Windows 7 Pro will not boot, alternate method to switch?

Hi Folks,

I have successfully made the switch to Mint/Cinnamon on an aged Toshiba Laptop. (Whoohoo!) Now I am looking to resurrect an old PC, however, it will not boot up (disk damage from the reason I dumped it). This prevents me from installing Echer to install Linux.

How do I “Boot from USB” with no Echer to install?

Processor: Celeron Dual Core (not sure on specifics)
Ram: 16G
Disk: 1TB SSD
Existing OS: Win 7 Pro

Thanks for any help!


Your first laptop converted! Congrats and you are well on your way now.

When you say disk damage do you mean the SSD is faulty? Or do you just think the Win7 software is glitchy?

Can you boot the desktop using the Mint USB you used for the laptop?


Hey Michael! Thanks for the reply. I’m about a 1/2 step ahead of you. I did a USB install on the PC of Mint/Cinnamon and it is working beautifully. Now I need to try to install a program (VM?) to get to the Windows files. Unfortunately I must use several Windows program on the computer so I will have to do a dual-use setup. I have tried all of Windows recovery options with no avail. Any thoughts on how to proceed?

Thanks so much!


Let me first make sure I understand where your windows files are located.

  1. Are they still on the Desktop somewhere or on an external drive?

  2. Did you back up the files using windows backup or some other program or did you just copy/paste the files somewhere?

You can certainly set up a dual-boot machine with Linux and Windows running on their own partitions, or you can just run Windows as a VM from inside Linux. It all depends on what you want to still do with windows.

When the PC crapped out I was able to copy the entire drive using a Unitex Adapter. This drive is still in the PC, however, since I can’t boot Windows, I do not have access to these files. I do have them copied on an external drive, too. If, for some reason, I needed to wipe Windows completely off this drive (1TB) I do have everything backed up.

BTW - when I installed Linux, I did select the first option leaving the Windows side of the PC intact.



I am happy to hear that you do have an external backup of all your windows files. This is always very important as hard drives can fail at any time. I double backup my pictures and important files at all times.

Just for curiosity, can you plug in the backup drive to your Linux Mint laptop or desktop and tell me if the drive gets recognized by Linux? If it does can you drill into the file structure and are you able to view all your files for validation? Our goal is to make sure we do not delete anything you need.

Did you do a drag and drop to the backup drive when you created it or did you use windows backup? I am assuming there will be no encryption on your backup to prevent you from viewing your files.

Hi Michael,

I purchased a Unitex Hard Drive Adapter (Hard Drive Adapter USB 3.0 to IDE & SATA 2.5/3.5" – UNITEK), physically removed the Hard Drive, then used the Adapter to copy the entire drive to another Windows computer. The Hard Drive is now back in the PC so I probably had better leave it there!

When I pull up those files on the PC/Linux I can access documents/pics/etc without a mirror program. My goal now is to enable a few Windows based programs for my work. I assume this is a VM ware setup, though reading through the various tutorials, I am still uncertain which program to download to access the Windows based programs.

Once again, Windows 7 Pro is the Win OS. Linux Mint/Cinnamon installed.

Please enjoy Christmas with your family and rest before replying! Merry Christmas!


Update: I have downloaded VMWare Workstation 16 to my Linux Mint Cinnamon PC. It is taking extremely long to load the bundle. We’re talking several hours in and it is, perhaps, 1/3 of the way. I don’t know if this is correct or not. I double clicked the VM Ware download and setup began immediately.

The object is to use several programs on the HD (Windows 7 Pro) that do not run on Linux. If this is not the correct approach, I’m “all ears”!

2nd UPDATE: the installation is frozen. Computer not responding. Cancelling installation.

@vasileios , any thoughts? Steve

Hey @Scolley!
It’s not installing. It’s actually opening a big file in the text editor.
You’ll need to right-click on the empty space of your file manager - where you downloaded your VMware. Then select “Open in Terminal”.

Once the terminal opens, type in:

chmod +x VMware-Workstation-Full-16.2.1-18811642.x86_64.bundle

Press Enter and then type:

sudo ./VMware-Workstation-Full-16.2.1-18811642.x86_64.bundle

If you get an error that says “file not found”, then please verify the filename and correct it (I just checked it from the screenshot you sent).

It will ask for your password. Type it in (it won’t be visible, so it’s not frozen) and press Enter. The installation process will begin.

Outstanding, @vasileios ! In my incompetence, I kept getting “No such file or directory” but decided to do a sudo and voila! Many thanks!

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