Installing DVD distro when PC won't boot off DVD's
I have a P4 with an IDE DVD burner as the single optical drive. I think it's just old enough the mobo engineers didn't consider supporting OS's on DVD. This seems to be a limitation of many systems of this vintage and older, but now Windows and several bulky Linux distros (Ubuntu Studio) are only available as a DVD image. I know the first step is flashing the BIOS with the most current version, but development on these BIOS's usually stopped a while ago.
Is there any utility I can put on a flash drive, floppy, or even on a CD in a second optical drive that will get the machine up and running and allow me to initiate an install from the DVD?