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Linux - Laptop and Netbook Having a problem installing or configuring Linux on your laptop? Need help running Linux on your netbook? This forum is for you. This forum is for any topics relating to Linux and either traditional laptops or netbooks (such as the Asus EEE PC, Everex CloudBook or MSI Wind).

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Old 04-01-2004, 04:55 PM   #1
jordan0
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Installing Linux on a laptop w/ no floppy or CD-ROM?


Hello
I have just purchased an IBM ThinkPad X20. It has Win 98 on it now so I MUST install linux on it!

Problem is, it has no CDROM or floppy drive...
I DO have a ethernet interface for it though

*** edit see below ***

Any ideas?
- Jordan

Last edited by jordan0; 04-06-2004 at 11:08 PM.
 
Old 04-02-2004, 03:46 AM   #2
jordan0
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ok...

*** edit see below ***

Last edited by jordan0; 04-04-2004 at 04:20 PM.
 
Old 04-03-2004, 07:00 PM   #3
jordan0
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really stuck

*** edit see below ***

Last edited by jordan0; 04-04-2004 at 04:20 PM.
 
Old 04-04-2004, 04:28 PM   #4
jordan0
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Question

I caved in and spent the few $$ on a laptop HD to desktop HD IDE adapter. I figure this is going to be, plain and simple, the most straightforward way of getting linux onto my X20.

So of course my next question is:
what exactly should I put on the HD once i get it into my other linux box?

I want to install MDK 9.2 . My first thought is to reformat the drive completely and make a tiny partition which will hold the mandrake network install boot disk image. Then I'll set that partition as bootable and I should be on my merry way...

Do you think this will work? I don't quite know how to copy a disk image onto a partition yet... this is possible right?

I guess my other option is to try to actually install MDK while the drive is in my desktop, but then I'll be missing out on MDK's great hardware detection jazz.

I would love to hear from someone who has done this before!

Thanks!

- jordan
 
Old 04-06-2004, 09:21 PM   #5
jordan0
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After reading around a bit, I decided to start downloading the ever-popular Slackware...

At least on this board, the prevailing message seems to be that Slackware will be the best for my situation because I will be able to install it with a minimum of "auto-detection". Is this right?

Is it logical to perform the install from the desktop machine, or can I somehow put the boot disk image onto the HD and have the install run from the laptop?

I have tried loadlin and grub for dos, etc... but I can't get that method to go because I have no way of formatting ext2 partitions from windows or DOS. I think I also screwed up my partition table in the process messing with fips, fdisk and format...

So, unless someone advises me otherwise, I am going to:
stick the laptop HD into my desktop linux box (and remove my existing HD)
boot off of the slackware install disc and run the install
stick the HD back in my laptop and hope for the best...

I would really like to know how to put just one of the boot floppy images onto the laptop HD and have it boot from that so I can install over the network...

I've been posting to this thread for days with no reply... am i asking really stupid questions?

thanks

Last edited by jordan0; 04-06-2004 at 10:01 PM.
 
Old 04-06-2004, 10:30 PM   #6
wolfe2554
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I never tried it with mandrake or slackware but for my ibm thinkpad 570 I downloaded from redhat the cdrom images and the install dos utils. one of which allowed me to boot a initrd and kernel image from dos. a great help to say the least. what I might try is to figure out what the cd for the distro uses to boot up, say it's initrd and img file. Then copy the cd and the dos util to the harddrive. boot it in your laptop. run the dos utill that boots your install image and initrd then make the install locate your cd image where ever it is. This might help, it is how I did it.
 
Old 04-06-2004, 10:46 PM   #7
jordan0
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thanks for your reply!

I have been trying to do this with loadlin (the dos util that rehat comes with). I got it from the fedora install CD, and used the supplied initrd and vmlinuz. I get an error telling me i need to use a valid "root=" argument. Did you format an ext2 partition first, before you attempted to install this way. Or did you just run the autoboot.bat? Can you describe it a bit more detailed for me?

** EDIT **
I just tried using loadlin with redhat's initrd and vmlinuz again...
This time, it appears to load the files and then restarts the computer. But, it just boots up in windows 98 again... hmmm... It didn't make it to the part where the kernel actually loads (i think)
** EDIT **

I can't find a way, besides partition magic, to format an ext2 partition from DOS or Win 98. (I found a serial for partition magic, but cant find where to enter it (!))...

Last edited by jordan0; 04-06-2004 at 11:07 PM.
 
Old 04-06-2004, 11:38 PM   #8
wolfe2554
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ok you need to get the right initrd and kernel image to boot from. now with the distro cd. there should be a initrd and kernel src. look for an initrd..img and vmlinuz-.... these are the correct images to use not the redhat images this because the redhat linux images look for the cd images of redhat. not suse or mandrake. No I did not have to do this or format an ext2. I downloaded the redhat cd images and autoboot tools then autobooted. When it asked for the location of the cd I switched to command prompt I think it was tty2 then mounted my dos harddrive and told the install program to use my dos harddrive as a cdrom. It worked. What you might have to do is figure out how your disto installs, this may be looking for a cd image or just the files. hopefully it is the files. then just copy what it wants to the harddrive this should allow the install program to use your harddrive as the cdrom. Now the formating an ext2 not in linux is hard. I have never tried although what you might do is mount the harddrive onto an existing linux box and format it with ext2or3 which ever one then copy all nessecary files over. This may be a pain in the ass but you can compile a kernel for the laptop without the laptop. then insert the newly compiled kernel to the laptop harddrive. the hardpart is going to be getting lilo on there. what you might try is making the lilo conf file just like it should be on the laptop. Then lilo it but put the output into a file like lilobin then dd it to the first 1024 bytes of the laptop harddrive. Oh please let this all make since!
 
Old 04-07-2004, 12:03 AM   #9
jordan0
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Thanks wolfe!!

with your guidance i was able to get the right files to use with loadlin and boot off of one the root/boot disk combos of slackware!

right now i am formatting some ext2 partitions... i will post again when i hit the next problem

thanks!
 
Old 04-11-2004, 04:42 AM   #10
wehe
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installation methods for DVD/CD less laptops

You may find plenty of installation methods and tips and tricks for laptops without DVD/CD drive in the Linux-Mobile-Guide http://tuxmobil.org/howtos.html . -- Werner
 
  


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