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Mint 13 USB installation for Gigabyte motherboards
Written by Booman   
Friday, 07 September 2012 00:00
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Mint 13 USB installation for Gigabyte motherboards
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(and other stubborn chipsets that won't run Linux Live via USB)

This guide will help you to get Mint 13 installed and running from a USB flash drive.

You'll need to have a USB flash drive with a capacity of at least a 4GB.

To begin, download the following free software:

Step 1: Format USB Flash Drive

Use the HP USB format tool to erase and prepare your FAT 32 USB drive.

Device: double check that the drive letter is your flash drive. Go to Start, computer and your removable drive should be on the list with the same drive letter. In my case its G:\

File System: FAT32 will work just fine.

Volume label: doesn't matter what you put because the Pendrivelinux will overwrite it.

Format Options: I have used both checked and unchecked Quick Format. They both work fine. Do not enable compression and do not create a DOS startup disk.

Now, click Start. When it’s finished, there should be a pop-up summary.
















Step 2: Install ISO

Use Pendrivelinux to install the .ISO onto the USB flash drive.  Select your Mint13 distribution from the list.  Pendrivelinux is a very nice tool because it lists almost all the common distributions in the first drop-down menu.
Do not check the "Download the iso (Optional)" because you should already have it.
Browse to the location of the ISO (I saved mine to my desktop).
Select the same drive letter from the previous step.  Mine was G:\.
Do not format with Pendrivelinux because something about the process breaks the boot to USB on some Gigabyte motherboards (hence why we used the HP USB format tool).
Select Persistance.  This is a VERY valuable and necessary feature!
Persistance will allow you to use free space on the USB Flash Drive for installing programs or updating Mint.  I used it to update Mint as you will see in my next step.
Click Create and it will pop up with a summary.  If it says "format drive" go back and uncheck the format option.














Step 3: Update Live Mint 13

Unfortunately I could never get Mint 13 to boot and start Live Desktop.  So, it occurred to me that the .ISO may be missing drivers for my Gigabyte motherboard.  I came to this conclusion because it would boot and start just fine on all of my other computers and laptops.  So, boot up Live Mint 13 on a spare computer and update it.
Click Start, scroll all the way down to Update.
Before downloading and installing, I unchecked all languages and all LibreOffice related programs because it would make the download quicker and won't fill up all of my persistent space on the USB flash drive (I'm sure there are other packages you won't need immediately, but you will have to read the description for each one).

Step 4: BIOS boot options

Always check your boot options before trying to boot to USB or removable drives.
Most motherboards require you to press F2 or Delete to enter the BIOS.
In the computer's BIOS set-up, look for Boot options and Boot Priority.
Make sure your BIOS allows bootable USB removable drives and make sure the priority for USB removable drives is first on the list.

Step 5: Boot it up!

If your motherboard recognizes the USB removable drive, it will automatically start the Mint boot process.  In my case with a Gigabyte motherboard, I had to press F12 to select the USB removable drive from the list.

Actually I had to select: +hard drive, enter, then USB blablabla, enter.

Linux Mint 13
















Step 6: nomodeset option

I recommend trying the first "Start Linux Mint" option and see if it runs the Live Linux desktop.
If it freezes or locks up as in my case, try the next option:  "Start Linux Mint (compatibility mode)".
If that doesn't work, you will need to add another option.
Reboot again, and when the Mint Start options appear, press Tab to edit "Start Linux Mint".
At the bottom you will see all the startup commands.
Right after:  quiet splash.
Type:  nomodeset

Apparently Mint is looking for wireless and integrated video during the startup.  Since I had neither, it would lockup and I would have to start over.  Nomodeset fixed it most of the time.














Step 7: Live or Install


At this point if you get to the Live Desktop then you are ready to go.  All the updates we downloaded/installed earlier are still applied.  If you decided to use Live then you can use the Internet, Libre Office, play online games, etc.
Any changes you make in Live will still apply when booting to another computer.  But make sure you don't install any hardware specific drivers because they will only work on that computer.


Otherwise you will probably decide to install Linux Mint 13 on your hard drive.
There is a icon on your desktop called "Install Linux Mint".
Double-click it to start your installation.  I won't walk you through the installation but if you have an existing partition with Windows installed make sure not to delete it, or install Linux over it.  The Windows partitions always show NTFS.  So leave those alone.

Note that until you install the video drivers you will have to enter nomodeset to boot correctly every time.  You can permanently add it to the Grub.cfg but when you install the video drivers, you have to remove nomodeset to load the drivers correctly.




















Refer to Linux Mint's website for installation walk-throughs.

Mint's website has some good tutorials on the Shell, Installation, etc.

Got questions? Discuss this in the forums.

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