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Old 02-23-2004, 12:20 AM   #1
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Registered: Feb 2004
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installing linux without a bootable cd drive?

Here's the deal:

I've got an old Gateway with Windows 98 that is basically useless at the moment. I also want to play around with Linux in a safe environment before I put it on my newer computer. So I downloaded a bunch of ISOs (mandrake 9.2, knoppix, gentoo) and I was all ready to install... but sadly, the BIOS on this piece o junk doesn't allow booting from the CDROM.

I can only boot from a floppy, the hard drive or a network. My first thought is that a boot floppy wouldn't be too hard, but after looking around a bit, I havent't found much up to date advice on the actual procedure for doing this. I'd even be willing to try a network install, given the right guidance.

233 Pentium II running Win98
CD drive (not bootable)

I don't really need a giant step by step explanation here, just a pointer to some sort of reference material (I'm sure people have had this problem before...) If you need more info about my motherboard or BIOS settings, I will be happy to provide them if you assist me in locating them.

Thanks in advance,
Old 02-23-2004, 12:22 AM   #2
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Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Sydney, Australia
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Depending on the distro you should be able to find floppy images on the CD.
Old 02-23-2004, 12:56 AM   #3
Registered: Sep 2003
Location: Arizona
Distribution: Kubuntu 8.04
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You need to create a special installation disk. The installation disk can be created from the appropriate image file. There is most likely an image file in some directory on your installation CD. If not it can be downloaded from the Internet. You also need to use a special program to copy the image to the disk. That program can most likely be found somewhere on the CD or can be downloaded. The details vary depending on whether you are creating the disk under DOS, Windows or Linux. To create the disk from DOS you the rawrite program. To create the disk from Linux or Unix you use the dd command. I am not sure what you are supposed to do if you are using Windows. I realized I have just reached the limits of what I know but am going to post this anyway. I have rarely worked with image files and when I did I was almost always using DOS or Linux at the time.
Old 02-23-2004, 01:42 AM   #4
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thanks boys (or ladies)

more specifically i'm using vectorlinux 4.0
i've reposted over in that specific forum so thanks for getting me on track
Old 02-23-2004, 01:50 AM   #5
Registered: Sep 2003
Location: Arizona
Distribution: Kubuntu 8.04
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Here is a link that mentions how to create a boot disk for Slackware. Most likely the process would be the same for Vectorlinux. Part way down the page it mentions how to create a boot disk on a floppy disk. It is mentioned in the section titled "Boot Disk" and also in the section titled "Making the Disks".


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