Installing Mint on a HDD before putting it in a laptop

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Installing Mint on a HDD before putting it in a laptop

Postby Garnett on Mon Sep 07, 2009 7:50 am

I've got a fair old problem with a Sony Vaio VGN-A217M laptop.

The CD drive failed halfway through installing Ubuntu, and seems utterly borked.

The laptop now loads the Vaio splash screen and then reports "Error finding operating system".

The BIOS offers the option to boot from "removable dev." but I have tried with numerous Unetbootin USB sticks and a liveUSB created by Ubuntu's in-system "Live USb Creator" as well as a boot test usb from these instructions.

There is an option for a netboot, and when activated the machine does look for DHCP details, but setting up a DHCP server seems to be beyond me.

I'm left contemplating removing the HDD (seemingly a damn trickier job on a Sony than on my HP), dropping it in a dock I have, and installing Mint on it as an external HDD before putting it back in the laptop.

Will this work?
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Re: Installing Mint on a HDD before putting it in a laptop

Postby viking777 on Mon Sep 07, 2009 8:02 am

Are you sure the cd drive is dead? I have an old Sony Vaio laptop as well, and I have spent ages trying it with various Linux distributions and every time I tried it I got CD read errors (cannot find installation disk or something of that sort). Until recently the only thing I could persuade to run on it was Puppy Linux, and that only ran in an 800x600 window. Just a few days ago I got hold of a Crunchbang live cd. I tried it on my main computer but didn't have much interest in it. Then I thought I would try it on the old Vaio as it is a very lightweight distribution and the Vaio has a pretty low spec. It installed perfectly first time and runs at the correct resolution - the first time I have achieved that on this machine.
Now I don't know if your problem is the same, but it may be something to think about.

BTW I don't see any reason why your original plan shouldn't work though.

Good luck.
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Re: Installing Mint on a HDD before putting it in a laptop

Postby Garnett on Mon Sep 07, 2009 8:32 am

Thanks for the reply. I'm certain the CD dive is borked (because- and to save my embarrassment, I omitted this fact from the OP- my sister, whose computer it is, said the CD drive was broken when she gave it to me! It seemedd to be OK when I started using it though!)

I'm going to remove the HDD as I said. Thanks for giving it the thumbs up.
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