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my question is how to get linux onto an old laptop (dell inspiron 2600, 1GHZ, 120MB RAM). the cd drive doesn't recognize CD's anymore and in boot menu, "Setup Utility" the usb drives aren't recognized. the usb drive or pen drive boots in another desktop just fine. i need to somehow install xubuntu or crunchbang or something lite but must do it using net install. i see lots of tutorials but they are either too complicated or unknown source, like "inslux." and not too complicated of a process. I'm a "techie-tard," i guess.
also, i'd like to suggest a new "sub-forum" in "distribution" forum, Called "General Distro."
thanks for any help,
Last edited by roscogruen; 01-29-2010 at 01:35 AM.
Setting up a PXE server is not trivial, but you will find articles for many of the main distros, such as for Debian.
Installing over the network basically involves
setting up a server on the same network
putting an image of the distro you want to install on the server
setting the laptop BIOS to PXE boot first
installing from boot
Another option is to remove the hard drive (just one screw on the Inspiron), putting it into another laptop, and installing Linux on it from there.
Some laptops will also boot from external PCMCIA based CD drives or sometimes even USB floppies, but I don't know if this is true of the Inspiron.
If you are not intending to increase the amount of RAM, you could also consider some of the xvesa based distros such as Not Damn Small Linux and Puppy Linux, as this would leave significantly more RAM free for applications.
Last edited by neonsignal; 01-29-2010 at 04:28 AM.
Thank you! i saw a post very similar to your response but i was not sure if it was trustworthy (i was not familiar with the sources). I will look to see if Inspiron will boot from a usb drive/floppy. it would boot from the cd drive, buuuut, that doesn't work anymore and i don't have an external cd drive.
Thank you for your help!
ps. my question is answered, or leads to the next, "will inspiron boot from a floppy." this thread could include my answer and certainly the answer for others.
Last edited by roscogruen; 01-29-2010 at 09:48 PM.
A PXE boot is a way of booting a machine over the network without having any operating system on the machine (ie, the BIOS firmware sets up the network card and starts communicating in order to boot the machine). It is commonly used for thin clients (ie, where all the software is held on a central server), but it also provides a way for an ordinary laptop/desktop to boot an installation over the network.
It would typically be in the BIOS boot options, perhaps called 'network boot' or something along those lines.
Last edited by neonsignal; 01-29-2010 at 07:44 AM.
I am not sure if i can use the network on this laptop. if it can, i'm not sure the "I" can.
I have tried started it using the OnBoard NIC but i have no idea what this is.
the next attempt to install linux (puppy is the one i'll use first) will be to do a HD install. this is all above my head. i don't understand the most simple terms. when i get on forums, i am insulted. it sux but i won't give up.
getting the usb port to be bootable so the live usb will boot involves getting a "wakepup boot floppy created on a puppy linux machine (at least in live mode) with a floppy drive. i don't have a floppy drive. don't know many people around here so this will involve waiting to see if anyone in Oour lug group has one and will let me do this.
i'll check back later to see if there are any suggestions (that i can understand). THKS ALL!
Onboard NIC is the "Network Interface Card", which just means the network connection. This is what we meant by booting up over the network. Sorry about all the tech terms, they can require a lot of googling at first.
Just ignore insults on forums; an insult from a stranger means nothing.
And by all means go along to the local Linux users group, hope you find some friendly people there to help you out.
we've connected the old laptop to the "Gateway 2Wire" modem that the desktop get's its internet. i thought i could set up a network and pass on shared files but i've not succeeded. one is XP the other is either linux mint or "live" puppy linux.