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I have an old 386 IBM PS/1 with an 80MB HD and 2MB RAM. The floppy drive doesn't work, but I can take the hard drive out and pop it into another computer. I hear I can't install with only two megs of RAM anyway. Is there any way I could install Slackware 3.3 or some other tiny distro by just copying files? Or any other method without floppies?
Booting without a floppy means you may only have one shot at this (via network), after that if it can't boot from the hard-drive you may end up with an unusable box, can you add a floppy drive temporarily?
You can put your hard drive in another computer. Then install Linux onto the hard drive. Then put the hard drive back in the 386.
This method can work but it has its pitfalls. The installer will configure the monitor, mouse, keyboard, etc. for the computer it is installing on. The hardware configuration of the second computer must be close enough to the 386 that your new Linux configuration will still work when carried to the 386.