Install Manjaro over Mint with Win10 dual boot

Hi everybody, it's my fisrt topic here. I used in the last two years Mint XFCE and I'm glad with it, but I would like to test and use Manjaro. I have Win10 on my laptop which I don't want to touch since I use it for work with Adobe Cloud, and re-install everything is not an option for me now, I only have a 4G connection with limited traffic.

I saw this topic which is similar to my request, but I don't use UEFI. What I want to achieve is installing Manjaro over Linux Mint and keep the dual boot with Win10. Can you please give me some indications on how should I set up my partitions?

Here are some info about my config:

~$ sudo parted -l
Model: ATA CT1000MX500SSD1 (scsi)
Disk /dev/sda: 1000GB
Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/4096B
Partition Table: msdos
Disk Flags: 

Number  Start   End     Size   Type      File system  Flags
 1      1049kB  577MB   576MB  primary   ntfs         boot
 2      577MB   211GB   210GB  primary   ntfs
 3      211GB   1000GB  789GB  extended
 5      211GB   316GB   105GB  logical   ext4
 6      421GB   1000GB  580GB  logical   ext4

Model: General USB Flash Disk (scsi)
Disk /dev/sdb: 4010MB
Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/512B
Partition Table: msdos
Disk Flags: 

Number  Start   End     Size    Type     File system  Flags
 2      2833MB  2837MB  4194kB  primary               esp

sudo blkid
/dev/sda1: LABEL="Riservato per il sistema" UUID="D86A89CE6A89AA38" TYPE="ntfs" PARTUUID="16a0d26b-01"
/dev/sda2: UUID="E84C7A334C79FD1E" TYPE="ntfs" PARTUUID="16a0d26b-02"
/dev/sda5: UUID="4ac91bae-0d4f-4c37-becf-40a89d43cd39" TYPE="ext4" PARTUUID="16a0d26b-05"
/dev/sda6: UUID="00d03689-c479-42ff-ae85-6968a0bed1a6" TYPE="ext4" PARTUUID="16a0d26b-06"
/dev/sdb1: UUID="2020-05-11-08-56-02-00" LABEL="MANJARO_XFCE_2001" TYPE="iso9660"
/dev/sdb2: SEC_TYPE="msdos" LABEL="MISO_EFI" UUID="1CC9-8ECF" TYPE="vfat"

$ sudo efibootmgr
EFI variables are not supported on this system.

$ findmnt -s
TARGET SOURCE                                    FSTYPE OPTIONS
/      UUID=4ac91bae-0d4f-4c37-becf-40a89d43cd39 ext4   errors=remount-ro
/home  UUID=00d03689-c479-42ff-ae85-6968a0bed1a6 ext4   defaults
none   /swapfile                                 swap   sw

Using a BIOS/MBR system is not good. BIOS/MBR is a deprecated partition scheme and prone to problems when coexisting with Windows e.g. Windows overwriting the MBR on updates - rendering your Linux unbootable.

Your best option is to disable Legacy/CSM boot and reinstall your Windows in EFI mode.

Dual booting with a BIOS/MBR system is usally no problem at all and pretty easy to fix in case of problems as only the MBR is changed from the Windows installation. If Windows overwrites it during an udate you simply re-install grub via grub-install and can reboot using grub again. Also, removing Linux would be easy as you only have to rewrite the MBR from a Windows recovery medium.

The only thing you have to take care is that Secure boot and Fastboot are disabled as this could make it impossible to install/boot Manjaro.

In your case I would use Gparted from a live ISO to prepare your partitions. You can keep using the extended partition, only delete the partitions 5 and 6. As you have plenty of space I would recommend to think about a swap partition, but this is certainly up to you. So 100 GiB for /, your RAM size for a swap partition and rest for /home could be a starting point. For installation boot the live ISO in BIOS mode. In Calamares you can then assign the prepared partitions and install grub in the MBR.

After first boot it could be required to run sudo update-grub once to find the Windows partition.

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Just wanted to add empahasis on the importance of having a Windows recovery disk in case you would need to restore its bootloader in the future.

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Thank you all for your replies, @Wollie your solution might work, but it's a bit risky for me, I think I'll wait until my DSL connection will be restored and will install everything from scratch using UEFI .

In the last years I tried different distros (most of them Debian derivates) and while installing the only thing I had to do with partitions was to indicate the three partitions /boot, / and /home. Never had to touch grub, and windows updates worked fine.

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In the end, this is what I did. Thanks for the tutorial, worked like a charm!

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