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Old 01-05-2005, 08:01 AM   #1
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Registered: Oct 2002
Distribution: Mandrake 9.1
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Install from hard drive. Possible?

I have been trying for a month to get Linux running on my Compaq Contura Aero 33MHz 486sx, 8MB RAM, 4GB HD... yes, I know it is a little bit old, but it is still useful for a personal Web and FTP server...

The problem I'm having is that it doesn't have any internal floppy or CD drive, and only one PCMCIA slot, I have an External CDROM, floppy drive and network card but I haven't been able to install any decent distro.

I was able to use Monkey Linux which lauches from my DOS partition, but I want to install a real Linux with PCMCIA and network suppor.

This is my question:

You can copy the installation files from a Windows CD to the hard drive and then install from there. Is it possible to do that with Linux?

I know it has to be a command line based distro or at least I won't use X, I don't have a problem with that but I'm getting frustrated because I can't get it to work.

Can anyone please tell me if it is possible and if so how to do it?

Thank you very much in advance.

A desperate newbie.
Old 01-05-2005, 08:20 AM   #2
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Registered: Jul 2004
Distribution: Ubuntu 7.04
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It's certainly possible; most distros have alternate install methods that are documented on either their install CDs or web-site.

First of all, be careful when choosing a distribution. Most modern distros will want a minimum of an i586 or i686 (Pentium or above) in order to run. You will probably be best off looking for a dedicated web/ftp distro on

You will have to partition your hard disk first if you want to install from the hard disk. The easiest way to do that is to download the bootable floppy version of gnuparted from (see the boot disk image in /gnu/parted/bootdisk)

To take one example, the drinou distro ( fits your requirements, and can be installed from disk (although the site was down when I checked).
Old 01-05-2005, 08:22 AM   #3
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Registered: May 2004
Location: Hilliard, Ohio, USA
Distribution: Slackware, Kubuntu
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If you can boot from your external floppy, yes. Take a look here. In fact, this is how I installed Slackware.


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