootable Live USB drives for Linux distributions. You will need a USB Flash Drive which is at least 2 GB. It should be empty and in a format of FAT32. To verify that your USB is FAT32, in your Windows computer, go to Start, My Computer and right click on the USB Drive. Then click on Properties:



If it is not FAT32, click on Properties, Format to reformat it. Once formatted, note the Mount Point (Drive Letter) of the drive (in my case it is D:). You will need to know this later. Remove any other USB drive (including external hard drives) connected to your PC except for the one you want to use for the installation.

Download UNetbootin to your computer
Go to the following link to download it. http://unetbootin.sourceforge.net/

There are three different versions of UNetbootin, one for Windows, one for Linux and one for Mac OS X. The resulting USB drives are bootable only on PCs (not on Macs). Pick the version for your current operating system and download it:

UNetbootin (Download Windows Version or Download Linux VersionDownload Mac OS X Version)



Additional dependencies (Linux Only): You will need the packages syslinux and p7zip-full installed. Click on the Windows Download option.

Then save this file to your Downloads folder. You won't have to install it, it will run directly from the downloaded file. Then go to your Downloads folder and find the file UNetbootin Setup.exe. Right click on the file and select Run as Administrator:



Select the Disk Image option. Then browse for and select the Linux Mint 15 ISO which should also be in your Downloads folder. Mark sure the Target Type is set for your USB Drive and that the Drive is set for the Mount point (D). Then turn off all other programs. Then click OK. The bootable “live” USB creation process will take a few minutes. Be patient. When it is done, it will show a screen confirming you have a Live USB. Click Exit rather than reboot as we need to first change the BIOS boot order. Make sure to label your Live USB and do not use this USB flash drive for anything else. The next step is shrinking the volume on the Windows C partition and then resetting your BIOS boot order (see below).

Special instructions for creating a Live USB if using the Linux version
If using the Linux version of UNetbootin, make the file executable by going to Properties->Permissions and checking "Execute." Then start the application. You will be prompted for your password to grant the application administrative rights, then the main dialog will appear, where you select a distribution and install target (USB Drive), then reboot when prompted.

Shrink the Volume on the Windows C Partition
Our next task is to resize the Windows C partition. This will give us the space we need to add partitions for Linux Mint. We must be careful with shrinking the C drive to not reformat it – as this would cause us to lose all of the data on the C drive. Also be sure to leave much more room in the C drive than you think you need. This is because Windows is not very good about where it puts data and will really slow down if more than 70% of the disc space is taken. So for example, if you already have 150 GB on the CD, you should give the C Drive 200 GB to minimize slowing down. Alternately, you could defragment you C drive every couple of weeks. (Because Linux is much better at organizing data, it will not slow down just because the disc is getting full).

To use the automatic install method, it is important to resize the C drive before we install Linux. We will therefore use the Windows Partition Manager to resize the C Drive. In Windows XP or Windows 7, go to Start Button and click on the Control Panel. Then click on Administrative Tools, then Computer Management, then Storage, then Disc Management.



After deleting the Recovery Partition in the last chapter, we have 17 GB of Unallocated space and a lot of GB in the C drive. What we want to do is to move about half of the space from the C drive to the Unallocated space so we can use this to install Linux. Click on the C drive box above to select it. Then right click to bring up the Partition Edit screen:



Click on Shrink Volume. It will take Windows a couple of minutes to figure out how much space is available on the C drive to shrink. It will then display the following screen:



Do not trust the “size available to shrink space” as it is not accurate. If we actually took all of the space, Windows would quickly slow down to a crawl. Instead you should only take about half of the space that is indicated as available. After putting in that number, click Shrink. It will take a few minutes for the C drive to be resized. When it is done shrinking, the space will be moved to the Unallocated space. Now we can close Windows. Our next step is to set the boot order in BIOS to use the USB Live Flash Drive instead of the Windows Boot Manager.

BEFORE STARTING THE BOOT SEQUENCE WITH YOUR LIVE USB, PRINT OUT A COPY OF THE FOLLOWING INSTRUCTIONS!

Change the Boot Order in your computer BIOS settings
Now that we have created a Live USB with UNetbootin, leave the Live USB in the USB port or if you took it out, reinsert it. Before you start or restart your computer to change the boot order, you should first print out the instructions below for creating four partitions during the Linux Mint installation. In other words, print out the rest of this section (6.3). This will help you remember what settings to use with each screen that will come up during the installation.

The next step is to change the BIOS Boot Order so that the Live USB is the first item selected. Restart your computer and press the appropriate button (usually F1, F2, F12, or ESC) while your computer is starting to get to your BIOS menu.



Then use the right arrow on your key board to select System Configuration.



Then use the Down arrow to select Boot Options. Then press Enter on your keyboard to start the Boot Options screen.



It may appear as if the only options are CD ROM or Floppy Disc. However, select Boot Order to bring up another screen. Then select USB Diskette on Key/ USB Hard Disc. Click F6 to raise it to the top of the list. Then click F10 to save and close the settings. This will change the startup order to boot USB by default. On Restart, the USB screen appears and starts the Linux Mint installer.

Install Linux Mint in a Dual Boot on your computer
We will use the Linux Mint installer to create install Linux Mint. While there are other ways to create partitions, doing it directly with the Linux Mint installer is the most reliable method. After booting from the Live USB, you will go through an installation process which is very similar to the installation process of Linux Mint on Virtual Box. This is another reason to install Virtual Box – to give you a chance to practice installing Linux in a safe environment.

The first screen you will likely see after your computer restarts will be the following.



This will start the Linux Mint 15 operating system installation process and bring up the following screen:



Click on the circular disc which says Install Linux Mint. It is in the left side of your screen. This will bring up the Install Welcome screen. Choose the language and click on Continue. The next screen recommends that you connect to the internet. You do not really need to be connected to the internet as you can add updates later. So click Continue.

Installation Type Screen and Options
One major difference between a Virtual Box installation and a real dual boot installation is that when you get to the place in the installation where you are given several options, do NOT select using the entire disc. This would wipe out your C Drive and all of your data! Be aware that the Installation Type screen options will be different depending on the operating system you currently have on your computer. Below is the Installation Type screen which appeared when we installed Linux Mint into Virtual Box. Note that there are only four options:



However, when we install Linux Mint as a dual boot with Windows 7, we suddenly have a fifth option called “Install Linux Mint alongside Windows 7”.



The reason this is the default option is that if you leave it set for this option, Linux Mint will automatically create your new partitions for you and install Linux Mint in whatever free space you have on your hard drive. Let's take a closer look at these options before we select one.

Installation Option 1: The Automatic Install Option
The automatic install method has both advantages and drawbacks. The benefit of the automatic install option is that you do not have to learn about partitions or go through the hassles of creating your own partitions. If you are not very good with computers, this is definitely the option you should take. Just click on Install and then run through the same configuration screens we used to install Linux Mint into Virtual Box. After automatically creating partitions for and installing Linux Mint 15, the new partitions as seen from inside Windows 7 will look a lot different. This image shows the partitions from the computer used for this tutorial after the dual-boot operating has completed.



There are however a few drawbacks of the automatic install method. First, it will only create two partitions – one for Linux Mint and another for a “swap” partition. The Linux Boot Manager, called GRUB 2 will be installed into the Linux Mint partition and so will all of your data. (Note that Windows also installs all of your data on its partition which is called the C drive). This means that whenever you want to change your operating system, you will need to make a copy of all of your data on a USB Flash Drive, then replace the old operating system with the new one, then reinstall your data into the new operating system. You would not have to do this if your data was on a different partition than your operating system. The second drawback of the automatic install method is that Linux will automatically replace the Windows Boot Manager with the Linux Boot Manager (called GRUB 2). This is not that big of a loss as the Windows Boot Manager is a piece of junk. But it would be nice if Linux would at least warn you of what it is doing before you click on the Install Now button. The third drawback of the automatic install method is that you need to shrink the C drive before you install Linux Mint and you have no control over the size of any of the partitions.

A fourth drawback is that you do not get a chance to learn how partitions work on your computer. Since knowledge is power, if you really want control over your computer, it is worth learning about partitions. This will also help you better understand some of the major pitfalls of Windows 8 and the UEFI partition manager – which we will be covering in more detail in the next chapter. So even if you decide to use the automatic install method, you might want to take a few minutes to read through the rest of this chapter. We will next show a second more customizable way to install Linux – a way in which you take control over how your computer gets divided up.

Installation Option 2: The “Do Something Else” Method



Hopefully, you know that you should not click on the “Erase Disc and install Linux Mint” option as this will erase all of the data on your C drive. But you can select "Do something else." This will allow you to safely create custom partitions in your partition table. Then click Install Now.

This will bring up the Linux Partitioning Tool. This shows your current partition table and allows you to create your own partitions. Here you can not only create partitions but also resize existing partitions and delete partitions you no longer want. You screen may look slightly different from the following screen:



If you have followed our advice and deleted the HP Recovery Partition, your install screen will look slightly different than the screen above. Above are two partitions. The first one, sda1 is the Windows System partition with a size of about 100 MB. The second one, sda2, is the Windows C Drive. The C drive above has 320 GB. You should also have some free space where the HP Recovery partition used to be and where we shrank the C Drive. You should also have a partition called sda3 – which holds the HP TOOLS partition. The sda3 partition may be hidden below the free space.

By default, the Linux Mint installer wants to create one root partition and one swap partition for you during the “automatic” installation. But it is much better to have four partitions for Linux Mint rather than two partitions. We will create a root partition, a separate home partition, a swap partition and a boot partition. The purpose of the boot partition is to help load the system independently of the operating system – just as the Windows System partition boots Windows. The root partition will hold Linux just as the C Drive holds the Windows operating system. However, instead of placing your data, images and documents on the C Drive as Windows does, we will create a separate Home partition for our documents called /home. This way, we can change operating systems without moving our documents. To keep things organized, refer to the following table:


Partition Name

Partition Mount Point

Partition Size

Partition Location

Partition Type

Boot

/boot

500 MB

/dev/sda5 – see notes

Ext4

Root

/

15 -30 GB

/dev/sda6

Ext4

Home

/home

Most of GB

/dev/sda7

Ext4

Swap

  1- 4 GB

/dev/sda8

swap

The file type for all partitions is logical. The boot partition should be created first and be in the beginning position. The mount point for swap should be left blank.

Linux Partition File Location Names
Linux uses different terms for hard drive and partition files than Windows. Windows does not really have partitions but instead calls everything “drives” such as C or D drive. Linux calls the first hard drive /dev/sda and it partitions /dev/sda1 /dev/sda2, etc. “Dev” is short for “Device” and “sd” is short for Storage Driver. If you have a computer with a second hard drive, the second hard drive would be called /dev/sdb and the partitions would be called /dev /sdb1 /dev/sdb2, etc. The extended partition is always called /dev/sda4 and the first logical partition inside of the extended partition is always called /dev/sda5.

Overview



The objective in setting up our four partitions is to install Linux Mint 15 on the same hard drive, with GRUB, Linux Mint’s boot loader, installed in the boot partition of Linux Mint, leaving the Windows 7 boot programs untouched. Then we have the option of using another program called Easy BCD to add an entry for Linux Mint 15 in Windows 7′s boot menu, so that at boot time, you will be able to choose either operating system to use at the Start up screen. Selecting Windows 7 will cause the computer to boot into Windows 7 and selecting Linux Mint 15 will boot the system into your newly installed copy of Linux Mint 15. After creating partitions for and installing Linux Mint, the new partitions as seen from inside Windows 7 will look a lot different. This image shows the partitions from the computer used for this tutorial after the dual-boot operating has completed.


Create your first Linux Partition... The Boot Partition
To create a new partition, select the free space as shown below and click Add. This step will have to be repeated for every partition you need to create.


By default, the installer will create the first and subsequent partitions as Logical partitions. This is exactly what we want.



Our first partition will be the boot partition. Use 500 MB to 900 MB for the size and /boot as the Mount point. Leave the Use as value unchanged. Make sure the location is set for the Beginning. Then click OK.



Create your second partition... The Root Partition
Click on the Free Space again and click on ADD. For the root partition, the minimum disk space recommended is 8 GB. Since resizing the disk on a running system is not an easy task, I gave it 20,000 MB, or 20 GB. After setting the Mount Point as Forward Slash, click OK.



Create your third partition... The Home Partition



Click on the Free Space again and then click on ADD. The partition mounted at /home should be allocated most of the available disk space. Give it a value of 100 to 300 GB. Leave the file system at the default and use /home as the Mount point. Then click OK.

Create your fourth partition... The Swap Partition
Click on the Free Space again. Then click on ADD. The last partition will be for Swap, disk space that the system may use for virtual memory. Select swap area from the Use as dropdown menu and leave the mount point blank. Assign it a suitable disk space. The rule of thumb is to match the RAM on your computer. My computer has 4 GB of RAM so I set it for 4 GB. Then click OK.



Back to the Partition Table, you should now see the partitions you just created. The partitions should be listed as sda5, sda6, sda7 and sda8. Not visible on this screen shot, are the pre-existing Windows partitions, which are sda1 and sda2.



With Windows XP or Windows 7 installations which only use the first two partitions, the Linux boot partition will be listed as sda 3 and the Linux root partition will be listed as sda 5. Also the Linux root partition may be indicated as Linux Mint 14 – even though it is actually Linux 15. Do not worry. This was just a typographical error and will not affect the installation of Linux 15. To format partitions, the sda5, sda6 and sda7 partitions above have the Format boxes checked. If your partitions are not checked, you should click on these boxes to format these three partitions. However, leave the SWAP partition unchecked.

Two options for Set the Device to Boot Load the Installation
If you did the “Something Else” option rather than the “Automatic Install” option, you also have the option of deciding which Boot Manager you want to use. This important decision comes in the area called “Device for boot loader installation.” The boot loader is the program which starts right after BIOS or UEFI and which displays a screen allowing you to choose which operating system you want to load. If you already have Windows XP, Windows 7 or Windows 8 installed on your computer, then you already have a boot loader called Windows Boot Manager installed. You can leave Windows Boot Manager in place. Or you can replace the Windows Boot Manager with the Linux Boot Manager which is called GRUB 2. (GRUB stands for the Grand Universal Boot Loader and is a tribute to Albert Einstein and his Grand Unified Field Theory).

The step of where to put the GRUB 2 boot loader occurs after you have set up all of your Linux partitions. It is the final step just before clicking on Install Now which will begin the Linux installation process. If you do nothing, by default, the Linux installation will replace the Windows Boot Manager with GRUB 2. You can get the Windows Boot Manager back later if you want. But one of my biggest complaints about Linux is the failure to provide users with a clearer choice about their options so that users can make the decision for themselves. In the meantime, we will review the pros and cons of both options and present the steps for each option. First, we will review the pros and cons of each option.

Option 1: Allow Grub 2 to Replace the Windows Boot Manager
If you just click install now, Grub 2 will replace the Windows Boot Manager. The benefit of this is that if Windows ever crashes, or you ever decide to get rid of Windows completely or put Windows inside Virtual Box, you can still use the Linux Boot Loader to start the Linux operating system. Because Windows is far more likely to crash than Linux, this option makes some sense.



GRUB 2 will give you ten seconds to choose which operating system you want to use. If no choice is made, GRUB 2 will start Linux.

The drawback of replacing the Windows Boot Manager with GRUB 2 is that in the hard to believe event that you decide you do not like Linux and you want to go back to Windows, you will have to go through the hassle of replacing GRUB 2 with the Windows Boot Manager. There are several ways to do this so this is not that big of a deal. If the GRUB 2 boot manager is used, it will give you a Start screen allowing you to select Linux or Windows. Should you choose Windows and press Enter, then the GRUB 2 boot loader will chain load or start the Windows Boot Loader. So the Windows Boot loader is still there. It is just hidden away and not in the first position.

Option 2: Leave the Windows Boot Manager alone and allow it to chain load the GRUB 2 boot loader
If you leave the Windows Boot loader in the first position, it will give you a screen at Start Up and allow you to choose either Windows or Linux. If you choose Linux, then the Windows Boot loader will chain load first GRUB 2 for a fraction of a second which will load Linux. In other words, the Linux Boot Loader GRUB 2 is also still there. It is just hidden. There is one extra step you will have to do if you choose this option. You will have to start up Windows and use a free program called Easy BCD to add an Entry to the Windows Boot Loader for Linux. Otherwise, the Windows Boot Loader will not even know Linux is there.

One added benefit of the GRUB 2 boot loader is that it automatically recognizes all of the operating systems that are available. If there is more than one operating system available, GRUB 2will present you with a list of them at Start Up and let you choose which one you want to load. So you do not need Easy BCD.

How to choose between these two options
If you are not really sure you want Linux, then you should probably choose the second option. However, if you are not really sure you want Linux, you should probably not install a dual boot in the first place and simply keep Linux Mint in Virtual Box. The whole point of our chapter on setting up a Virtual Box and installing Linux in the Virtual Box is to give you the opportunity to see how much better Linux is than Windows. In addition, we had several chapters discussing all of the security problems of Windows. So it is difficult to imagine anyone reading this book and still having doubts about whether they should add Linux to their computer. Nearly everyone who uses Linux comments that the more they use Linux, the less they have a need to use Windows. Entire years will go by without even once opening Windows. So while I can see a need for keeping Windows around “just in case you ever need it,” I cannot really see a case for keeping the Windows Boot Manager around. The Windows Boot Manager is so poorly written that it will not work unless it is in the very first partition, called dev/sda1. GRUB 2 will work in any partition.

The Windows Boot Manager is so dumb that it cannot tell if there are other operating systems on your hard drive without the help of some other program telling it. By comparison, the GRUB 2 boot loader is not only capable of knowing where the Windows Boot Loader is and the Linux Mint Boot Loader is, it can also automatically detect any other boot loaders on any other operating systems you might install to your hard drive. I do not recommend having more than two operating systems on your hard drive. You are better off testing operating systems with Virtual Box. However, if you have GRUB 2 as your boot loader, you can have as many operating systems as you want and GRUB 2 will automatically find and list all of them. Pretty nice. There are many other problems with the Windows Boot Manager and many other advantages of the GRUB 2 boot loader (for example, GRUB 2 will even let you set a background image to your loading screen). So my advice is to go ahead and replace the Windows Boot Manager with GRUB 2.This is why we present the steps for this option first. But at the end of this section, we will also present the steps for keeping the Windows Boot Manager and adding Linux as an entry to it.

Steps to allow GRUB 2 to replace the Windows Boot Manager
Previously, we used the Linux Partition Tool to add four partitions and create a Partition table that looks like the following:



To replace the Windows Boot Manager with the Linux Boot Manager, simply click on Install Now. That’s it. You are done. The rest of the Installation is almost exactly like the installation of Linux on Virtual Box.

What does /dev/sda mean?
The term “/dev/sda” above stands for “device – storage drive A”. Since your computer has only one hard drive, it is known as Storage Drive A or sda. Whatever is placed in this little box will control the loading process for this entire hard drive. Traditionally, each hard drive has exactly one Master Boot Record (MBR). Each MBR has only two parts. The first part is the Boot Loader or Boot Manager and the second part is the Partition Table. Above we can see the Partition Table. But the Boot Loader is hidden from view. Currently, the boot loader is a device called the Windows Boot Manager – which I believe is actually on the first partition sda1. This is why you should never move sda1 if you want to use Windows. If you click Install without making any changes, the Windows Boot Manager (on sda1) will be over-ridden by GRUB 2 (which is actually on sda5). This is not a big deal as GRUB 2 will automatically add the Windows Boot Manager to the GRUB 2 Startup screen and give you a choice of loading Windows if you wish through a process called Chain Loading.

What GRUB 2 is really doing
GRUB 2 takes up more space than is allowed on the Master Boot Record. It therefore uses this space on the Master Boot Record (which is not a partition) to redirect to the partition where GRUB 2 is really at (sda5). The main GRUB program then examines all of the partitions to see if there are any operating systems and any other boot managers (which GRUB calls loaders). What GRUB finds is then listed on the Start Up screen.



The GRUB main code is typically in the first logical partition in the extended partition – which is always sda5. But in reality, GRUB is in whatever partition you called /boot. In addition, the GRUB code is also at the beginning of the root partition (/) of any Linux operating system. As for the BIOS program, it is not even on your hard drive. Instead, it is inside of a little memory chip inside of the mother board of your computer that comes just before your hard drive. The main job of BIOS is to turn on other things in the computer and set the correct current. So it is like an On-Off Switch. Once everything is turned on, BIOS looks for the first Boot Manager it can find which will hopefully be at the very beginning of the hard drive – on sda in the case of GRUB or sda1 with Windows.

Finish Installing Linux Mint
After going through the same install screens we went through when installing Linux Mint into Virtual Box, you will come to the following screen:



Click on Restart Now. Then while your computer is temporarily off, remove the USB Live stick. Otherwise, it will try to install Linux Mint again instead of going to the GRUB 2 screen or the Windows Boot Manager.

Using the GRUB 2 Startup screen
When your computer starts, you will find many entries on the GRUB 2 screen:



The first entry in the list will be Linux Mint 15. Press Enter on your keyboard to start Mint 15. The first Windows entry is actually the Windows Boot Manager which is still on the partition called sda1. To start Windows, use the down arrow on your keyboard to select this. Then press Enter to start it. Clicking on this will simply bring up the Windows Boot Manager and you will have to click on Windows 7 again to get to the C drive. The second Windows entry is your Windows Recovery drive. Clicking on this will take you to a series of Windows Recovery steps familiar to those who have tried to recover Windows after it has crashed. So it is best to select the first Windows option on the list if you want to start the Windows operating system instead of the Linux operating system.

Steps to use the Windows Boot Manager instead of GRUB 2
In order to leave the Windows Boot Loader alone, we need to change the Linux installation boot loader to the Boot Loader partition we created which is sda5. This is what the Device for boot loader installation dropdown menu should look like before you click Install Now.



After installation has completed successfully, the computer should reboot into Windows. Before Windows reboots, it will start checking the resized C drive for consistency. Let the check complete. After the check has completed, login.

Add Linux Mint to the Windows Boot Manager with Easy BCD

Because the Windows Boot Manager is kind of dumb, there is no way to boot into Linux Mint 15 until an entry for it is added to the Windows boot menu. The next task is to download and install EasyBCD. Do a Google search if you want to download this free program. After EasyBCD has been installed in your Windows operating sytem, start it. Click on Add New Entry tab. While there, click on the Linux/BSD tab, then select GRUB 2 from the Type dropdown menu. GRUB 2, not GRUB Legacy, is the version of GRUB used by Linux Mint 15. Edit the Name field to match the distribution you are adding it for. Apply the changes by clicking the Add Entry button. Click on the Edit Boot Menu tab. You should see how the entries will appear on the boot menu. Exit EasyBCD and restart the computer.

You can always change, resize or delete partitions later if you need to by booting into Linux Mint and using the free GParted partition manager which comes with Linux Mint. In the next section, we will look at how to create a dual boot with Linux and Windows 8.