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Hello to everyone, I am new to linux and I want to move to this system after bad experiences with windows. I have also a particular problem. An old laptop ...
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  1. #1
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    how to install linux in a system without cdrom, usb boot, floppy, other OS


    Hello to everyone,

    I am new to linux and I want to move to this system after bad experiences with windows.
    I have also a particular problem. An old laptop is probably able to handle just linux at this point of its life.

    The cdrom is gone, the bios doesn't have usb boot support, there is no floppy or pxe network boot ability, so I was wondering what other way I can have to install linux on a barebone hd (nothing on it).

    The only Idea I had was to copy some files on the hd via a ide cable adapter, connecting the laptop hd to the mobo of a desktop. I did the same in the past to install xp: I used msdos 7 to boot the machine and then launch the xp setup from withing the hd (copied before the installation files).

    So my question is, can I do the same with linux? in such case, of course I will have a hd formatted with fat32 to boot in msdos, and what files should I copy on this partition to launch the installation?

    If this is not the best path to follow and some guru here can advise me a better way I am looking for his helps. I look on the net but everywhere at least they require a previous operative system on it or some kind of boot support (usb, cdrom, floppy...)

    Thanks again

  2. #2
    Administrator jayd512's Avatar
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    Hello and Welcome!

    Does this laptop happen to have any type of networking capability? Either through a USB connection or via Ethernet?
    If so, then you may be able to use Unetbootin for your installation.
    Jay

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  3. #3
    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
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    Are you saying that you have a bare hard drive w/ no bootable OS, no CD/DVD drive, no bootable USB, no floppy, and no ability to network boot (pxe)? If that is the case, this is going to be difficult at best. If you have another computer that does have some CD/DVD or USB booting capability then you might be able to install the hard drive in that system and load a minimal linux install image on a partition of the hard drive that way. Then, move it back to the system in question and finish the installation. As to the feasibility of this approach, without the hardware in question I am only able to suggest it might be a viable approach, but certainly not with absolute certainty.
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

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    Exactly, it's a very old laptop, so no network capability not even via usb since the bios doesn't support it.

    The only think I am going to try is to boot with suse dvd on my desktop and use an usb enclosure with the laptop hd. the desktop bios has usb capabilities therefore it can see the second hd, plus the internal one where there is windows.

    then I will boot from suse dvd and install on sdb, both the system and the loader (on mbr of sdb, since in that hd I will just have linux).

    when suse will ask me to reboot I will shutdown and put the ad back on the laptop and boot the newly installed system from there...

    hope it works, I have NO other IDEA...

    laptop is asus a2h with cdrom dead, no floppy, no usb capabilities and never been able to use the pxe network. if you guys know how to configure it, I can try this other way, but moving the hd is really fast, just don't know if it works

  6. #5
    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
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    That's pretty much the approach I was thinking of. It's worth a try anyway. Alternative, what I would do is to put a liveCD/DVD image on a small, bootable partition of the drive when you have it attached in a USB enclosure on your other system, then boot from that after you install it back in the original system and run the installer there. It would be safer for your other system I think since all but the liveCD installation would actually take place on the old laptop and it would be able to detect the correct hardware to load the appropriate drivers, etc.
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

  7. #6
    Linux Newbie grishi_111's Avatar
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    Also you can use unetbootin to install from the Hard Drive.
    All you need is a Installation media iso image.
    I have used it without any problem, may be work for you too.
    Sorry, Linux is not my passion .
    Its addiction!!!

  8. #7
    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
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    That was basically what I was thinking, though I haven't tried to install unetbootin on a hard drive partition before - no reason why it shouldn't work though.
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

  9. #8
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    I have here a truly old ast lappy, w/ those very shortcomings..
    I put the hdd into an older pc desktop w/ an adapter, then put an old version [1.0.8] puppy linux as a hard drive install with a swap partition onto it. Make sure you put the bootloader [grub] onto the MBR, and do not save anything when you shutdown. Drop it into the old Lappy, and fire it up... Worked for Me!
    RP
    RP

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