Installing Mint 16 without CD/DVD or USB

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Installing Mint 16 without CD/DVD or USB

Postby aligorith on Mon Jan 06, 2014 11:41 pm

Hi,

I've got a HP Mini netbook that I'd like to install Linux Mint to (replacing the existing XP setup). However, from my investigations so far, it appears that this machine has a number of hardware-support gotchas...

1) It has no CD Drive
2) The BIOS (American Megatrends v 02.6.1) is old enough that it doesn't support booting from USB yet
3) It uses a "VIA Chrome9 HC IGP" integrated graphics
4) It uses Broadcom wireless card
5) Of the 149GB hard drive, 30GB is currently used by Windows and the associated programs and/or junk the previous owner has left behind. For all intents and purposes though, only a single partition shows up (at least according to the Windows tools)
6) The WindowsXP version installed on the machine is the Chinese version (i.e. it's very tricky finding your way around, especially since there's no way to change the language either)

Can anyone recommend a good/safe procedure for going about installing Linux on this machine?

(Also, what is the state of hardware support for 3 and 4? From the posts I've seen, these two components are some of the ones notorious for having some of the worst support/crappiness out there).

Cheers,
Aligorith
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Re: Installing Mint 16 without CD/DVD or USB

Postby computerbob on Mon Jan 06, 2014 11:54 pm

You must have a USB port on that thing.
If someone brought this to me, and it had a USB port,
I'd use my external USB drive to load a new OS.
If I didn't have an external USB drive, I wouldn't spend the money.
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Re: Installing Mint 16 without CD/DVD or USB

Postby perham on Tue Jan 07, 2014 1:51 am

aligorith wrote:Hi,

I've got a HP Mini netbook that I'd like to install Linux Mint to (replacing the existing XP setup). However, from my investigations so far, it appears that this machine has a number of hardware-support gotchas...

1) It has no CD Drive
2) The BIOS (American Megatrends v 02.6.1) is old enough that it doesn't support booting from USB yet
3) It uses a "VIA Chrome9 HC IGP" integrated graphics
4) It uses Broadcom wireless card
5) Of the 149GB hard drive, 30GB is currently used by Windows and the associated programs and/or junk the previous owner has left behind. For all intents and purposes though, only a single partition shows up (at least according to the Windows tools)
6) The WindowsXP version installed on the machine is the Chinese version (i.e. it's very tricky finding your way around, especially since there's no way to change the language either)

Can anyone recommend a good/safe procedure for going about installing Linux on this machine?

(Also, what is the state of hardware support for 3 and 4? From the posts I've seen, these two components are some of the ones notorious for having some of the worst support/crappiness out there).

Cheers,
Aligorith

you need to install over network if your system supports it. take a look here:
viewtopic.php?f=197&t=96322

it's waaaaay too much hassle to install a single system. usually this is done to install over many systems. see if it supports booting from an external usb cdrom.
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Re: Installing Mint 16 without CD/DVD or USB

Postby mintybits on Tue Jan 07, 2014 5:11 am

Another way you could do it is by using Virtualbox. You would download and run Virtualbox in Windows and use it to run the Mint install iso. You can configure Vbox to have raw access to the hard drive. It is fiddly but possible if you think it s worth the "hassle".
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Re: Installing Mint 16 without CD/DVD or USB

Postby aligorith on Tue Jan 07, 2014 6:35 am

@computerbob:
The thing has 2 USB ports, but the BIOS doesn't allow booting from them. It only has 2 options - Hard Drive, and Netboot/Ethernet

In this case, it's not really a machine I personally bought (it's far too wimpy for my own needs). Rather, it's an old machine that someone gave mom, who now wants to set it up for printing + checking emails + saving off photos.

@perham:
The main hurdle with that procedure is figuring out how to set up a suitable server to use.

@mintybits:
Hmm... that sounds like an interesting option. Considering what I had to do to get a dual boot setup working nicely on my main laptop (until the win8.1 update screwed up the something preventing grub from working)
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Re: Installing Mint 16 without CD/DVD or USB

Postby xenopeek on Tue Jan 07, 2014 8:25 am

I say: plop. No, I'm not trying to be funny :) Plop is a boot manager that you can install in Windows (or Linux, or a CD, but those aren't options for you) and which will let you boot from a USB stick even if your computer doesn't support that. Get Plop boot manager here: http://www.plop.at/en/bootmanagers.html. Suggest you download the file plpbt-5.0.14.zip and extract it on Windows. Go to the Windows folder you'll find in the extracted file and install it from there. Documentation is included in that folder.

Put the Linux Mint ISO you want to use on a USB, as per: http://community.linuxmint.com/tutorial/view/744. Reboot should give you the Plop boot manager menu from which you can then continue to boot the USB.

As for the hardware, for the Broadcom wireless you can probably install then needed proprietary drivers but that will be a bit of a hassle if you don't have an alternative Internet connection (like wired). The "VIA Chrome9 HC IGP" is going to give you some work though. There is some (old) documentation here: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/OpenChrome. Probably you'll need to research that some further.

Given that the VIA chip is probably only going to give you 2D acceleration while Cinnamon needs 3D acceleration and KDE also optionally uses that, I suggest you use either the MATE or Xfce edition of Linux Mint. I'd guess this machine doesn't have much RAM, so I'd use the 32-bit edition. Linux Mint 16 is support till July this year and as you might not be wanting to reinstall this machine so soon I suggest you use Linux Mint 13 instead (the LTS release, support till April 2017). Download from here: http://www.linuxmint.com/release.php?id=18
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Re: Installing Mint 16 without CD/DVD or USB

Postby perham on Tue Jan 07, 2014 8:27 am

aligorith wrote:@computerbob:
The thing has 2 USB ports, but the BIOS doesn't allow booting from them. It only has 2 options - Hard Drive, and Netboot/Ethernet

In this case, it's not really a machine I personally bought (it's far too wimpy for my own needs). Rather, it's an old machine that someone gave mom, who now wants to set it up for printing + checking emails + saving off photos.

@perham:
The main hurdle with that procedure is figuring out how to set up a suitable server to use.

@mintybits:
Hmm... that sounds like an interesting option. Considering what I had to do to get a dual boot setup working nicely on my main laptop (until the win8.1 update screwed up the something preventing grub from working)


virtual mode is far too slow on an older machine. try wubi to install it inside windows: http://cbopt.com/install-ubuntu-or-linu ... n-or-wubi/
note that this is not a virtual machine. instead of having a real partition it uses a loop partition for ubuntu. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wubi_(Ubuntu_installer)
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Re: Installing Mint 16 without CD/DVD or USB

Postby Neil Edmond on Tue Jan 07, 2014 9:09 am

Just pull the HDD out, and connect it to another computer that has a CD/DVD drive and install from there, them slip the drive back in and off you go. I've installed this way a few times on really old laptops that didn't support USB booting. It's quick and easy. But...I always seem to have lots of spare hardware laying around.
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