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I want to install Linux without a CD/DVD or USB drive


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#1 yu gnomi

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Posted 13 April 2015 - 11:05 PM

Is this feasible, without a great deal of convolution - I have seen some scheme using Parted Magic to create a new partition and installing something called Wubi to that. I haven't the first idea of how Wubi works. If there is a simpler option, I am interested.

 

The computer I am installing to is an older machine that has Windows XP installed to it. I have removed the DVD drive from this computer, and the motherboard does not support booting from a thumb drive, so I am not sure how to do this. I thought that Debian supported net install, but when I tried it, the install program kept asking for the location of the CD drive.

 

I am not terribly picky about which distro, but the only distro I have used extensively is Debian, so either Debian or one of it's descendant distros would be my preference.



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#2 NickAu

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Posted 13 April 2015 - 11:25 PM

I have never used Wubi, Before you try it out please make sure you create backups.

 

https://wiki.ubuntu.com/WubiGuide

 

If you have an Ethernet connection to the machine,  you may be able to network boot/install, use the drive on another machine to install Ubuntu over your local network.

Check it out  over here.


Edited by NickAu, 13 April 2015 - 11:25 PM.


#3 yu gnomi

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Posted 13 April 2015 - 11:39 PM

I have already copied everything I need off of that computer onto an external drive, so I don't think I need to back up. I would rather do a straight up Linux install than a multi-boot, but I am for whatever works.

 

During my aborted attempt to install Debian, some files (bootloader files I think) were put onto my C: drive- g2ldr , g2ldr.mbr, and a folder win32-loader. Should I delete these or leave them?



#4 yu gnomi

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Posted 14 April 2015 - 12:15 AM

Wubi appear to install Ubuntu in a dual-boot configuration alongside windows. That really isn't what I want to do, I would rather have a computer that boots only to Linux. Is there a way of doing that without a CD/DVD drive or USB drive?



#5 shadow-warrior

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Posted 14 April 2015 - 04:42 AM

There is a way to install from an ISO file on a linux system  but as far as i know not from a windows system as it needs a Grub2 bootloader installed.....

 

I am not sure about internal drives but i believe you can install linux from Virtual Box onto a External Hard drive..........so It should be possible to install to a seperate partion on a windows box...then you could delete the windows partition .......i guess you would need to have grub2 installed on its own boot partition so it gets detected on first boot up after deletion of windows

 

This is just a "Maybe Possible"  so there may be others on here with more ideas on ways to install with no cd usb  access....or any ideas on the above



#6 NickAu

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Posted 14 April 2015 - 05:35 AM

One option would be to take the HDD out of the PC and hook it up to another PC then install Linux, And put the HDD back into the first PC.



#7 mralias518

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Posted 14 April 2015 - 07:18 AM

Or you could create a Yumi hard drive and install all kinds of OS's on that through windows. Once you have what you want on the Yumi drive put that in as your boot-able drive. Now you have all kinds of operating systems. I used this approach when my motherboard on my desktop would not boot from usb. (motherboard known problem, a story for another day and thread).  Look here http://www.pendrivelinux.com/yumi-multiboot-usb-creator/


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#8 Al1000

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Posted 14 April 2015 - 08:21 AM

I thought that Debian supported net install, but when I tried it, the install program kept asking for the location of the CD drive.

When I used Debian's net install, I had to first of all install a "base system" which is an ISO of around 300 - 400MiB, then everything else is downloaded during installation.

One option would be to take the HDD out of the PC and hook it up to another PC then install Linux, And put the HDD back into the first PC.

That would seem to be the easiest solution. I would unplug the hard drive(s) in the other computer before plugging in the hard drive from the computer that Linux is going on, so that it's designated as sda during the install, which is what it will be when you put it back in the computer it belongs to (assuming it doesn't have more than one hard drive).

EDIT:

and the motherboard does not support booting from a thumb drive,

Have you tried looking for the bootable USB in the hard drive menu in the BIOS? That's how it works on my old motherboard. Bootable USBs show up in the hard drive menu, rather than in the boot priority menu.

Edited by Al1000, 14 April 2015 - 08:28 AM.


#9 shadow-warrior

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Posted 14 April 2015 - 10:36 AM

https://www.debian.org/releases/stable/i386/ch02s04.html.en#idp6135936   there is something on booting Debian over a network  here ...but i don't see how it can be done on a lone machine. without some installed boot files..



#10 bmike1

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Posted 14 April 2015 - 01:20 PM

look here: http://www.debian.org/distrib/netinst


A/V Software? I don't need A/V software. I've run Linux since '98 w/o A/V software and have never had a virus. I never even had a firewall until '01 when I began to get routers with firewalls pre installed. With Linux if a vulnerability is detected a fix is quickly found and then upon your next update the vulnerability is patched.  If you must worry about viruses  on a Linux system only worry about them in the sense that you can infect a windows user. I recommend Linux Mint or, if you need a lighter weight operating system that fits on a cd, MX14 or AntiX.


#11 bmike1

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Posted 14 April 2015 - 01:28 PM

I know my LUG has done it. I was at the installfest they did it at about 11 years ago. Contact plug-discuss@lists.phxlinux.org You will have to sign up for the mailing list at phxlinux.org


A/V Software? I don't need A/V software. I've run Linux since '98 w/o A/V software and have never had a virus. I never even had a firewall until '01 when I began to get routers with firewalls pre installed. With Linux if a vulnerability is detected a fix is quickly found and then upon your next update the vulnerability is patched.  If you must worry about viruses  on a Linux system only worry about them in the sense that you can infect a windows user. I recommend Linux Mint or, if you need a lighter weight operating system that fits on a cd, MX14 or AntiX.


#12 JohnC_21

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Posted 14 April 2015 - 01:48 PM

If the computer is old enough and has a floppy disk, you can boot PLOP which will let you boot a USB flash drive even if the BIOS does not support booting from USB.

 

https://www.plop.at/en/bootmanagers.html



#13 yu gnomi

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Posted 15 April 2015 - 02:50 AM

My Bios gives 3 options for Boot drives with the term 'USB' in them (Floppy, ZIP, and CD), none of which facilitate booting from a thumbdrive - I have attempted all 3.

 

I junked my USB floppy drive when I moved a few months ago (along with a lot of other stuff). I didn't think I would ever have a use for it again. Last time I used it, I put Memtest86+ or some similar program, on a 3.5" floppy to run during a re-boot. I ended up with a computer that would only boot into Syslinux and run Memtest86+, because the program had overwritten the bootsector on my hard drive.

 

IIRC at the time the PC would only boot with the floppy drive connected and that particular floppy inserted. I managed to fix that by installing a new bootloader from the Ultimate Boot CD, which I made a copy of some time ago. That bootloader still presents me with a choice every time I boot up, to boot Windows XP or boot Windows XP (I am not sure why there are 2 options, I think I only set 1 up - I was just happy to have my computer boot again and never messed with the bootloader afterwards). I would really like for a new OS to re-write the MBR and boot sector as part of it's installation, leaving me with a simple, single OS boot experience afterwards. 

 

I have been looking into trying a different way of net installing Debian, that bmike1 linked to 2 posts up. I don't know anything about TFTS service, but I found a program OpenTFTS at Sourceforge. I have downloaded and installed it, and set the TFTS service to run as a Manual start service.

 

What is preventing me from attempting a net install at this point is a serious doubt on my part, that the installation can simultaneously rely on files and services on my drive on the one hand, and wipe out everything on that drive, and replace it with Linux OS on the other hand. I am not sure that I should attempt this, since it is possible that I will only succeed in making my computer un-bootable.    

 

I have a working DVD writer, it is currently installed in my newer computer which is temporarily down for repairs (probably bad Power Supply or Motherboard, not sure). I could take it out and install it in this machine, and then buy blank disks - unless it turns out one or more of my un-labeled disks actually is blank (which I kind of doubt). I had hoped to leave the DVD drive where it is, but removing it and re-installing it into my older computer isn't out of the question. I also have an external HDD, with ~ 600 GB free space on it, if that makes things easier.



#14 Al1000

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Posted 15 April 2015 - 04:17 AM

My Bios gives 3 options for Boot drives with the term 'USB' in them (Floppy, ZIP, and CD), none of which facilitate booting from a thumbdrive - I have attempted all 3.

Does your BIOS have a menu to allow you to boot from different hard drives? That's where bootable USBs show up in my BIOS.

Your MB sounds newer than mine. My BIOS only has 3 options in the boot priority menu: HDD, CD/DVD and Removable Device; the latter being for floppy disks if I had a floppy drive connected to the MB.

#15 mralias518

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Posted 15 April 2015 - 09:00 AM

Yu gnomi,

 

What make and model motherboard do you have? What is the bios firmware version? Perhaps if some of that info was available troubleshooting might go easier. 


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