I already dual boot Win7 and Mint 14, how do I upgrade the linux partition only to mint 15 without nuking everything in Win7?
There is no option for just overwriting the linux partition from the live DVD. I am not certain if the bootloader goes in the Windows partition or not. The only solution I've found so far involves using a partition tool to remove the linux installation in Windows, then reinstalling Mint from DVD and restoring my Home directory and software choices. Is that seriously the best I can do?
The Debian installer, which is the basis for various Linux Distros, makes it...
The Debian installer, which is the basis for various Linux Distros, makes it increadibly easy to install Linux and leave your Windows install present and working. The key is to understand your disk layout. Then when the installer runs choose "manual" partition. Locate the partition you want to use and then select to format the partition and install the Mint Linux as the / (root) partition.
I highly recommending have four partitions for a Windows/Linux dual boot install:
part 1 = NTFS for Windows OS
part 2 = NTFS for Windows Data store
part 3 = Ext4 for Linux OS install (/)
part 4 = Ext4 for Linux Home directory (/home)
This allows you to reinstall the OS and leave your data partitions.
Bill, the best answer to your question is described by the Linux Mint Project...
Bill, the best answer to your question is described by the Linux Mint Project Leader, Clem Lefebvre, at http://community.linuxmint.com/tutorial/view/2. Anytime you start to modify partitions, backing up your data is one of the best things you can do before you begin... not only your Mint partition, but also your Win7, in case something goes wrong.
Upgrading from a Mint 15 live CD is basically as easy as installing Mint the same way you did the first time, except when you get to the partitioning tool you will need to specify the same partition where your Mint 14 currently resides. There is an option to format the partition at this step, but you don't need to unless you want to change the type of filesystem. I usually format it anyway. Be sure to leave the ntfs partition alone since that is your Win7.
Also during the live CD setup, I allow the GRUB bootloader to install to the MBR and it always works flawlessly for me, finding the Windows partition and providing a boot option for it. If you have a UEFI enabled BIOS, you should investigate further before upgrading as that can sometimes cause troubles, but I'd guess that you don't since you already have the dual boot system working. Good luck!