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Hello, I am walking thin ice here: I have this ancient PC, that has so old BIOS who doesn't know how to boot from CD (but it has a CD ...
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  1. #1
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    Install other distro without booting CD


    Hello,

    I am walking thin ice here: I have this ancient PC, that has so old BIOS who doesn't know how to boot from CD (but it has a CD drive). It has also floppy drive, but I don't have any floppies what to feed there, so for time being let's assume the floppy drive doesn't exist. It's got network PCMCIA card.

    I have managed to install on it linux (there was Win98 before), it was quite a journey - I first installed boot manager (Smart Boot Manager) that would let to boot from CD (what a wonderful thing it is). That, in turn, let me install Damn Small Linux on the box.

    But the story gets a bit sad here. Since I had to delete and reformat partitions, the MBR where there was Smart Boot Manager, was replaced by GRUB. As far as I know, GRUB, once it's loaded, does not give option to boot from CD. And I experience some strange problems when trying to install the Smart Boot Manager again (this time from linux) - even superuser gets "Permission denied" error message.

    So basically now I have no way to install other Linux distro (Damn Small Linux is smart but with ugly looks. I want to try Xcfe-d DSL, wich comes under name Luitlinux.

    So, my question is - is there any way how to boot from CD drive, or ISO image, without rebooting PC? If not, then the only alternative is to find a floppy and burn the Smart Boot Manager on it, boot from that floppy, and then boot from whatever CD.

  2. #2
    Linux Guru rokytnji's Avatar
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    You will need enough room onn your hardrive to create a partition to hold the Luitlinux iso and then edit grub to boot from iso on that partition. It is called boot from ISO or a Poor Mans install. Maybe below links will help ya.

    Boot ISO image from hard disk?

    Poor Mans Install - Knoppix Documentation Wiki

    Floppy Only Install with Netcard (Poormans Install - DSL Wiki)

    And the Shotgun Link
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  3. #3
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    Fortunately I could find one old floppy disc on what to burn Smart Boot Manager. It's so hard to buy floppy these days, who could have imagined.

    Another handy thing to learn would be how to boot from ISO image what is put on NFS share, if that's possible at all. Then I could stop messing up one CDR after another, and live with two things: floppy with SBM and CDROM with some Linux that loads command prompt from where the network ISO could be connected and booted.

  4. #4
    Linux Guru reed9's Avatar
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