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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 10-28-2008, 02:09 AM   #1
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Question installing ubuntu with no cdrom and laptop does not support booting from usb...

Earlier today my boss asked me to install linux on an old company laptop that he will be using in our warehouse, the only problem is that the cdrom recently stopped working.The system appears to not support booting from usb, however it does have a floppy drive that seems to work.Does anyone know of anyway to preform a network install of ubuntu or to add the contents of the cd to a usb drive and boot from a floppy to begin the install from the usb drive. I have been reading up a bit on some of this, the only thing I've seen for booting from floppy and installing from us was a tool from feather linux but it appears too large to fit on a floppy(1.75mb. Another idea I had was to move the hdd into another laptop and try installing then replacing the drive, however I'm not sure that will work, I own 3 older laptops, 1 is an ibook g3 so that's odviously not going to work, the other two are pentiums, one p3 and one p4, if it will work then I can take the hp hdd out of it and add it to my thinkpad t30 and install/replace but will the change in cpu's cause a problem as it does with windows, and what about other devices? I personaly have no real preference on how I get this installed, just as long as everything we need works(eth, wifi, firefox, open office, xpdf, gnome or similar window manager, x)just basic stuff for a new linux user, any help would be greatly appreciated.
Old 10-28-2008, 05:36 AM   #2
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My guess is that the easiest thing to do is fix or replace the CD drive. In principle, moving the hard drive to another computer should also work.

If you look at the cost of your time (and maybe that of some other employees), you might find a benefit in just buying another laptop.
Old 10-31-2008, 12:52 AM   #3
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Im actually doing this as a favor to my boss, no one else is involved, the laptop is older and we'd prefer not to spend much money on it given that its mostly just to add a workstation to our warehouse which is about 100 feet from the office, I'm thinking about cleaning up the windows install(removing apps and docs and slimming it down as much as possible) then using the windows installer of ubuntu,that is if my sony pcmcia cdrom wont work, I used it to install debian on another laptop that didnt have a cdrom and windows on my old vaio.
Old 10-31-2008, 12:54 AM   #4
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Installation/FromUSBStick - Community Ubuntu Documentation

Gotta love Google.
Old 10-31-2008, 01:44 AM   #5
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Old 10-31-2008, 03:48 AM   #6
bas r
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Come'on guys, "laptop does not support booting from usb..." is in the title so no usb bootin' for him.
I would go for a floppy boot, and then do a network install.
Old 10-31-2008, 03:49 AM   #7
bas r
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Which you can find here,
Old 10-31-2008, 12:06 PM   #8
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If floppy is not an option, what i would do (and have done in the past, althou admitedly not with linux) is get a small usb to Ide adaptor and use another pc to format the HD and put the content of the install cd you would like to use on the HD of the laptop. I recently bought a usb donge capable of connecting to standard ide, portable ide and sata for about 25 euro, and it's been a verry usefull tool to have.
Put the Hd back in the older laptop and the installer should boot up just fine.
Don't forget to remove the install files after you're done

What distro are you planning to use?



Last edited by corosus; 10-31-2008 at 12:11 PM.
Old 10-31-2008, 01:03 PM   #9
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Bas R
Thanks for the quick observation.
I have seen a number of "ALL YOU GOT TO DO IS..." fixes that do not have a prayer of hope and we spend extra hours trying to follow a suggestion we believe is valid.

AGAIN Thanks for your heads up.

Originally Posted by bas r View Post
Come'on guys, "laptop does not support booting from usb..." is in the title so no usb bootin' for him.
I would go for a floppy boot, and then do a network install.
Old 10-31-2008, 02:30 PM   #10
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depending the system is already installed maybe one of these links could be usefull:
Old 11-01-2008, 01:36 AM   #11
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Working right now but to answer some questions, I plan on using ubuntu 8.10, as a matter of fact im updating my laptop now(thinkpad not the hp Im working on for my boss), the one I'm working on has a floppy drive and I think it works, no floppies around to test but I can always buy some, I talked to my boss and we may be adding a cdrom since we found one for $25. I tried last night to install from xp thats already installed, and it tells me i need 256mb ram anr 5000mb hd space, I have 255mbram , i think the shared memory for video is the problem, and the hd space is about 10mb short, gonna see about that cdrom, otherwise I'll be buying some floppies, pretty sure I can get them dirt cheap.
Old 11-01-2008, 03:45 AM   #12
bas r
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Don't woryy about the harddrive space. My fully bloated ubuntu takes up 3,5GB of space. The RAM can be a problem, therefor you might want to consider Xubuntu or even fluxbuntu, since those desktop environments are aimed at older hardware. Gnome will be a bit too heavy on it I reckon.
With Xubuntu you can even run all the gnome app's without running a complete gnome desktop.


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