I have what is basically a craptop. It is an old valliant by KDS computers, which is long gone. Anyways, the laptop has alot of problems, and I don't have the original Windows ME disks, so I figured I would give linux a try.
I downloaded the three Mandrake 10.1 CDs. Only to realize that the CD player in this laptop was no longer functioning. I then tried the floppy drive way. I went to make the boot disk only to realize again that the floppy drive was dead. My last and final option was to do a network install, but of course, I don't have an eithernet port.
So I went an got an old old Lacie CD burner and hooked it up via USB 1.1. I was able to view the mandrake autorun but when I clicked on install it did nothing. And of course DOS won't recognize the CD player. So I'm baiscally stuck.
There is nothing for me to boot with, my only other option would be to use a friends WiFI card in the PC port and try a network install, but I have a sneaking suspicion that that will not work either. Basically whenever I try a different boot device, it just starts up windows as if it isnt even there.
If it helps I have an iPod 20 GB that Windows ME but not DOS will recognize I've got 2 USB ports, a 250 Zip drive, a memory stick 256 and a crappy floppy drive (superdisk by imation, USB 1.1)
You need to get into the BIOS, and change the boot order.
So you can boot from the external cd drive.
And as this is really old, it might not be able to handle MDK.
You could try Damn Small Linux, or Feather.
They can be found at www.distrowatch.com
Hope you can get this working,
and welcome to the wonderful world of Linux.
Thank you, this helped a little. I have already tried using the BIOS to change the boot order, and it did not recognize it. I now cannot figure out how to put Damn Small Linux on my USB memory stick so I can boot from it. The BIOS doesn't recognize it as bootable rite now.
Have you tried putting DSL on to a cd, and booting from that.
I don't know how much help this will be to you, but they have a whole section devoted to usb devices.
So what I figured out is, that you can boot a USB drive with the image on it from some computers. Unfortunately being that piece of junk that it is it won't. So I go to download the floppy disk image to boot from which will then let me boot from USB only to realize that my floppy drive doesnt work, so im pretty much stuck here.
edit: I guess one solution would be some drivers that go on the HD to allow me to boot my USB.
If you plan on replacing the CD drive at some stage you may pick up one on eBay for a few quid, they're not usually hard to install. If you wanna go down that route I could talk you through it. I got a decent Dual layer DVD burner for €100 for my laptop last week so I'm sure you could grab a vanilla cd-rom for €10 from an old laptop breaker.