Originally posted by xbox_iso
I have searched my bios setup thoroughly and can find no referance to USB. I tink i should point out that is a an old-ish laptop. A Pentium 3 700mhz, 128mb RAM, 10 gig HDD, single USB port
Being an older laptop, I kind of doubt you'll find the ability to boot from a USB drive. Don't get me wrong, it did and does exist, but it's a bit more common now than it was even 3 years ago. Same with PXE/network booting.
IMHO, you will probably end up going with a floppy boot, and finishing the install after it's all booted up. Something like Slackware will have this option for you more easily/readily available than other "easier to use" distros. All you really need though is the ability to boot with a linux boot floppy (such as toms rtb, or any of the thousands of choices, check out www.distrowatch.com
) and then you can throw linux into a partition you create with that. My personal suggestion would be to go with something like Gentoo at that that point, where the install is all done from another running environment (meaning it doesn't require a "boot install" ).
Several other distros will include the option to boot up "another" (windows) OS and then place the CD in the drive. Once it's up, a splash screen will appear and give you the choice to create a boot floppy for install. This is a great option for someone not ready for Gentoo or Slackware, but are ready for Linux. I believe Mandriva (Mandrake/Connectiva) used to do this and may still today.