Installation on 2nd HDD

Hi guys! I’ve got my 2nd HDD installed, mounted and recognised and I’ve split it into 2 equal partitions of 20Gb each. (sdb1 - labelled Linux 2 and sdb2 - labelled Linux 3) Linux 1 is my main HDD (sda) with Mint 13KDE installed.

I downloaded a copy of Zorin and want to install it to the Linux 2 partition. I tried Zorin in a live session and had a go at installing it but it threw a warning regarding the partition not being set up correctly? Can anyone point me to a tutorial giving step-by-step instructions? Or perhaps give said instructions here?

I would prefer to install without disconnecting my main HDD if poss and I’ve backed up my data from it as a precaution.

Thanks in advance


Hi Rich

Can you be more specific about the error message your getting ?

To be honest I wouldn’t have done it that way personally I would not have set up any partitions in advance and just installed to the whole drive then if I wanted to install another OS afterwards use the installer to install alongside and set up the partition sizes then if you know what I mean

But that’s just my opinion


I've got my 2nd HDD installed, mounted and recognised and I've split it into 2 equal partitions of 20Gb each.

First of all, how did you partition the second HDD?
A linux default install will consists of 2 partitions (root and swap).
So, if you are planning to use those 2 partitions for different distros, then I would suggest to start again.
a) create two equal sized extended partition
b) in each create (as minimal) two logical partition:
root: say 18 GB formatted ext4
swap: remainder formatted swap

To add to Sezo’s post - for b) I’d create 3 logical partitions - root, swap & home.

Also, I think you’ll need to create a primary partition in order to create extended ones within it (unless I just need another cup of tea!)

Have another cup of tea :wink:

An “Extended” partition is just a container for “Logical” partitions … but the “Extended” partition does count as a Primary partition.

Ok! I seem to have got misen into a bit of a tangle… :-[

Taking Emegra’s advice, I deleted the 2 partitions on sdb and installed Zorin on that drive, using the whole disk. The installation seems to have gone well - well, it’s on and looks to be working ok as it recognises the sda drive and it’s partitions.

However… when I boot, the Grub screen has Zorin (listed as Ubuntu, btw) in top spot, with Mint 13 several places down. Also, there are several other versions of Mint/Ubuntu listed below these (prior trial installations) + the Memtest entries etc.

What I need to do is edit the Grub menu to
1 put Mint 13 at the top as default (and rename it)
2 put Zorin 2nd (and rename it)
3 put Mint 12 3rd (as a back-up O/S in case 13 goes awol)
4 clean up the rest of the entries

I’ve installed Grub Customizer but I’m totally confused as to using it - plus when I click the general settings tab it just closes??
Hitting the ‘e’ edit key at the Grub screen brings up another screen that I have no idea about! I’ve read a few ‘googles’ re: editing Grub but I don’t want to screw things up by deleting the wrong things!

Also, my main drive (sda) has 9 partitions on it which makes it difficult to know what is where! ::slight_smile: I think it’s down to me possibly choosing ‘something else’ when I first installed Ubuntu - but it was 18 months ago! I’d like to reinstall Mint from scratch but will start another thread for that if it’s appropriate.

Hope all this is not too confusing?


HI Rich J

When you installed Zorin the installer would have installed another instance of GRUB on that drive placing Zorin at the top of the list,so before doing anything can you go into your BIOS and change the boot order to make the main drive first boot device then post back what order grub places the operating systems.


Hi again - bios only shows 1 entry for HDD, ditto boot order screen. Grub screen unchanged.


Well if you have 2 drives installed you should see them both in the BIOS, I’m not sure what you can do about that, but I suppose there’s not really a problem the way it is.

To change the list order open Grub customizer under “list configuration” select the OS you want to move then click “EDIT” and change the order by using the “Move Up” & Move Down" options , you can also rename by right clicking on the OS you want to change and select “Rename” then save your settings as you close

Grub customizer doesn’t work correctly. I can set the default in it (and rename) but it won’t save the settings - an error screen is returned. KDE have their own Grub manager but that’s not working either! I’ve tried re-installing both but the same thing happens.

Boot-up still shows Zorin (Ubuntu) at the top with Mint 13 at position 8


Edit: Startup manager boot default also shows Mint 13 KDE - but it aint!!! ???

you should designate one OS to control the grub
Try updating grub from Mint 13.

sudo update-grub

That should put Mint 13 in charge of the boot process and become 1st in the list.
(you may have to reinstall grub (from Mint13) to the first boot drive.

sudo grub-install --recheck /dev/sda


sudo update-grub

If you are OK with that then customise it from there.

Correction! Both drives are listed in the advanced bios screen, but in the boot order screen, there is only the usual list available (hdd, cd-rom, usb etc etc) not 2 examples of 'hdd' - if you see what I mean?

Yeah I understand what you mean my BIOS is the same but below that I have “Hard Drive BOOT Priority” , “CD Rom Boot Priority” etc if I go into “Hard Drive Boot PRiority” I can change the boot order, Does your BIOS have that or anything similar ?

Grub customizer doesn't work correctly. I can set the default in it (and rename) but it won't save the settings - an error screen is returned. KDE have their own Grub manager but that's not working either

That’s kinda unfortunate because it it worked ok it would probably solve ALL your problems but to be honest I don’t have a clue how to help you with that, I suppose you could edit the grub.cfg file but I wouldn’t know how to help you with that either.

Can you access the Boot Menu during start up, if so you could select the other HDD you want to boot from there and see how the menu differs .

Sorry I’m not able to be much help


I just cross posted with SeZo there I would suggest you followed his advice :slight_smile:

Good luck


Hi to All and thanks for the advice thus far…

No amount of ‘fiddling’ is getting the pesky thing to work so I’ve decided to bite the bullet and do a full re-install of the o/s!

As I said previously, I’ve got 9 partitions on my main (sda) disk ::slight_smile: which is probably down to me not installing Ubuntu correctly in the first place! (I’d dual-booted it with Vista). I intend to use the whole disk this time and allow Mint to ‘do it’s thing’ which will automatically remove the previous o/s’s anyway - but first, a few questions, if I may?

1 Re: Chemicalfan’s note about creating 3 logical partitions. Would I need to do that before installation, or would Mint take care of that?
2 Is it better to create a ‘Home’ partition to hold personal files etc (and how is that achieved?)
3 Zorin is installed on the 2nd (sdb) drive. Can I safely leave it connected while installing Mint to the sda - will the installer recognise (and ask) which drive I want to install to?

Thanks again for all the help - it’s much appreciated!


See my edit above before you go for a full reinstall (which is a bit drastic)
As for the /home partition question:
I always create the partitions manually. Once prepared then (during the install) I go to selecting manual partitioning, but instead of doing that I just go straight to select mount points for each partition.
So I would mount:
The partition destined for the OS as /
The partition for swap as swap
The partition for home as /home
There is much to be said for having a separate /home partition.
The biggest benefit is being able to preserve the contents of home between reinstalls or swapping distros.
The Mint installer will ask which HDD you are to install, but you could remove the sdb if you are not confident.
Once installation is complete then refit the sdb drive and in Mint run os-prober:

sudo os-prober


sudo update-grub

If you select Manual partitioning in the installer, you should be able to do it there without partitioning the drive seperately (no reason you can’t do it before though). It’s easy enough in the live environment

I followed your instructions in your edit and it worked - Mint 13 automatically booted - so thanks very much for that! At least I don’t have to explain every time to my wife how to make Mint boot up instead of Zorin!

Hi, and thanks for the info’. I was just replying to Sezo’s post when yours came in…! I will go for the re-install to give myself a ‘clean’ copy of Mint 13KDE.

Since moving over from Windows, I’ve been experimenting a lot with different software to see what suits and also the better to learn the system. I must say I’m very impressed. How Linux could remain a relatively obscure O/S is beyond me. As a long-time Windows user I was in the same mind-set as most others, not realising there is a better alternative. Ok, there is a degree of learning to do but it is well worth the effort. I imagine that most computer users are not interested in putting some effort in, they want stuff to ‘just work’. That’s all very well, as long as they understand that handing over responsibility to others works out very expensive in the end, in time and money… Then again, I’m a keen DIYer, so I’m well used to doing things myself - lucky me!

I’ll be back soon with more questions so, many thanks again to all respondents!


Hi All

I’ve completed my re-install of Mint 13 KDE on sda and all seems to have gone ok as regards the system basics. I disconnected the sdb drive beforehand to avoid conflicts and reconnected after. Grub sees both drives and O/S’s (Zorin on sdb) and boots ok to either. Pre-setting the partitions was successful and Mint KDE zips along! All good so far… 1 minor issue - I can’t get HPLIP to work.

It installs with KDE and appears in Synaptic but doesn’t show up anywhere in Start/Applications. Searching for it has no effect either. I Removed/Reinstalled it but no different. I’ve tried downloading the tarball as per HP’s site and followed the manual install instructions but Terminal reports file not found?? ??? My printer is an old, but usable, HP PSC 1215 and is seen by KDE and prints, using (I assume) the default driver. This would do alright normally (although print output is a bit slow) but the HP toolbox and device manager is very useful.

Frankly, I’m stumped, so any advice would be welcome!



I take it you did this:

sudo apt-get install hplip-gui

Then looked for something like HP Toolbox in the menus ?