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Old 08-13-2009, 01:39 PM   #1
wade419
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Want to boot both Windows and Fedora without a CD/DVD drive


short version:

I have a laptop with Windows XP SP3, and want to dual boot Fedora 11. I don't have a CD/DVD drive. How can I do this safely and without buying anything new?

long version:

I'm a serious newbie and need help getting some experience with Linux. I chose Fedora 11 as a starting point, and then started trying to figure out how to get it on my system (is this a good choice?). I have a 4 year old Dell D610 laptop with a 80GB internal hard drive, and a 120 GB external hard drive for backup and extra programs. Windows XP SP3 is installed on the internal. I don't have a CD/DVD drive, and want to install Fedora 11 to start fiddling, while leaving all of my Windows files untouched as my main OS for now.

I've seen lots of people have had problems with ruining their systems trying to dual boot in the past, and REALLY want to avoid that. Plus, I can't really afford to buy anything new to help me at the moment.

Can I get to the point where I can boot Fedora from either my internal or external drive, but while still keeping all of my Windows files/docs on both completely safe?

I've tried to find info about this on Google and on these forums, but I haven't yet found something that lets me understand enough to feel comfortable going through with it. Please remember that I really have no experience with Linux, and I'm slowly learning some of the more technical PC jargon as well (I don't yet know how to create a HD partition, or what grub is?). So a step-by-step explanation would be REALLY useful. Thanks!
 
Old 08-13-2009, 01:43 PM   #2
linus72
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Easiest way would be to run fed11 off USB
you got usb?

if not, a Kingston 8gb usb is about $15-20
and that big you could run persistent too
 
Old 08-13-2009, 01:46 PM   #3
wade419
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Quote:
Originally Posted by linus72 View Post
Easiest way would be to run fed11 off USB
you got usb?

if not, a Kingston 8gb usb is about $15-20
and that big you could run persistent too
Ok, I could get a USB drive - how can I be sure that it would be bootable, and that my laptop could boot from the USB?
 
Old 08-13-2009, 01:47 PM   #4
linus72
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Uh, well, if it can't boot usb, you can use plop bootmanager..

what are the complete specs on lappy?
 
Old 08-13-2009, 02:14 PM   #5
wade419
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Dell Latitude D610
Intel Pentium M processor 1.6GHz
2 GB RAM
80 GB Toshiba IDE internal HD

running Windows XP Pro 2002 SP3

it's got 4 external USB slots, they're listed as Intel 82801FB/FBM under device manager, pretty sure they're USB 2.0

I'm not sure what else you're looking for, but I'll gladly find it if I can
 
Old 08-13-2009, 02:53 PM   #6
alan_ri
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If this is the model you have then I wonder how come you don't have CD Drive. Anyway, you should check in your BIOS if it's able to boot from the USB. If it is then I suggest that you go here and here.

You can also install Fedora on the HD, but I'm not really sure what you want. Remember, Fedora doesn't include proprietary software by default, so you will not be able to listen to mp3, watch some videos etc after the installation. Extra configuration is necessary to enable some things. I'm saying this because you're new to Linux and as you said you are not sure about your choice.
 
Old 08-13-2009, 03:53 PM   #7
Fred Caro
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just had a similar prblem

Laptop with windows xp (it came with and it was cheap) and installed Ubuntu 9.04 over the internet ( no cd port), dual boots fine. Sorry cannot remmember the URL, try the Ubuntu site or a relevant search but it is possible.

Fred.
 
Old 08-13-2009, 04:45 PM   #8
wade419
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alan_ri View Post
If this is the model you have then I wonder how come you don't have CD Drive.
well, I did have one. But since the computer is old, I got a secondary battery that fits in the slot for the optical drive. Then I moved twice in the past year, and now I can't find the CD drive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alan_ri View Post
Anyway, you should check in your BIOS if it's able to boot from the USB. If it is then I suggest that you go here and here.
It looks like my BIOS is able to boot from USB media! These links look like a great help so that I can get a Live USB stick together, thanks! By the way, though, the first link looks broken - I had to use Google's cache to see it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alan_ri View Post
You can also install Fedora on the HD, but I'm not really sure what you want. Remember, Fedora doesn't include proprietary software by default, so you will not be able to listen to mp3, watch some videos etc after the installation. Extra configuration is necessary to enable some things. I'm saying this because you're new to Linux and as you said you are not sure about your choice.
I really only want the basics, because my motivation is just to learn how to use the command line...the shell...the kernel? My motivation is primarily coming from a job opening right now, and I'll look better if I have Linux experience. I've wanted to learn about it for a while, but right now I'm not looking to replace Windows for my personal system just yet. That'll come after I make enough money (hopefully at this job!) to buy a new system, heh.
 
Old 08-13-2009, 05:10 PM   #9
linus72
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Dude, if you wanna learn command line stuff
you should put GRML full on usb
it rocks and has many light window managers
If you need help putting it on usb I'll help
I'm remastering grml medium and pmagic-4.4 now

http://multidistro.com/fluxboxp/fluxboxp.html

here's GRML daily snapshots(new)
http://daily.grml.org/

and grml homepage
http://grml.org/

to get full version of stable here
http://grml.org/download/
 
Old 08-13-2009, 07:24 PM   #10
zrdc28
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Easy way to do this

There is actually an easy way to do this.
(1) Download a copy of "unetbootin"
(2) Run unetbootin, when you run it, it will prompt you for the ISO
from the Hard Disk.
(3) Or it will go out on the internet and download the ISO you want.
(4) The next option is to get it from a CD which you do not have.
(5) Then you can write the ISO to a USB thumb drive.
(6) When you boot your computer hit whatever key takes you to boot
menu probably f12, Tick usb.
(7) It will boot from usb and you can run it or install it directly.
 
  


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