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New What is on the flash drive?
That almost sounds like the flash drive had a bootable Mint image on it and the BIOS is set to prefer it over the built in HDD.

Make sure there are no CDs/DVDs in the bay, remove the flash drive and reboot. If things still do not work, I would boot into one of the Live Linux distros and see what the HDD actually looks like. I.e., partitions, boot flags, partition contents, ...

For Win 7, there should be two partitions. A small (~100 MB) one containing the boot files, and a larger one containing Windows and the user files. If you can see those, you may be able to repair things by making sure the small partition is the only one with the bootable flag.

Other than that, he may have to spring for the OEM Windows 7 DVD. Assuming the laptop came with a Windows 7 license (which, given the adventures, may be part of the problem?)
New He's not Linux literate
heck, he's barely Windows literate, so I strongly doubt that a Linux distro ended up on his flash drive on purpose or by accident.

He says that he powered off the laptop last night, turned it back on this morning, and still sees the request to install Linux. I can't be there to help him in person so his figuring out Linux on his own (or with me on the phone with him) will be extremely difficult.




Satan (impatiently) to Newcomer: The trouble with you Chicago people is, that you think you are the best people down here; whereas you are merely the most numerous.
- - - Mark Twain, "Pudd'nhead Wilson's New Calendar" 1897
New on the phone with him now
it's not requesting to install Linux; it appears that somehow it is already installed. He has no clue as to what he clicked on to get that to happen; maybe this distro just plows ahead and puts itself on there without asking?

What steps can I tell him to do to see whether or not the Windows 7 C: and D; drives still exist, and how to remove the Linux?




Satan (impatiently) to Newcomer: The trouble with you Chicago people is, that you think you are the best people down here; whereas you are merely the most numerous.
- - - Mark Twain, "Pudd'nhead Wilson's New Calendar" 1897
New you sure its not booting from the flash drive?
Any opinions expressed by me are mine alone, posted from my home computer, on my own time as a free American and do not reflect the opinions of any person or company that I have had professional relations with in the past 59 years. meep
New Re: you sure its not booting from the flash drive?
No, he pulled it out Saturday.




Satan (impatiently) to Newcomer: The trouble with you Chicago people is, that you think you are the best people down here; whereas you are merely the most numerous.
- - - Mark Twain, "Pudd'nhead Wilson's New Calendar" 1897
New Mint does not seem to do that
The user guide to Mint lives here: http://www.linuxmint.com/documentation.php. It includes the installation steps, and those make it pretty clear it is not a drive-by process. There are quite a few checks and questions to be answered before it installs to the drive.

I would first get positive confirmation that there is not a DVD in the drive, and the any flash drives have been removed before rebooting the laptop and see what happens then. If not the flash drive, whoever hacked an activated Windows on that laptop may have used a Mint DVD to transfer the image and then left it behind.

If Linux is indeed installed on the laptop then things get a bit more complicated. The user guide will help you walk your friend through the steps to pull up the file manager (Nemo). See page 22 of the 17 edition. I would expect the Windows partitions to show up under the Devices branch in the left sidebar, although they may be labelled like "125 GB filesystem" rather than e.g. "Windows System".

Assuming the Windows partitions are still there*, the simplest way forward will be to get a dual boot going, then setting Windows as the default OS.

*I fear they're gone. Mint uses the Grub 2 boot loader and by default, it will add entries for other OSes to the boot menu. I would actually expect 2 entries for Win 7 as it will pick up the small Win 7 boot partition as well as the main system partition as separate installs.
New Re: Mint does not seem to do that
How can I tell him to set up a dual boot menu?




Satan (impatiently) to Newcomer: The trouble with you Chicago people is, that you think you are the best people down here; whereas you are merely the most numerous.
- - - Mark Twain, "Pudd'nhead Wilson's New Calendar" 1897
New Need to figure out what is there first
Ctrl + Alt + T should open a terminal window.

sudo fdisk -l

This will list all available partitions.

Sample output*:

Disk /dev/sda: 298.1 GiB, 320072933376 bytes, 625142448 sectors
Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disklabel type: dos
Disk identifier: 0x877d3b07

Device Boot Start End Sectors Size Id Type
/dev/sda1 2048 2099199 2097152 1G 83 Linux
/dev/sda4 2099200 625139711 623040512 297.1G 5 Extended
/dev/sda5 2101248 33558527 31457280 15G 83 Linux
/dev/sda6 33560576 54534143 20973568 10G 83 Linux
/dev/sda7 54536192 75509759 20973568 10G 83 Linux
/dev/sda8 75511808 85278719 9766912 4.7G 82 Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/sda9 85280768 625137663 539856896 257.4G 83 Linux


See if there are two of type NTFS. If they are not there, then Windows is gone. If they are, but not the same /dev/sd?? as the Linux partitions, then something is still interfering with the boot process and is launching Mint off a different drive.

If everything is on the same device, run

sudo update-grub2

to redetect other operating systems. That should add Windows to the boot menu.


* Use the source, Luke... The forum software escapes the PRE tags and then proceeds to mangle the table. You can see the nice one under View Source.
     Need suggestions - (lincoln) - (13)
         What is on the flash drive? - (scoenye) - (7)
             He's not Linux literate - (lincoln) - (6)
                 on the phone with him now - (lincoln) - (5)
                     you sure its not booting from the flash drive? -NT - (boxley) - (1)
                         Re: you sure its not booting from the flash drive? - (lincoln)
                     Mint does not seem to do that - (scoenye) - (2)
                         Re: Mint does not seem to do that - (lincoln) - (1)
                             Need to figure out what is there first - (scoenye)
         my friend is a moron! - (lincoln) - (4)
             told ya :-) -NT - (boxley)
             Teehee! ;-) -NT - (scoenye)
             Your "friend" ... right :-P -NT - (drook) - (1)
                 ain't my laptop - (lincoln)

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