How To Create A Linux Mint USB Drive Using Windows 10

Introduction

A number of people have requested a guide showing how to dual boot Linux Mint and Windows 10 along the same lines as my other guide which shows how to dual boot Ubuntu and Windows 10.
Part of that process is creating the Linux Mint USB drive. In this guide I will show you how to create the Linux Mint USB drive using Windows 10 and how to boot into it so that you can have a look around prior to the main dual boot guide being written.

Why Linux Mint Over Ubuntu?


Linux Mint provides all of the multimedia codecs installed by default which means you are up and running slightly quicker than with Ubuntu.
Linux Mint also provides a more Windows like interface whether you use the lightweight XFCE and MATE versions or the more sophisticated Cinnamon desktop.
I have written two guides which may help you make your decision:

You can read more about Linux Mint from their website at https://www.linuxmint.com/

Download Linux Mint


You can download Linux Mint from https://www.linuxmint.com/download.php

At the bottom of the page you will see a list of available versions.
There are three versions for the Cinnamon desktop, which is the flagship desktop environment for Linux Mint.
The one you will probably want to go for is the standard Cinnamon version as opposed to the no codecs and OEM versions.
The no codecs version prevents you playing MP3 audio and other proprietary video and audio versions.
The OEM versions is for computer manufacturers.
There is also the MATE desktop which also comes in three flavours. The MATE desktop is a lightweight desktop aimed at people with older hardware. Again you will probably want to go for the standard version as opposed to the one with no codecs or the OEM version.
There is only one version which comes with the KDE desktop which is again a more modern desktop.
Finally there is the XFCE version which is also lightweight but highly customisable.
It is up to you which version you go for but you must choose the correct architecture.

To find out your computer’s architecture type “PC INFO” into the search bar in the bottom left corner.
An option will appear called “About Your PC”. Click on this option.

Look for the “System Type”. If it says 64-bit click the 64-bit link next to the version of Mint you wish to try otherwise click the 32-bit link.

An information page will appear describing the version you have chosen including the download size and the MD5 checksum.
Click on the mirror link closest to where you live.
The file will download.
A very important lesson was learned after a recent issue with Linux Mint and you should follow this guide which will help you check your downloaded version against the checksum on the information page.

Download And Install Win32 Disk Imager


You can download Win32 Disk Imager from http://sourceforge.net/projects/win32diskimager/
The Win32 Disk Imager software is used to install the downloaded Linux ISO to the USB drive.

Click the download link.
A “Save As” dialogue box will appear. Save the file to your Downloads folder.
To install Win32 Disk Imager double click on the downloaded file.

A welcome screen will appear. Click “Next” to continue.

Accept the license agreement and click “Next”.

Unless you have a reason to change it leave the installation location as the default and click “Next”.

Click “Next” to skip past the start menu folder.

If you want a desktop shortcut leave the box ticked otherwise uncheck the box.
Click “Next” to continue.

Click the “Install” button.

Uncheck the “README.txt” box and click “Finish” to launch the software.

Format A USB Drive

If you have a blank USB drive already you can skip this section.

Insert a USB drive into a spare port and open Windows Explorer. (ALT and E on the keyboard or click the folder icon in the task bar).
Find the USB drive icon and right click with the mouse. Click on the “Format” option.

When the box above appears choose “FAT32” as the file system and make sure the “Quick Format” box is checked and click “Start”.
Make sure you have chosen the correct USB drive. Check the capacity box to make sure it is around the right size for the USB drive.

Create A Linux Mint USB Drive


If you left the “Launch Win32 Disk Imager” box checked then it should still be running but if not type Win32 into the search box at the bottom and when the Win32DiskImager icon appears click on it.

Make sure the device dropdown points to the letter represented by your USB drive. You can check in Windows Explorer to make sure this is the case.
Click on the folder icon next to the drive letter and navigate to your downloads folder.
Choose the Linux Mint ISO that you downloaded earlier.
Click “Write”.
The Linux Mint files will be copied to your USB drive.

Turn Off Fast Boot

On some computers you need to turn off fast boot in order to be able to boot from USB drives.

Right click on the start button and choose the “Power Options” item on the menu.

Click on the “Choose what the power button does” menu item on the left hand side of the “Power Options” settings window.

Click on the link that reads “Change settings that are currently unavailable”.
Now scroll down the page and untick the “Turn On Fast Start-up” option.
Click “Save Changes”.

Boot Into Linux Mint (non UEFI)

Reboot your computer with the USB drive still plugged in.
If your computer has a standard BIOS a menu should appear with an option to “Try Linux Mint”. Choose this option.

Boot Into Linux Mint (UEFI)

Hold down the shift key and reboot your computer with the shift key held down.
The screen that appears will differ from make to make and even model to model.
What you are looking for is the “Use a device” option.

A list of possible boot options will appear. Choose the EFI USB Device
Your computer should now display a menu with an option to “Try Linux Mint”.
Choose this option.

Summary

You may experience an issue when booting Linux Mint if you have a modern NVidia graphics card.
I will be writing a guide to show you how to solve this issue shortly.

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