One way to install mint to your hard drive is to use MINT4WIN which allows you dual boot a windows and mint install. It allows mint to be installed and run from within a virtual Windows loop device (as a large image file that is managed like any other Windows program via the Windows Control Panel). The operating system can then be removed similar to any other Windows software again using the Windows Control Panel. This method requires no partitioning of the hard drive. It is only useful for Windows users; it is not meant for permanent installations because it incurs a slight performance loss.
This is not really dual booting as mint is installed in a file within windows, you can find he install folder called mint in the root of the c: drive. Do Not delete this folder or you will have trouble booting your original windows system.
Changing Boot Options
By default, Mint4Win will leave Windows as the default operating system, and will give you 10 seconds at boot to choose to boot into Linux Mint. To change this, boot into Windows and enter Advanced system settings in your start menu search.
Click Settings under Startup and Recovery
From this dialog, you can select the default operating system and the time to display list of operating systems. You can enter a lower number to make the boot screen appear for less time.
Uninstall Linux Mint
If you that you don’t want to keep Linux Mint, you can easily uninstall it just like you would any other program installed in Windows. Open Control Panel, select Uninstall a program, and then browse to the Linux Mint entry. Click Uninstall/Change in the toolbar.
You can of course start the mint4win program tell it to install and it will remove the existing install before asking you to install again at this point press cancel
You can expect disk performance to be a bit lower (bouncing through NTFS isn't exactly ideal), and you're still somewhat at the mercy of Windows. If your Windows install goes pear-shaped, you may lose access to your mint4win install, too.
Compared with a regular installation, a mint4win installation faces some limitations. Hibernation is not supported and the file system is more vulnerable to hard reboots. Also, if the Windows drive is unmounted uncleanly (most commonly because of a Windows crash), Mint will not be able to mount the Windows drive and boot until Windows has successfully booted and shut down. If the Windows system cannot be booted after the crash, the user also cannot boot Mint.
Performance related to hard-disk access is also slightly slower, more so if the disk image file is fragmented, on a mint4win install compared to a normal one.
The above is partially outdated but still useful - once you restart your computer and boot into mint you now have to run the installer again from the mint desktop as it just accesses the live cd/dvd environment, this time it will do a full install to the windows file system. - Also Ubuntu will discontinue wubi which mint4win is based upon so this will possibly affect availability of this type of install.