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Friday, March 1, 2013

Install Windows 7 and Ubuntu/Linux Mint on Dell vostro 3460 - having 32GB SSD drive

This was something for which I spent lot of time to make the newly shipped laptop dual boot with Win 7 and Linux Mint (Finally switched from Ubuntu to Linux mint, mainly because of Desktop Environment. I think of conducting a poll of "How many Ubuntu users switched their OS because of Desktop Environment?", or was there any already? Anyway I really got fade up of tweaking and twisting Precise Pangolin having Unity. So its a good feel with Mate on Linux Mint 13).

OK, back to the topic.
New Dell laptops have introduced a new technology called as Intel Rapid Storage Technology for improving protection, performance, etc.:

They also used Intel Smart Response Technology, Intel Rapid Start Technology, and what not.

My Dell Vostro 3460 has WDC 1TB hard disk and 32GB Samsung SSD drive, with Intel i7 processor and 8GB DDR3 1600MHz RAM, etc.
The 32GB SSD to be used in conjunction with a high-capacity hard disk drive. The combination results in a high-performance, cost-effective storage solution. But only in case of Windows 8. I was quarreling with Dell support guys, what is the point of shipping it with the laptops which can not utilize it. And they say, "Sir, you can upgrade to Windows 8 so to utilize it."

Anyway, here is what I did:

You might not find any drive to install when SATA operation in BIOS is set to Intel RST.

So you would need to go to BIOS and change SATA operation to AHCI.

Then you will see the drives to reformat and install OS.

Disk 0 partitions belong to 32GB SSD drive whereas Disk 1 partitions are present with 1TB WDC hard disk.

There is no possible way to install "System Reserved" - 100MB (Needed for Win 7) in 32GB SSD drive. I tried multiple times to achieve that with no luck. :-(

Also, 32GB space is not enough for C: to install Win 7 onto (with all driver and other installations, etc.). Although its possible. I was installing all rest of the softwares on D: which I had created on 1TB hard disk, but again exception being Graphics driver for Nvidia. As you can not customize the path while installing it.

Finally, after so many alternatives, I thought of installing Linux first, so that I can utilize 32GB SSD drive for '/' partition, as 32GB will be more than enough for '/' partition unlike C: in case of Windows. And installing rest all partitions on 1TB hard disk.
  • Install / partition on 32GB SSD drive
  • 200MB /boot partition on 1TB
  • 200GB C: partition on 1TB
  • Rest all /home partition on 1TB
I didn't think of Swap as I thought I won't be in need because of 8GB RAM.

Once Linux Mint was installed, you would need to install Windows and of course, laptop couldn't recognize any other OS other than Windows because of overwriting of grub, so follow :

Once the Grub repair is done, you can see dual boot screen with Linux Mint and Windows 7. :-)



  1. Hi!, im gonna try ur procedure. Do you have overheat problems while using Linux Mint?
    Thanks for sharing!

  2. @Enruta No, but battery was getting drained very faster compared to Windows. That was because of Nvidia drivers not being utilized in Linux Mint.


  3. Did you have any trouble trying to install you video card on LM 13? I have the same Vostro 3460, with a nVidia GT630M. I just couldn't find a way to get the V. card working on Linux Mint.

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