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I bought a dell c400 laptop from Ebay a few months back and had trouble getting windows xp on to it since it has no CD-ROM or Floppy, and no ...
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  1. #1
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    Install Linux on Laptop with No CD-Rom/Floppy?


    I bought a dell c400 laptop from Ebay a few months back and had trouble getting windows xp on to it since it has no CD-ROM or Floppy, and no option to boot from USB.

    I figured it out by taking the hard drive out and sticking it in a 2.5" USB hard drive enlosure, connecting it to my WinXP Desktop machine. Formated the laptop drive to FAT32, ran dos from a floppy on my desktop and did a SYS c: on it (to copy dos system files to make it bootable). Then copied the i386 folder from a WinXP CD to it and popped it back into the laptop.

    Simple. You can boot from the hard drive and then run the setup for Windows XP.

    Now I've got another Hard Drive for my laptop and wanted to install redhat fedora 4 linux on it, so I could swap hard drive caddies whenever I wanted.

    I know nothing much about linux and cannot figure out how to get linux installed on the laptop. I have read a bit about PXE, but seemed too complicated to me and there is no simple guide.

    The only machines I have is a windows xp desktop and this dell c400 laptop

    I used the USB HD enclosure to copy the contents of the Fedora DVD to the hard drive (FAT32), but the drive is not bootable and even if if was what is the equivelant winnt.exe program to install linux?

    please help, it would be great to get linux up in this little laptop!

  2. #2
    Just Joined! hernandeangelis's Avatar
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    Google is an interesting place to begin

    http://marc.herbert.free.fr/linux/win2linstall.html

  3. #3
    Linux User truoc444's Avatar
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    you can get the cable you need to connect the external cd drive on ebay for less than $10 then just plug in any dell c series cd drive to the cable and you can boot from the cd. i had one of these laptops. works great.
    Desktop: Dual Xeon 2.8 GHz 1.5 GB RAM Ubuntu/XP Pro
    Laptop: Macbook 2 GHz C2Duo 3 GB RAM OS X/ Ubuntu/ XP Pro
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    Go 'Stros!

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    Thanks everyone for the help.

    Quote Originally Posted by hernandeangelis
    Google is an interesting place to begin

    http://marc.herbert.free.fr/linux/win2linstall.html
    Thanks. Installing using the hard drive method as I type.

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    Just Joined! hernandeangelis's Avatar
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    yap, saw it fast and did not pay attention

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    Just Joined! OldSeaDog's Avatar
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    Install Linux on Dell C400 with no floppy, no CDROM

    I assume your machine has a PCMCIA slot (Every laptop I have seen has one). If so, you can purchase a PCMCIA card with USB ports on it. XP should recognize the card when it is inserted (through PlugNPlay). Then plug an external USB CDROM into it and off you go.

    The only problem you might face is that XP does not recognize the card. I don't know enough about Windoze XP to answer that. You may want to bring the laptop with you to the store and have them test the card before you buy it.

    Or, maybe someone else out in Linuxland can take this to the next level?

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