I got a laptop with a CD'rom which doesnt work, no floppy, can't boot from USB, that leaves the boot options to harddrive or ethernet. I dont know much about networkbooting, but I know this much that'd it require another machine of sorts, which I dont have. So that leaves the HDD.
Furthermore it got XP installed at the moment, and 4 partitions, 1 which I can format to whatever file system I want, or split into boot etc linux partitions I'd need for the linux mint install.
What I'm thinking is that I oughta be able to copy bootable files, maybe whole image to this partion and fire it up by making it a option in XP's boot menu.
I've done something similar before by using the dd command in linux and copy 512 bytes from the grubloader and place that file on the windows partition, so that the windows bootloader could kickstart grub.
Now, if I managed this, the problem would be that I wouldnt like to install linux with a FAT32 filesystem, and I can't reformat the partition I'm installing from, so I'm thinking in a perfect world, I could have booted just the install menu and drivers to support USB, and install from that. And then I could install over that inital booted partition.
Easier would be to just make another partition only for the install files of course, but this would be more practical.
So to summarize, any way to get the install going from a FAT32 partition by using the XP bootloader? Does it sound like a problem you know a solve for?
I'd prefer not to overwrite XP (ntldr) with grub if possible, to make a possible rollback easier.