Running Linux on the Motile 14 laptop

Running Linux on the Motile 14 laptop
Linux Mint on the Motile 14

So the last time I posted about the Motile 14 laptop from Walmart I said I was going to upgrade it with 16 GB of RAM and a second SSD so I could dual boot Windows with Linux. Well, it didn’t quite work out that way.

The first thing was that I felt like a single stick of 16GB RAM was a little too expensive for my taste as was a 1TB NVME drive. Instead, I purchased an 8GB stick of DDR4 2400mhz RAM and a 500GB NVME drive.

After I installed the new parts, I cloned the Windows installation to the new NVME drive in the outer slot. I then installed Linux Mint on the original M.2 SATA drive that came with the laptop. I went into the BIOS to boot from the Linux Mint drive first. I’ve dual-booted Windows with Linux on separate drives before on a couple of Lenovo Thinkpads so I thought I would have no trouble on the Motile. That was not to be as I kept receiving the following GRUB error message every time I booted.

gruberror

Sorry for the crappy photo. Between my eyesight and the potato phone I have, this was the best I could get.

Anyway, if I went back into the BIOS and once again picked the Linux drive to boot into I could get the proper GRUB screen. However, when I restarted the laptop, I’d get the error message again. While that approach is workable, it’s not very convenient.

So, I decided to dual boot from the NVME drive by itself. The NVME drive would only work in the outer slot. From what I understand, the inner slot can only take M.2 SATA drives while the outside slot can have both M.2 SATA and NVME.

I installed Linux Mint 20 on to the single NVME drive along with Windows 10 and it’s been working flawlessly ever since. My only concern is that when I installed the 8GB of RAM both Windows and Linux Mint say that only 6GB is available. So I may upgrade to 16GB eventually one the prices go back down.  I may also get a bigger M.2 SATA drive for additional storage.

By the way, I’m relatively new to tinkering with laptops. If I used some kind of incorrect terminology or any error I’ve encountered is blazingly obvious, please let me know in the comments below.

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