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Putting Linux onto a computer with no internet/USB?





scallywag
So the short story is I'm an idiot, my wife's IBM laptop went wild and dumped it's memory, so I restarted it with the only set up disk we had: Windows 98. Now it won't read our USB keys, won't connect to wireless, and is basically useless. I want to put Linux, or something else free & useful on it, but I have no clue how. Help?
brokenadvice
Easy, just go to the nearest computer and go to your favorite Linux website (I suggest ubuntu). Download the live cd iso and use a program like roxio to burn it. Pop the cd into the drive and turn on the laptop. If you still see the windows bootloader, restart and button mash f2 until bios settings appear. Then change the cd drive to boot first. If you don't see windows, follow the prompts to install. Hope this helps.
ocalhoun
In my experience, setting up a wireless card on linux can be easy, difficult, or impossible, depending on the card.

Also, if the computer shipped with '98 on it, you might want to consider a lightweight linux distribution, rather than one of the full-featured ones. Doing so will let that old laptop still have good performance.
For that reason, I'd stay away from any KDE-based system, and probably steer clear of Gnome as well.
There are plenty of good light-weight linux window managers out there; my personal recommendation would be a distro that uses windowmaker. (Though, a discussion about which lightweight WM is best could be a thread of its own.)
razum2um
Quote:
button mash f2 until bios settings appear

Perhaps, it may be F8 or Del.
See the messages during booting
misterXY
ocalhoun wrote:
In my experience, setting up a wireless card on linux can be easy, difficult, or impossible, depending on the card.

Also, if the computer shipped with '98 on it, you might want to consider a lightweight linux distribution, rather than one of the full-featured ones. Doing so will let that old laptop still have good performance.
For that reason, I'd stay away from any KDE-based system, and probably steer clear of Gnome as well.
There are plenty of good light-weight linux window managers out there; my personal recommendation would be a distro that uses windowmaker. (Though, a discussion about which lightweight WM is best could be a thread of its own.)


Like my Broadcom wireless card built in HP's laptops lol. That was a huge pain in the ass! Glad Ubuntu community was there, btw what's wrong with KDE? l'm running Kubuntu 9.04 and enjoy it? Damn Small linux l was told is amazing for thumbdrives boots so a older computer would run great under it? No experience in using DS linux though.
Fire Boar
misterXY wrote:
btw what's wrong with KDE? l'm running Kubuntu 9.04 and enjoy it?


ocalhoun wrote:
Also, if the computer shipped with '98 on it, you might want to consider a lightweight linux distribution, rather than one of the full-featured ones. Doing so will let that old laptop still have good performance.
For that reason, I'd stay away from any KDE-based system, and probably steer clear of Gnome as well.


Enjoyment isn't the issue. It's the system resource usage that ocalhoun was concerned about. KDE 4 should definitely be used only on newer (bought in 2004 or later) computers. KDE 3 might work alright on a computer shipping with Windows 98 though.
ocalhoun
Fire Boar wrote:

KDE 3 might work alright on a computer shipping with Windows 98 though.

... as long as you don't enable all of the features of it.
misterXY
Fire Boar wrote:
misterXY wrote:
btw what's wrong with KDE? l'm running Kubuntu 9.04 and enjoy it?


ocalhoun wrote:
Also, if the computer shipped with '98 on it, you might want to consider a lightweight linux distribution, rather than one of the full-featured ones. Doing so will let that old laptop still have good performance.
For that reason, I'd stay away from any KDE-based system, and probably steer clear of Gnome as well.


Enjoyment isn't the issue. It's the system resource usage that ocalhoun was concerned about. KDE 4 should definitely be used only on newer (bought in 2004 or later) computers. KDE 3 might work alright on a computer shipping with Windows 98 though.

Ahh got you, l'm still new too linux (month user, never touched windows since). There's a in my uptown that's still, STILL, selling Windows 98 SE and charging them as price of a new and faster computer.
scallywag
Thanks for the info, still working on fixing the problem. I tried putting Ubuntu on it but downloaded the wrong version. Her laptop is only 32bit, so most of the systems are too big for it to handle. It's an IBM ThinkPad. I'm determined to get it fixed today, really hope some of these suggestions pan out, thanks guys!
JBotAlan
scallywag wrote:
I tried putting Ubuntu on it but downloaded the wrong version. Her laptop is only 32bit, so most of the systems are too big for it to handle.

Well, you won't be able to put a 64-bit version of Ubuntu on a 32-bit machine. You can do the opposite, though. You want the standard Desktop version of Ubuntu 9.04 (http://www.ubuntu.com/getubuntu/download; choose a location and hit "Begin Download". Don't change the 32/64 bit setting from 32 bit). Once you have it downloaded, you need to burn it to CD, but you need to burn the ISO image to the CD, not merely burn the .iso file. There are instructions available here: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/BurningIsoHowto.
leontius
JBotAlan wrote:
scallywag wrote:
I tried putting Ubuntu on it but downloaded the wrong version. Her laptop is only 32bit, so most of the systems are too big for it to handle.

Well, you won't be able to put a 64-bit version of Ubuntu on a 32-bit machine. You can do the opposite, though.


Are you sure this is true? And how do you know that a machine is 32 or 64 bit?
Fire Boar
leontius wrote:
JBotAlan wrote:
scallywag wrote:
I tried putting Ubuntu on it but downloaded the wrong version. Her laptop is only 32bit, so most of the systems are too big for it to handle.

Well, you won't be able to put a 64-bit version of Ubuntu on a 32-bit machine. You can do the opposite, though.


Are you sure this is true? And how do you know that a machine is 32 or 64 bit?


Yes. I've done it.

It's the processor that's 32/64 bit, and there are two reliable ways of finding out which yours is.

1) Try installing a 64-bit operating system. If it doesn't work, your processor is 32-bit (or you just suck at installing things). If it does work, your processor is 64-bit.
2) Know the make of your CPU. If you do, you can look it up and check which it is.

Almost all modern CPUs are now 64-bit. Note that a 32-bit operating system normally sees the CPU as 32-bit, so its analysis is not entirely trustworthy.
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