Brainstormin a migration strategy to deprecate win10

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Brainstormin a migration strategy to deprecate win10

Postby Loci.Cantos » 2018-08-13 17:58

I want to get off of win10, except for the occasions where I am compelled to boot into it for some commercial application.

I have already migrated my desktop and local server to debian. I now want to migrate my two laptops to debian. However, while I want to eliminate win10, I simply can't do that; but I do want to deprecate it to a less prominent build on each of these two laptops. That is, rather than have win10 be the primary OS on the internal drives, I want to run debian as the primary build internal to each, and run win10 on external drives. Because there will be occasions where I need win10, my plan is to build win10 o/s partitions on external drives, one drive for each laptop.

For this purpose I have two external drives, 2TB each -plenty of room, one for each laptop. I want to build them such that they will boot from grub on those occasions when I may have to use the win10 o/s and apps. Again, I do have professional software for which I need to use the win10 o/s, but I want to interact with these win10 builds as little as possible. This is the purpose for deprecating them.

My plan is to create three partitions on each external drive for each laptop, then do a block copy of the win o/s from each laptop to the partitions on each laptop's respective external drive. Both laptops are new, and I've built debian on each, on the external drives in order to test them. So, each system should run debian on its respective internal/native drive just fine.

I'll likely be using Easeus Partition Manager to create and move the partitions.

The issues I'm concerned about are these:
1. I plan to have other partitions on each of these external disks so, placement of the win10 o/s partitions is an important consideration. This means each of these external disks will have three win10 o/s partitions (efi,recovery, and o/s,), and a much larger data partition.
2. I'm about 99% sure this will work with three operational win10 o/s partitions on the external disks, along with a partition for data (likely 500GB to win10, and the remaining 1.50TB to data); I'm sure this is pretty common.
3. While debian reads and writes to ntfs, it is not true that win10 will read/write to linux partitions. I might have to access these data disks from the win10 o/s. I want to dedicate the remaining 1.50TB to ext4, hfs, reiser, or some other file system, but there may be a couple of problems:
3a. When formatting to a linux partition, will doing so overwrite the windows partitions by default?
3b. Might it be better to simply leave these as ntfs partitions so that I may access them from the win10 builds too? These will not be disk access intensive systems so, the performance diff will not be noticeable.
4. I will need into boot to these win10 o/ses on occasion so, properly implementing grub is an important issue.
5. I want to preserve the entire structure of the win10 platform paradigm in the event I may need to go back to it temporarily for some reason, or if I find this setup is not working to my preference, which I doubt will occur but it might for some reason or other.
6. It used to be that a block copy consumed the entire target drive, but I don't think this is the case any more. That is, I think I can make three win10 partitions on each external drive, then block copy the original partitions to them. Is this correct?
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Re: Brainstormin a migration strategy to deprecate win10

Postby bw123 » 2018-08-13 18:39

I tried similar things back when I decided to really use debian daily. I tried to save all my windows installs, all the "commercial" apps I used, all the games, all the doc/audio/video in non-portable format. I spent a lot of time making backups, copying partitions, setting up dual boots, swapping drives around... but it was a lot of work, and you know what? I really didn't end up using windows that much.

Instead, what I ended up doing was keeping a good working windows install on one machine, that dual boots with linux. I share files with a common fat32 partition, or a usb flash drive when it is necessary to get something onto the win machine.

It was pretty easy to dual boot at one time, now with uefi I'm not sure anymore whether I'd even do it. I might just keep a win10 machine on it's own and share files over usb or network when I needed to use it.

It's good to experiment, but it sounds like your plan is a lot of work, for something that you want to deprecate anyway...
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Re: Brainstormin a migration strategy to deprecate win10

Postby Segfault » 2018-08-13 19:03

Why not to use a virtual machine, are you low on RAM?
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Re: Brainstormin a migration strategy to deprecate win10

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2018-08-13 19:06

ESTRAGON: We always find something, eh, Didi, to give us the impression we exist?
VLADIMIR (impatiently): Yes, yes, we're magicians.
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Re: Brainstormin a migration strategy to deprecate win10

Postby KBD47 » 2018-08-13 22:00

Buy a used Thinkpad and install Debian on it. Keep Windows 10 until you are tired of it or don't need it anymore. Nothing wrong with using both, though Debian is awesome.
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Re: Brainstormin a migration strategy to deprecate win10

Postby Wheelerof4te » 2018-08-14 08:19

^+1
When you discover the Linux alternatives and decide they are good enough, switch completely to Debian.
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Re: Brainstormin a migration strategy to deprecate win10

Postby pcalvert » 2018-08-14 10:25

Segfault wrote:Why not to use a virtual machine, are you low on RAM?

If those laptops came with Windows 10, then they are almost certainly OEM versions. And if that's the case, it most likely wouldn't work -- he would need to purchase additional licenses.

Phil
Last edited by pcalvert on 2018-08-14 10:29, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Brainstormin a migration strategy to deprecate win10

Postby pcalvert » 2018-08-14 10:28

Loci.Cantos wrote:I have already migrated my desktop and local server to debian. I now want to migrate my two laptops to debian.

How big are the HDDs in those laptops?

Phil
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Re: Brainstormin a migration strategy to deprecate win10

Postby p.H » 2018-08-14 11:29

Loci.Cantos wrote:For this purpose I have two external drives, 2TB each -plenty of room, one for each laptop. I want to build them such that they will boot from grub

By "external drives", I guess you mean "USB drives" ?
Chainloading another boot loader on a USB drive from GRUB may not be possible. GRUB relies on the system firmware (BIOS or UEFI) to access drives, and in my experience some firmwares do not expose any USB drive unless when booting from it. You may be lucky, or not. You can check it easily : plug an external drive and boot GRUB from the internal drive. At GRUB menu, press "c" to start the shell and type "ls" to print the list of drives and partitions. If the external drive and its partitions are present (usually as hd1), then chainloading is possible.

Loci.Cantos wrote:My plan is to create three partitions on each external drive for each laptop, then do a block copy of the win o/s from each laptop to the partitions on each laptop's respective external drive.

I have not installed nor used any Windows version more recent than Windows 7, but I am not sure that a copy of the system on an external disk would work. In my memory, Windows stores the drivers for the system disk in a special location, but if you change the drive or host controller type it needs different drivers.

Loci.Cantos wrote:each of these external disks will have three win10 o/s partitions (efi,recovery, and o/s,)

Don't you mean "reserved" instead of "recovery" ?
Loci.Cantos wrote:When formatting to a linux partition, will doing so overwrite the windows partitions by default?

Formatting a partition only overwrites that partition, not other partitions.

Loci.Cantos wrote:Might it be better to simply leave these as ntfs partitions so that I may access them from the win10 builds too?

Windows cannot read ext4 natively. Windows drivers for ext4 are available, but I am not sure of their reliability. Anyway, I would not like that Windows can automatically mount and access my Linux partitions for any reason. So I would use a format that both Windows and Linux understand for the data sharing partition such as FAT, NTFS, exFAT, UDF (no, it is not reserved for CDs and DVDs)...

Loci.Cantos wrote:It used to be that a block copy consumed the entire target drive

What do you mean ? A block copy of a partition requires a target partition of at least the same size.
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Re: Brainstormin a migration strategy to deprecate win10

Postby Segfault » 2018-08-14 11:46

pcalvert wrote:
Segfault wrote:Why not to use a virtual machine, are you low on RAM?

If those laptops came with Windows 10, then they are almost certainly OEM versions. And if that's the case, it most likely wouldn't work -- he would need to purchase additional licenses.

Phil


Plenty of tutorials on the net, just use your google-fu.

https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Migrate_Windows

https://www.howtogeek.com/213145/how-to ... l-machine/

Not sure if this works or not, I myself do no use Windows and feel no need for it.
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Re: Brainstormin a migration strategy to deprecate win10

Postby kevinthefixer » 2018-08-18 21:23

Don't know if it would work with Windows or not, but first thing I'd try is to use the OEM restore disks (or a new copy) to install Windows on the external drive, then set the BIOS to boot to USB first. That way if the external drive was present at boot the machine would boot into Windows, if not, Debian. If you needed access to the Windows files simply hotplug the external HDD after boot.
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Re: Brainstormin a migration strategy to deprecate win10

Postby bw123 » 2018-08-18 21:51

kevinthefixer wrote:Don't know if it would work with Windows or not, but first thing I'd try is to use the OEM restore disks (or a new copy) to install Windows on the external drive, then set the BIOS to boot to USB first. That way if the external drive was present at boot the machine would boot into Windows, if not, Debian. If you needed access to the Windows files simply hotplug the external HDD after boot.


I have a bios that loses usb boot device if not present, always have to entoer bios setup and choose "USB FLASH _whatever_" so this suggestion seems to me to be a very nasty kludge.

I would not make default boot dependent on a device that may or may not be present.
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Re: Brainstormin a migration strategy to deprecate win10

Postby kevinthefixer » 2018-08-18 23:06

bw123 wrote:I would not make default boot dependent on a device that may or may not be present.

I've used similar setups, just never with Windows. Never seen a BIOS like yours so I can't speak to that.
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Re: Brainstormin a migration strategy to deprecate win10

Postby Loci.Cantos » 2018-08-25 20:36

Thank you, each of you, for your excellent suggestions; I truly appreciate the spirit of help on this board.
I've been away; I had to travel for a bit.

I've decided to take this slowly. For the moment, I'll leave the 17" HP (Envy: "17-u273clas"; https://support.hp.com/us-en/product/hp ... ku=2EW63UA) a Windows 10 box. I've set it up as a professional laptop for my work in the CS/IS/IT industry. I will change it to a dual-boot system sometime over the next quarter as, 'nix dev. apps. are wide open and free, and I've been able to identify many alternative resources for Project, Visio, and other softwares. I'm going to look into the documentation and see if it's possible to install another drive (possibly an SSD) and dual boot that way. This is what I did with my former 17" HP, first dual-booting Win7 and OSX, then Win7 and opensuse. (OSX updates became a pain. But I'll admit it was fun opening my HP laptop into OSX, especially in front of Mac users :wink: )

The 13" Dell notebook is going to be my next migration (Inspiron 13" 5379 2-in-1: https://www.dell.com/support/home/us/en ... 2/diagnose). I've setup a page for documenting the requirements, process, and results at "Installing Debian on Dell" (https://wiki.debian.org/InstallingDebia ... stretch%29). I'll post my results at both places, here and there, unless this is not the preferred approach. It seems it would be useful to have the information in both places.

You've helped me recalibrate my thinking. Thanks again for all of your suggestions.

-lc
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