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?