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Linux HD Install

I have an old laptop (1998) with just 4GB HD where I’d like to install Linux. The thing is, being an old laptop, it does not boot from the external CD-ROM. I know that Linux can be installed from a removable drive, FTP or the HD itself, but all require a through knowledge.

I’ve been looking into it but in all honesty, sounds like a daunting job for someone like me, a self-confessed “power user”, no more no less. Changes in the bios, etc. scare me to death. Also, there’s the issue of the multiple distributions, the kernel, etc, etc, etc. Very confusing indeed!

Does anyone know an “easy” way around this? Is there a distribution or install out there that can be installed from the HD at the touch of a button?

Dont you have an internal CD-ROM??

If not it is possible to install linux over the internet (you need a good internetconnection). The only thing you need then is some floppy disks. I dont have any links but you should try google or ask at a linux forum..
AFAIK, debian can be booted from a floppy. maybe your distro has a boot floopy or somethin. try to check on their site/forum
Allmost any linux distro can be installed with a booting diskette and CD. My advice is to check the distribution forum and helps before you start. This way you're gona have a clue what to do and expect.
boot into the BIOS and change the boot order to boot from the cd drive first.

Then put in the disk and follow the directions.
I have used Knoppix in the past and found it very useful. I would recommend trying it because you can run it from the CD before you install it so you can see whether or not you like it.
First you must download the CD from
Then, open Knoppix in normal mode in your language (at the boot prompt when you insert the CD type "knoppix lang=[your language abbreviation]"). Press CTRL-ALT-F1 to open the root console. Type "knx-hdinstall" and follow the instructions to install on your hard drive.
After you've rebooted, if the Knoppix installation isn't in your language, click on "KDE Control Centre" at the bottom of the screen, then "Land und Sprache." Then choose your language and location. Click on "Andwenden," then close and restart the Control Center. Then click "Peripherals" then "Keyboard." Choose your keyboard layout.
Apply changes, exit the control center and press CTRL-ALT-F2, and log in as the user you specified during setup. If you want to update Knoppix, type "apt-get update" to download the latest updates.
Ok, first of all, i hoe that you don't afraid to read tons and tons of docs, articles and guides.

Debian can be installed using a floppy and an internet connection(broadband is good).

other distros:

remember, GooGlE is thine friend!

keywords: how to linux, guides linux, beginner in linux, tips linux, beginner linux distro.. etc
I have done this before. It is not too big a pain in the ass. Once you have created your boot floppy, there is usually some simple command you have to give it to see the CDRom drive and start the Linux install process (from the CD). It is distro-specific, but should be simple. An external CD drive could be a problem, as it is probably run over a parellel port. That could be your biggest problem.
Thank you everyone.

As wrightbros points out, I am using an external CD-ROM on a parallel port. I've tried a few distros but all installations die when trying to read from the CD-ROM. This is why I was asking for alternative ways to install the goddam thing.

I’ll try Helios suggestion of installing Debian online as I’ve got a good ADSL broadband connection. Bandwidth is not a problem here but my amateurism.

I’ll come back again if I’m stuck!!!

If you can boot floppies (older machine should be no problem), slack will require 3 disks. Use rawrite.exe to put bare.i (from the bootdsks folder), install.1 and install.2 (from the rootdsks folder) and you should be good to go. Of course that's assuming it will recognize the external CD.... Wink
This is a work for slackware! Smile
Download floppy image, boot from floppy, select partitions to format and in which you're going to install linux in, then, if your NIC is a well known one and works with the default kernel modules, go through the FTP installation, or if you prefer there is also NFS installation.
Documentation is very good on this topic, even if it seems scary, it's not that difficult.

Just have a try Smile
Just out of intrest do you have a Acer Travelmate 330T - I have the same one!

I know Suse linux is really good for these things, it is uses less ram and is small. Plus you can download almost in any language. For fast download, you should try downloading it with limewire or use .
If you want to use it for your company, or server: I recommend going to the store and buying Redhat linux. This includes everything linux should need (even a couple of games Very Happy ). It's cheap, only about $15 or so.
And as stated before by another user you should go to bios (by a function key, delete or so. It depends on the motherboard!).

So, I hope I've been helpful,

Bram Haegeman
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