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Question about GRUB
#1
Hello:

I am currently running Linux Mint 19  with the cinnamon desktop from an external hard drive on an HP stream laptop that was originally designed to run windows 10 and it doesn't even do that well with 4 GB of RAM and a 32 GB SSD that's soldered to the board.  So, rather than risk hosing up the whole thing by trying to make a dual boot I took Joe's advice and installed Linux  on an old spinner of a HDD hooked up by USB thus when I need a windows app for work I just unplug the Linux  drive (after shutting down properly) and reboot and there's Windows completely unaware that Linux is even a thing.  My problem comes during the boot up process when GRUB comes to allow me to choose to start either  Windows or Mint (GRUB is installed on the external HDD thus it's not going to interfere with the windows boot loader at all).  When I press the down arrow key the screen redraws itself so slowly that it's like watching the whole thing come in over 56k modem (I'm dating myself if anyone even knows what 56k even is anymore) and there's no highlight to tell me which option is being "highlighted" so when I press enter am I getting windows by accident?  did I select the advanced options for recovering in the event of me accidentally hosing up my mint install and need to boot into single user mode?  etc.   the question is how on earth do I take out all the graphical frills from grub and just have a simple 2 or three color text menu (like the old days of debian 5 or dual booting 2 windows installs in XP)

I'd appreciate any help with this one. 

Thanks and stay safe!
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#2
I think you can remove Windows from the menu entirely so that it only boots with Linux.
This is a good reference. https://www.dedoimedo.com/computers/grub.html
Maybe it can guide you.

USB is always going to be painfully slow. Lots of data needs to go thru a tiny hole.
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#3
If I recall correctly when you install mint 19 you are given the option to use a gui grub or the older text grub so I would go to the grub website and see how to switch back to the text version of the interface, it is most likely to be a simple change to the config file.
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#4
I'm playing around with Ubuntu 20.04 on an external USB spinning drive. It supports 3.0, but this laptop does not...though the desktop that has temporarily taken a back seat in my configuration does. (I have a third computer from work and that had to take the place of the desktop machine for now.)

Ubuntu takes about four and a half minutes (!) to boot, though the speed is reasonable for light tasks once it does boot. In fact, I'm using it right now.

This laptop's primary installation is Linux Mint 19.3. That takes just over a minute on the internal HD.
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