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Old 04-12-2009, 02:19 PM   #1
bjh1225
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How to install using 3.5" floppy


I am technically inept. I was given a Sony Vaio PCG R505ESK. I want to use it to take to the library,etc. Someone tried to load Win XP Pro on it but didn't complete it. I cannot do anything with this computer.

I have oontacted Sony support and CNET computer forum. I have an external 3.5" floppy drive for the computer. I purchased an external cdrom reader unit but I cannot install it on the computer.

Linux UNBUNTU was recommended to me by niece as the best Linux to use. The man CNET told me using Linux would take care of all of my problems with this computer.

How can I install Linux if I don't have a viable cdrom unit and can't connect the above computer to the internet.]

I will be ever so appreciative if someone can tell me how to get Linux installed using the floppy drive.

Thank you, bjh1225
 
Old 04-12-2009, 03:33 PM   #2
acid_kewpie
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if your Vaio can boot to USB, then you've a much better option by putting ubuntu on a usb memory stick. you can run it live from there, and if you like it then install to your hard drive.
 
Old 04-12-2009, 04:59 PM   #3
PTrenholme
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You say you cannot install the external CDROM drive on your computer. Can you tell us how you've tried to install it?

Specifically, does the external drive plug into your computer using a plug with a small, thin, rectangular slot at the end with, when you look in the slot, half the opening blocked off? If so, you may not need to "install" anything, just plug the drive in to any opening in the computer shaped to accept it.

You, I assume, have the Ubuntu "LiveCD" available. So, turn on the computer (with the CD drive plugged in) and insert the disk in the drive. If the computer doesn't boot from the CD, turn the power off (leaving the CD in the drive), and then back on.

If it still doesn't boot from the CD, you may have to change the boot order in the BIOS, although I'm fairly sure that Sony has the default boot order set to use the CD before the hard drive.

To instruct your computer to start from the CDROM drive if it doesn't, you'll need to set the "boot" order option in the BIOS. (This should be easy to do, so read on, please.) To access the BIOS, turn on your computer and, as soon as the screen lights, press the key at the top of the keyboard that has "f2" on it's face. That should bring up the BIOS menu, but, if it doesn't, turn off the power and try again usin the "f3" key. ("Google" tells me that the Sony VAIO computers usually use "f2," but sometimes use "f3.")

From what I could find on the Internet, the PCG-R505ESK is a laptop computer, and it uses a Phoenix BIOS. So, once you get to the BIOS menu, you should see several "tab" headings at the top of the screen. One of those tabs should be labeled "Boot" (of something similar). Use the arrow keys on the keybord to highlight that tab, an press return. You should then see a list of "Boot Devices," with, hopefully, USB CD, in the list. (If you don't see it, or something similar, highlight the "Hard Drive" line and press return.)

Now look for a "Boot order" comment on the right of the screen where it describes the keys to use to change the boot order. Using those key, move the "CD" or "USB CD" entry to the head of the list, press the "f10" key, select the "Save and Reboot" entery, and press return.

Once you boot from the CD, just select the "Install to hard drive" option, and you should be up and running Ubuntu.
 
Old 04-12-2009, 07:31 PM   #4
bjh1225
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To: PTrenholme

I followed your instructions on Phoenix Bios page. No cdrom is shown as being installed. I moved down to Hard Drive On right side of screen are options:
Expand or collapse devices
Expand All
Enable or disable a device.
Move a removeable device btw Hard Disk and Removable Devices
Remove a device that is not installed.

I truly do not know which option I should select.

The external cdrom player that I purchased is a USB connecting devise.
I have 2 built in USB ports and I purchased a unit that lets me have four external USP ports.

I do not have any Linux on a disk. My intent is to purchase a copy.

Thank you for he detailed response. I did not receive a notice that there had been any response to my query.

Regards, bjh1225

Last edited by bjh1225; 04-12-2009 at 07:47 PM.
 
Old 04-12-2009, 07:59 PM   #5
maresmasb
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Installing from a floppy drive will be extremely painful these days, and you would have to switch back to some decade old versions of Linux distributions (Slackware comes to mind).

You tried to install WindowXP, which doesn't come on floppies, unsuccessfully, so it rather seems that your CD/DVD-ROM fails to work. A bad CD/DVD-drive will not work better with Linux then with Windows. Even if trying a network install, you still do need a running system - usually a Live-CD.

So either borrow a working CD/DVD-drive or an USB device, find a working system (any contemporary system with Internet access) and copy/install a system from a Live-CD.

DamnSmallLinux should fit on a 50 MB USB stick - even the cheap sticks have more storage available.

Last edited by Tinkster; 10-30-2010 at 04:34 PM.
 
Old 04-12-2009, 08:31 PM   #6
bjh1225
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The cdrom drive is new and works on our other computers. The problem is that someone else tried to install Win XP Pro on the computer and didn't finish doing it. I can bring up Phoenix Bios, an A and a C prompt but because there is no operating system installed on the computer it will not do anything....that includes installing the cdrom drive unit.

I tried doing a FDISK and reformatting the hard drive but that didn't work. Perhaps I should give up and give the computer to a thrift shop.

Thank you for the response, bjh1225
 
Old 04-12-2009, 11:04 PM   #7
PTrenholme
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You will only receive notice of a reply to your thread if you subscribe to your own thread. (IIRC, the option is at the bottom of the page.)

From the BIOS options you specified, I try "Expand all" to get a list of all devices the BIOS has detected.
Then, if the removable CD ROM is listed, make sure it's enabled. If not, highlight it and use the "Enable/Disable" option to toggle it.

The Ubuntu Live CD can be downloaded for free. (See the "Download Linux" link in the box towards the top of the page on the right.) You clearly have access to an Internet connection since you can access the LQ forums. If the system you're using can write a CD, and it has software that can create a CD from an ISO image, then just download the CD image, burn it, and boot from it. (After, of course, getting the CDROM recognized.)

Oh, a thought: The laptop you have may be so old that the BIOS does not recognize a USB2 drive. If you had XP installed, you could upgrade the BIOS from the Sony web site (I think - but I haven't checked).

So, when you're in the BIOS, see if there's a D: drive listed. If so, see if you can boot from it - it might be an XP "rescue" partition that would reinstall XP for you. Of course, whoever had the system before you may have repartitioned the drive. Still, you might look on the Sony site for the manuals and recovery procedures for your system.
 
Old 04-13-2009, 12:12 AM   #8
bjh1225
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Once again I must tell you that I appreciate your assistance and patience. My great nephew in TX is going to try and 'talk' my husband through the process via long distance telephone to get that computer 'up and running'.

I do have high speed internet service via the cable company. I have two HP computers with Windows XP Media Editon on one and Win XP Home editionon the older one.

Thank you VERY much, bjh1225
 
Old 04-13-2009, 01:19 AM   #9
lazlow
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The easiest way out MAY be to pull the HD out of the laptop, attach it to one of your other computers, do the install on it, and then put the HD back in the laptop. Many of the older computers do not have the option of booting to USB devices.
 
Old 04-13-2009, 02:48 PM   #10
bjh1225
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Suggestion

Thank you for the response. I have told my husband about your suggestion of removing the hard drive etc. Sounds like a viable idea.

Regards, bjh1225
 
  


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