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Old 06-12-2006, 09:43 PM   #1
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Installing without a working CD drive

I've got an older computer, 64mb ram, 486 mhz processor, 8.4 gig hard drive. For the most part it works decently, but the CD drive doesn't. It currently runs windows 98, and is at the point where I really need to reformat and reinstall. Other than the CD drive thing, it seems like a good computer to try linux on for the first time. I've got two computers running windows (that my parents won't let me screw with.) I've got four zip disks and a serial zip drive, so I can freely transfer stuff through that, but I'd rather not transfer more than the 400mb I can get in one trip with those. The computer also has a floppy drive and a nic card. Any ideas on how to set up without a CD drive?
Old 06-12-2006, 10:21 PM   #2
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you can try a floppy distro Since you didn't specify you wanted to try something specific, this is my first answer :P

Here you can find a list of some
Old 06-12-2006, 10:21 PM   #3
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Welcome to LQ!

Your computer has a NIC. If you have a broadband internet connection you can install from floppy. It's called netinstall, all necessary software is downloaded during install. At least Debian has install floppies available, not sure about other distros.
Old 07-20-2006, 03:24 PM   #4
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I've settled on Slackware, and I want to try an install via NFS, but I don't have another linux box to do it from. There don't seem to be any good open source NFS systems for windows, so I'm kind of stuck on what to use. Samba, from what I understand, requires more data than will fit on a floppy to set up. Could I use a live CD on my windows computer, and pull the ISOs off the HD?
Old 07-20-2006, 05:23 PM   #5
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why don't u swap hard drives, install slack, then put it back in the other computer??
Old 07-20-2006, 06:12 PM   #6
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Warranty on the newer PC. My parents would be most displeased.
Old 07-20-2006, 09:37 PM   #7
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Id try the live CD. I found that very few problems can't be solved with a live CD .

Last edited by lazyFoot_theMighty; 07-20-2006 at 10:07 PM.
Old 07-21-2006, 01:47 PM   #8
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Ideas on a floppy distro that can set up NFS? (And a live CD that would be compatible?)
Old 07-21-2006, 02:37 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by FlyingBishop
Ideas on a floppy distro that can set up NFS? (And a live CD that would be compatible?)
You don't want to use NFS. First of all, if you install Debian, you'll need to download 15,000 packages, only a fraction of which you will actually use. You want to install by FTP, or HTTP. The linux kernel has networking built right in. Look on for how to install Debian from a floppy. With the hardware you have you would probably want to install a text based system, because a 486 isn't enough to run a gui desktop in linux. You might need to make more than one floppy. There might be a floppy set. The other thing you could do is buy a working CD drive for $40.00, or however much it is. They aren't very expensive. The other thing you can do is use a live CD for you operating system.
Old 07-21-2006, 03:19 PM   #10
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You can try ZipSlack, check the Slackware website.


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