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Wim Sturkenboom 08-21-2012 09:12 AM

ultimate lightweight live USB distro for backup and restore
I have a 300MHz celeron machine with 64MB, 4.3GB HD, 2x USB and floppy (no CDrom). It's functional with Win98 and Office97.

It's purpose will be to teach people some basic computer skills and make them familiar with office software in a community center ran by a non-profit organization.

I need to clone the HD before I fiddle with it (and in case it ever crashes). I can use plop to boot and from there boot from a live USB. I'm looking for a very small live CD that requires an absolute minimum of memory; it basically needs to be able to mount the external HD and an additional USB stick, dd, tar and zip and that's about it.

Any suggestions? I don't mind text only and found one a couple of days ago, but don't seem to be able to find it again.

Note: I got very excited when I saw clonezilla till I saw the spec of 196MB memory :(

PS: it needs to be ready to go, no additional installs, downloads or whatever to get the functionality

schneidz 08-21-2012 09:23 AM

gparted-live seems good but if it is too big then dsl or tinycore mite fit your needs.

edit: or puppy...

TobiSGD 08-21-2012 10:13 AM

Puppy will not run with 64MB.
I would recommend to just use the standard CD of Debian's Live project.
It comes with the tools you need and is only 276MB in size. Since it is CLI only it is very light on resources.

Wim Sturkenboom 08-21-2012 01:36 PM


Have another hurdle to take first as the floppy drive seems unreliable; can get to various stages of the boot (sometimes 1 dot, sometimes a couple) but never to the end :(
Lets see what's still stock in my boss's scrap heap :)

dsl downloaded
will also download debian; I did find it but thought that it needed internet connectivity to get the basics

jefro 08-21-2012 07:08 PM

I tend to use g4u. A single floppy on the older version would do. I have sent that over pxe with memdisk and it works fine.

There are a few floppy start type like puppy and dsl if you get the floppy to work well.

Wim Sturkenboom 08-22-2012 02:06 PM

scored a floppy drive from a stripped PC

managed to create a bootable dsl live USB

Tested on my main desktop at work and plop booted and could start the live USB
Next tested on an old laptop at work and boot floppy did not work :(

Tried to recreate plop floppy on another desktop and it failed; formatted the floppy and next I could create a new plop floppy.

Tried again on old laptop and it worked; boot from flop, start live USB; however USB could not always be found :(
Tested on original main desktop and it worked 100% reliable :cool:

Took the stuff home and boot floppy did not work :( Replaced floppy drive and it worked. Image created using dsl, took about 3 hours. Old private information removed and currently wiping the free space. Will make a new image tomorrow of the clean HD.

The debian version has to wait for the next machine that might even have less memory.

thanks again :hattip:

jefro 08-22-2012 02:38 PM

Thanks for the update and how you fixed it. Good going.

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