Friday, August 31, 2007

Install any Linux distro directly from hard disk without burning any DVD

After you download any Linux distro from the internet, you have to burn it to a DVD, CD or a number of CDs to install it. That CD or DVD is generally used only once after which it lies unused , and worse, almost every Linux distro comes up with a new release every 6 months. So if you are in the habit of upgrading to every new version, you must have dozens of CDs lying at the bottom of your drawer. What a wastage of CDs! But with a little trick you can install any Linux directly from the hard disk without burning a single CD or DVD. The prerequisite of this trick is to have an operating system already installed on your computer. This is obvious because unless you are able to boot into your machine, you can't install anything; and we are not going to boot from the Linux disk because we aren't burning any. Here I'm going to focus on Microsoft Windows as the pre installed operating system.

Almost all Linux installers uses two files to boot the computer: a Linux kernel, and an initial root file system containing a minimal set of directories that is mounted prior to when the real root file system is available. This initial root file system is also called Ram disk (initrd). We will use these two files to boot our PC. Now lets get to the actual procedure.

1. The first thing you will have to do is copy the ISO file(s) of the Linux to your hard disk (ofcourse, you already have it). Make sure that the partition is FAT32 unless the distro you are installing has native NTFS read/write support. Some distros require you to copy the ISO file(s) to the root of the partition. If you keep it inside a folder, the setup might not be able to detect it.

2. Use Winrar to open the ISO file (you need not need to extract it). Now you will have to extract the two files I talked about earlier. The files are usually found inside a directory called isolinux. Different distros might place the files in different location; you just have to search for it, but it isn't hard to locate. These two files are also named differently in different distros. The files that you will need to search and extract are: (the kernel file is shown in green and the Ram disk is shown in red)

Fedora: vmlinuz and initrd.img

Suse: linux and initrd

Mandriva: vmlinuz and all.rdz

Ubuntu: vmlinuz and initrd.gz

Gentoo: gentoo and gentoo.igz

Knoppix: vmlinuz and initrd.img

Slackware: bzImage and initrd.img

Debian: vmlinuz and initrd.gz

3. After you have extracted the two files, copy them to c:\boot (you will need to create the folder "boot")

4. Now download the file called grub4dos from here. (Note: the new versions of grub4dos i.e. 0.4.2 and 0.4.3 does not work. So download the earlier version 0.4.1. Direct download link)  Extract the folder "boot" and the file "grldr" from the downloaded zip file. Inside the folder "boot" is another folder called "grub"; copy the folder "grub" to c:\boot. Copy the file "grldr" to c:\

5. Open c:\boot\grub\menu.lst and add these following lines. (Notice that hd0 refers to the first hard drive. If you have more than one hard drive, they will be named hd1, hd2 etc. Replace hd0 with the proper hard drive number incase you have windows installed on another drive.) Replace Linux_kernel and Ram_disk with the appropriate file names below. (the ones you copied to c:\boot)


title Install Linux
kernel (hd0,0)/boot/Linux_kernel
initrd (hd0,0)/boot/Ram_disk


6. Now you have to add grub to your c:\boot.ini file. You can open boot.ini by clicking on Start>Run and typing c:\boot.ini. If Windows does not allow the file to be modified, then go to Control Panel>System and click on the Advanced tab. Now under Startup and Recovery click Settings and then under System Startup click Edit. Open boot.ini and add this line in the end.

C:\grldr=”Start GRUB”

7. You are now ready to install Linux. Restart your PC and from the boot screen select "Start GRUB". This will load GRUB. From the grub screen select "Install Linux". During the setup you will be asked the source of installation. Choose hard disk and then select the hard drive partition where you copied the ISO files. Sometimes you might have to type the whole path of the partition and the exact name of the ISO. So write it down before you begin.

I have personally tested this with Fedora, Suse and Mandriva and it works without problem. I have no doubt it will work for others too.

Update: dougfractal adds that this is possible from Linux too. The method as he describes is:

From the terminal enter these commands

sudo mkdir /distro
sudo chmod `whoami`:`whoami`
cp MYLINUX.iso /distro/distro.iso

Now extract Linux_kernel & Ram_disk to /distro#

Open  /boot/grub/menu.lst

#ADD NEW ENTRY#
title Install Linux
root (hdX,X)
kernel /distro/Linux_kernel
initrd /distro/Ram_disk

Reboot and select "Install Linux" from grub.

Update: For Ubuntu, see the Official Documentationhttps://help.ubuntu.com/community/BootFromUSB#Using_an_internal_hard_drive.

178 comments:

  1. Thank you, that was interesting and useful :-)

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  2. Surely this only applies for a Linux-Windows Dual Boot system? Even then using a rewriteable disc is just as simple?

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  3. Great tip. I am going to give this a shot in a few minutes. Thanks from your new friends @ AskTheAdmin.com

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  4. Or, if you're like the avarage computer user you have some old useless box sitting in the closet gathering dust. Install Ubuntu on it, load up tftp, rarpd, dhcpd, vsftpd and and start netbooting your installs.

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  5. From my experience this usually doesn't work with the now popular Live-CD distrobutions (PCLinuxOS, Ubuntu Desktop). I use a similar method for my Centos installs... and taking CD swapping out of the equation and adding the speed of hard drive data transfer... this method is pretty darn fast.

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  6. Personally, I favor the CD writing. While I condone the senseless wasting of CD's, CD-RW's I have no problem with. Also, I would think the delay inherent in simultaneously reading and writing to a drive, especially if it isn't very high-speed (7200 rpm or less), would make the process a little more time consuming.

    However, this method is fantastic for a system with two or more hard drives in it. The data transmission speeds would be much better than even CD to HDD. I definately would try this out.

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  7. Miller, it's condemn, not condone. Even then, condoning the senseless waste of CD-RWs is silly. And it's spelled 'definitely'. Really helps with credibility.

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  8. What if you have a Window's Vista partition? Window's Vista creates a boot dir under the root of C:\. I am curious if this Linux install method would have technical difficulties or conflicts with an already occurring Vista boot dir.

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  9. Get the minimal CD of your distribution and put it on a usb disk. Boot from there and do a netinstall.

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  10. "almost every Linux distro comes up with a new release every 6 months. So if you are in the habit of upgrading to every new version, you must have dozens of CDs lying at the bottom of your drawer"

    Actually, I think most people just upgrade from online repositories.

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  11. Gentoo, and some other distros rarely put out new releases. Plus, when installing gentoo, you just create a new partition and chroot.

    Yum (and I'd assume apt-get) let you set the root path to install to. Just about every distro uses net-install these days too.

    So, if you have room for another root partition, you can usually find a way to install a distribution without even downloading the CD.

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  12. i always press "upgrade" in my ubuntu box when a new release is in the wild. this requires nothing except some bandwith and time ...
    but anyway, nice hack ;)

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  13. "Gentoo, and some other distros rarely put out new releases. Plus, when installing gentoo, you just create a new partition and chroot."

    Yeah, and Gentoo takes 10 hours to install because it compiles everything from source.

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  14. Nice tip!!!

    Very ingenious :-) I never heard of grub4ds before, but that makes life way simpler! :-)

    Thanks,
    Alexei

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  15. Would you provide the info for Damn Small Linux and FreeNAS? What name is kernel file and the Ram disk this two distro used?

    Is it possible have a similar common way to install them from linux?

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  16. UNetbootin at http://lubi.sourceforge.net/unetbootin.html does the job for Ubuntu and Debian automatically, for Windows and Linux

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  17. Problem with step #4
    Now download the file called grub4dos from here. Extract the folder "boot" and the file "grldr"
    from the downloaded zip file.

    There is no folder called "boot" in the downloaded zip file.

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  18. grub_for_dos-0.4.1 which includes the boot folder can be downloaded at:
    http://grub4dos.freespaces.com/

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  19. This is great.
    I thought I'd try this out from linux.

    sudo mkdir /distro
    sudo chmod `whoami`:`whoami`
    cp MYLINUX.iso /distro/distro.iso
    #EXTRACT Linux_kernel & Ram_disk TO /distro#

    sudo nano /boot/grub/menu.lst

    #ADD NEW ENTRY#
    title Install Linux
    root (hdX,X)
    kernel /distro/Linux_kernel
    initrd /distro/Ram_disk

    Reboot and select "Install Linux" from grub.

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  20. sudo chmod `whoami`:`whoami`
    whoops!

    sudo chown `whoami`:`whoami`

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  21. Please give directions for Xandros.

    Thanks,
    Cathy S

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  22. This has another appliction: There are a number of sub-notebooks out there
    which do not have a cd drive, for example the Acer Travelmate C 100, the IBM Thinkpad X series, or the Toschiba Protege. Some of these do not boot some distributions from an external
    CD drive. For example, the Acer Travelmate C 100 will not boot off an exteral CD for Fedora. So then the only option used to be a network install. This procesdure is much easier. Thank you!

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  23. @Paul: I don't have Windows Vista installed right now on my system so I have no way of telling. But I think the same can be achieved by adding the entries through BCDEdit.

    @... (couldn't find a better name, did ya? ;))

    I will see for DamnSmall Linux and let you know. And yup its possible from Linux too. See dougfractal's comment.

    @dougfractal:

    Thanks for that!

    @mtnbluet: I will let you know. I have to search for my Xandros CD. :)

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  24. Wubi is a GUI system for installing ubuntu based systems in windows.

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  25. Gentoo doesn't really make releases as we know them from Debian, Fedora, etc. The releases only consist of an installation CD, Live CD and stage3 tarballs which you need to install Gentoo. You install a Gentoo installation from scratch only once, after that you never need to download a "release" again (and thus certainly do not need to "spend 10 hours" every time). When connected to the Internet and using Portage you can keep your system up-to-date many years after you made the initial install. Every aspect of the system is reflected in a package, even the base stuff (baselayout package).

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  26. simply use a rewritable media?

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  27. For Ubuntu Feisty, you need the following vmlinuz and initrd.gz for installing from iso:

    http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/dists/feisty/main/installer-i386/current/images/hd-media/

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  28. If you burn a cdrom for every distro you download, and install from disk only once, that burn is not wasted if you pass the disk on to a friend or stranger.

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  29. @mtnbluet: Sorry, I couldn't find the files in Xandros. The files on the CD are a bit differnt, not what we typically find on a Linux CD. Though there is one vmlinux but its empty and so is initrd. I presume those get created when the installation process starts. I will give you 3 alternatives.

    1. Find someone who already have Xandros running and copy vmlinuz and initrd from /boot
    2. Use a USB drive to boot from it.
    3. Xandros allows you to boot from a floppy too. You can use that.

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  30. for ubuntu, installing from hard drive using grub usually need to download a special kernel file and initrd.img from their website, do you think using kernel file and initrd.img picked out from iso image as your description in this article also work?

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  31. Its not any special kernel file but the same one present on the disc. It will work.

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  32. For Ubuntu, you cannot use initrd.gz file extracted from iso file for hard drive installation, that's why Ubuntu provide a special initrd.gz for user's download.

    The kernel file is same.

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  33. JFYI, installign Debian from Windows is easy via goodbye-microsoft.com

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  34. Hello. I do not have your permission, but issued a translation of your post on the Russian language at my blog. Translation is available here: http://demonjaka.blogspot.com/2007/09/blog-post_07.html

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  35. @Антон Баранов:

    No problem. :)

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  36. There used to be a utility 'loadlin' which came with redhat in old times. maybe it can be used instread of grub.

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  37. I've tried this to install Linux Mint from harddisk.
    But I got an error message like this:
    Error 17: File not found
    Booting 'find /boot/grub/menu.lst'
    Error 20: Select cylinder exceeds maximum supported by BIOS

    Something wrong?

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  38. Are you sure the file /boot/grub/menu.lst is actually there? Have you placed grldr on c:\?

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  39. I have copied grldr on c:\
    and my menu.lst is on c:\boot\grub\ folder
    Or maybe it just not work on Linux Mint?

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  40. Brilliant! This is exactly what I was looking for. Thanks

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  41. This article has even higher potential, not only saves DVDs for Linux updates, but also allows to install distros from scratch in machines with no DVD drive AND BOOT THEM FROM XP. I did as the article reads, installed Fedora in a HD not used by XP, selecting "No boot" during installation. Then deleted unwanted titles in menu.lst and added a new "Title Boot Fedora" with same lines described in the article BUT POINTING TO THE NEW vmlinuz and initrd.img that Fedora created in the installation. Now I can boot into XP (default) or GRUB, and then choose either to boot Fedora or install it. Note that GrubForDos version 0.4.1 works as described, but version 0.4.2 does not, has different files. Note that the vmlinuz and initrd created by Fedora in the boot area have long names including several dots that may need renaming to work. You may need to install a driver in XP that allows you read Ext2fs partitions and rename files. It can be found in http://www.fs-driver.org/

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  42. @Oscar:

    Thanks for the valuable inputs. Indeed, this method has a much higher potential.

    Does Grub4Dos ver 0.4.2 not work? I didn't know that. Actually, I tried this stuff almost a year ago. Probably the version I used then was 0.4.1. I have been using that ever since.

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  43. I'm amazed that I missed this. Thanks for pointing out the obvious (in a good way) for me, this is just what I've been looking for.
    On a related note: Are you sure it works on openSUSE? It keeps track of package repositories on the CDs using their labels, and... Well, there's always the network install, but what if you want to install it right off the image? It shouldn't work, but if you say you've tested it, I'll take your word for it.

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  44. I have always used "upgrade" from my ubuntu box. Eats up some bandwith and my valuable time.
    This is a great alternate you have giver here. Thanks for sharing with all of us.

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  45. how i should write path to file in the grub?
    my suse cdimage (su.iso) is on C:\ disk.
    when i'm selecting hdd as a source for installation, his asking me for path to the file and when I write C:\su.iso or su.iso,su,C:\su..., -grub cant find em. =\

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  46. i have tried to put iso file on fat32 partition, tried to extract whole iso in folder and that did not helped.

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  47. @dnmt:

    Linux does not understand drive c,d etc. Your C drive is most likely to be called sda1. So the path name will be

    /sda1/su.iso

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  48. Hi, Its a great Guide... Thanks.

    I've Successfully did it a few days ago, it worked good with the Win Xp, but on vista it is giving error as there is no boot.ini to add the entry "C:\grldr="Start Linux", and can't create "boot" folder, as it is already there but with no access to it, though I copied the required files to the "boot" folder from Command Line,
    and also I Tried to add the entry "C:\grldr="Start Linux", with the bcdedit.exe but avail no result ... it says ".../Windows/system32/hal.dll missing"

    If you have also faced this and got the solution please Let me know the Solution...

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  49. how to do it with free bsd? bsd?

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  50. I do not agree with! You can not do this with the Gentoo distro!

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  51. hi,
    the "/boot" folder is no longer available from grub4dos 0.4.2 and up.
    update of this guide would be appreciated ... I will use the old G4D, probably works fine, thanks!

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  52. Guide updated with working links.

    Thanks.

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  53. to do this with debian images, do not use the kernel and ram disk files from the ISO. these support installs from cds or the internet only. the files you need can be found on debian mirrors in:
    /dists/*release*/main/installer-*architecture*/*version*/..
       ..images/hd-media/gtk/

    the files i needed were located in:
    http://debian.osuosl.org/debian/dists/Debian4.0r1/main/..
       ..installer-i386/current/images/hd-media/gtk/
    for the latest version of etch for i386

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  54. @marshieparshie:

    Thanks for that. I didn't have time and the iso files of all the distros to test it.

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  55. that's how I did with sodilinux (based on ubuntu 7.04)

    create a fat16 partition (hd0,1) /dev/hda1
    mkdir /media/fat16
    mount /dev/hda1 /media/fat16
    mkdir /cdrom
    mount ubuntu.iso /cdrom
    cp -av /cdrom/* /media/fat16

    modify /boot/grub/menu.lst adding:

    ################################################
    title setup ubuntu
    root (hd0,1) #second partition
    kernel (hd0,1)/casper/vmlinuz file=/cdrom/preseed/ubuntu.seed boot=casper
    initrd (hd0,1)/casper/initrd.g
    ######################################

    umount /cdrom
    umount /media/fat16

    reboot

    at boot select "setup ubuntu"


    NiKoZ

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  56. I've got to the stage just after i choose Install Linux and it says stuff about each of these
    kernel (hd0,0)/boot/vmlinuz
    initrd (hd0,0)/boot/initrd.img
    in a few lines but then just freezes with the cursor flashing - is this part suppost to take a while or has something gone wrong? Any ideas?

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  57. ... more info:

    Here's what i'm getting after I choose 'Install Linux':

    kernel (hd0,0)/boot/vmlinuz
    [Linux-bzImage, setup=0x1e00, size=0x1e3354]
    initrd (hd0,0)/boot/initrd.img
    [Linux-initrd@0x7976000, 0x5695c0 bytes]

    (is this usual)

    forgive me im reading my atrocious writing, some 0s may be os, 1s may be ls or Is and es may be cs but the rest it what im getting defo.

    this remains on screen but all i get is a cursor flashing underneath and nothing else happens! help, please i've been trying to get this installed for ages!!

    Iam intending to use Fedora7-i386 DVD iso which i have placed both in the root of on my windows C drive and the F drive which i want to install linux onto.

    I have just converted both these from NTFS to FAT32 using partion magic.

    But I haven't even been asked where the source file is and where i want to instll linux, it's just frozen at the point I mentioned.

    I thought i had done everything correctly - i extracted both those files into c:\boot, extracted that other one into c:, extracted the grub folder from within the boot dir in the zip into the boot dir in c, edited the menu.lst, then edited the boot.ini.

    Any thoughts?

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  58. @Rascalico:

    The first thing is: you can't install linux on your F drive. Linux can't be installed on FAT32 or NTFS. It has it's own file system. To install linux you need to have free space on your hard disk - space free of any partition. During installation process you should "tell" the setup program to use the free space. If you don't have much experience about installing linux, you could try installing it inside a virtual machine. Search on Google.

    Regarding to your actual problem, I don't remember exactly whether it shows such information. Usually, as soon as you choose "Install Linux", it displays some mesage like "kernel found" and then "uncompressing kernel image" etc. After a few more messages (different files loading etc), the graphical interface takes over.

    Check whether the files vmlinuz and initrd.img are inside c:\boot.

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  59. ^ (thanks i've merged my partitions now)

    Still no luck though, the files are defo. in c:\boot, i tried a few different things but same thing is happening :-(

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  60. If you want to do this for a system running Windows Me. Here is what worked for me.

    + boot Windows in safe mode
    + C>: bootlace 0x80

    follow the steps mentioned earlier - of copying Grub and menu.lst to C: . You will be on your way to booting from the distro on the hard disk.

    the following tutorial for grub is very useful.
    http://grub4dos.sourceforge.net/wiki/index.php/Grub4dos_tutorial

    In my case - Ubuntu7.10 could not recognize my hard disk - (my systems is a Dell Inspiron 8100), so I had to switch to Fedora.

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  61. Thanks for your tutorial! It was AWESOME and did exactly what I needed.

    Now I have PCLinuxOS installed dual-boot with WinXP on my Toshiba R100. Suspend to disk works with PCLOS, and the recent updates to PCLOS's printer databases have allowed me to enable my Canon Pixus i560, i4200, and network Brother MFC-7820N.

    AWESOME!!! Thanks again.

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  62. PS - For anyone who is interested, I didn't reformat my drive with a FAT32 partition for the ISO file before installing. I un-archived the .iso files and saved them on a USB card reader (1Gb SD card).

    So, I suppose I could easily use this same technique for install to a USB memory stick.

    AWESOME!!!

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  63. @Dulwithe:

    I'm happy to learn that my tutorial worked for you. And yes, most new linux distros has inbuilt NTFS support and can be booted from the USB drive too.

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  64. need help.......aminFebruary 10, 2008 at 10:35 AM

    does the c:/ refer ot your pendrive or hardrive and i hav a problem for the hd0 number changing..i hav 2 hardrive and my windows is at hd 2 and i want to install ubuntu on hardrive 1...can somebody do it for me?? thanks :)

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  65. need help.......aminFebruary 10, 2008 at 10:59 AM

    and what does the distro refer to?


    title Install Linux
    root (hdX,X)
    kernel /distro/Linux_kernel
    initrd /distro/Ram_disk

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  66. @amin:

    C:\ refers to the c drive of your hard disk.

    Since you have Windows installed on your second HDD, you will have to copy kernel, ramdisk, grub etc files to the second HDD.

    (hd0,0) will change to (hd1,0) assuming the 2nd HDD is assigned 2nd in the BIOS configuration.

    Copy the iso files to whichever HDD you want. Just rememeber to mention the correct path when it asks you to point to the iso file. HDD1 will be /dev/hda and HDD2 will be /dev/hdb

    What is distro?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distro

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  67. I own an obsolete ThinkPad 560x laptop without CD or FDD. I find your method perfect for giving a new life to my old IBM. But I realized I have no boot.ini file on my system (Win98SE). How to proceede then?

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  68. @cristo:

    This won't work with Win98. Win98 doesn't have boot.ini file or any boot manager. Since both the CD drive and the FDD are broken, the only option you have got is to install Windows XP or Linux from a USB drive, provided the BIOS supports booting from USB. Another way is to use network install. If you can network your laptop to a PC, you can install any OS into your laptop.

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  69. Could I boot grub from my USB device and how ???

    Problem: I don't see list of options when I'm starting GRUB which is allocated on ntfs C: partition.

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  70. ^^ We aren't using Grub to boot the PC. The PC is booted using Windows bootloader. After the windows is booted the control is transfered to grub to load the Linux installer. So this process will work only if you have some mechanism to boot your PC - either through Windows or Linux or even an USB drive provided that you have the proper booting files on the USB drive.

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  71. You are right. I use Windows XP SP2.
    But I was interesting how could I load grub from USB. And why data from menu.lst are not displayed when I load grub from ntfs ?

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  72. You can load grub from USB. Copy all the grub files on to the USB stick and add the line to the boot.ini file.

    If you are unable to load GRUB from ntfs partition then maybe the distro you are trying doesn't have NTFS support. In that case you have use Fat32.

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  73. What shoud I write in C:\boot.ini in case of USB ?
    I can't convert my NTFS file system to FAT32.

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  74. Find out what letter Windows assign to the USB drive by plugging it to your PC. Then replace "C" in C:\grldr=”Start GRUB” with the drive letter. You should have GRUB on the USB drive.

    Since the linux you are trying can't recognize ntfs you will need to have atleast one fat32 partition where you should place the iso file. There is no way to convert ntfs to fat32 without reformatting.

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  75. Had you tried it ?
    I've tried change letter C: and it didn't work. Grub even didn't load.
    Probably I should write smth like "sd(0)..." or "hd(1).." (because it is SATA HDD, connected via USB). I don't know.

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  76. Kaushik,
    Have you tried this:

    http://www.google.com/search?
    sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&rls=SKPB,SKPB:2008-06,SKPB:en&q=Confert+NTFS+to+FAT32

    ???
    :)))

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  77. Windows does not allow converting ntfs to fat32 natively. But of course, there are tools like Partition Magic that can do that and even resizing and merging of partitions without losing data. But there is a risk factor involved and if the process fails all your data will be lost. Even Partition Magic displays this disclaimer. I wouldn't advise you to do that because there is a high chance of screwing up your data.

    For your main problem, does your BIOS support booting from USB? First find that out. And names such hda, hd0 are for linux. the grub should be loaded by boot.ini file which does not recognise such names. You have to give the usual windows letter names.

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  78. Thanks, I've tried it. But it doesn't work :(((.
    My BIOS supports booting from USB.
    I couldn't do something with my main HDD because it is on my workplace. I don't want to damage my Windows XP system too. I'll try smth else.

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  79. I followed your instructions exactly.. But I still get a error said: unknown command...

    the only difference is the version of grub4dos.. I am using grub4dos v0.4.3 right now.. I just rename the grub4dos folder to grub because i can't find the grub folder which you mentioned above..

    so, about this new version, what should i do?

    I am really looking forward your help..

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  80. grub4dos v0.4.3 does not work. There is nothing you can do. Use version 0.4.1

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  81. how to deal with the command line interface which starts up when one chooses start GRUB as the choice for installing LINUX? What commands are used for installation?

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  82. What happens if you want to partition the whole drive?

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  83. I tried using this to install Minime PCLinuxOS 2008. I got to the windows boot part, but when I go to GRUB, it says "missing MBR-helper."

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  84. URGENT HELP REQ.
    STUCK IN INSTALLATION.

    I did all steps and the grub started. I selected the "Install Linux".

    then the ubuntu installer started.
    I finished the region and keyboard selection.

    next, it asks for the ubuntu image from my cd rom.
    The option there only has install from cd rom (I think so).
    and since my ubuntu iso is not in cdrom, I have to abort the installation.

    It gave an option to run the ash shell. but I did not know what to do from there.

    please help.

    ReplyDelete
  85. I also got the same problem, i ran into the ash shell. nothing to do from there :/

    ReplyDelete
  86. My favorite way has been to make an additional 750 megabyte partition on the hard-drive, and format it as ext3 - have it in /mnt/fakecd. Then do the following:

    $ mkdir /tmp/install
    $ sudo mount -o loop /path/to/cd/iso /tmp/install
    $ sudo cp * /tmp/install /mnt/fakecd
    $ sudo cp .* /tmp/install /mnt/fakecd

    Now edit your /boot/grub/menu.lst to add an entry:
    title Install Linux
    root (hd0,1)
    kernel /casper/vmlinuz
    initrd /casper/initrd.gz

    Note: this is for an *Ubuntu live-cd. For other distributions, your grub entry may be different, depending on where vmlinuz and initrd.gz are located. Also note that "root" will depend on what your fakecd partition is. Mine's /dev/sda2, hence (hd0,1).

    Now when you reboot, select Install Linux and it'll be exactly like running it off the CD, except a fair bit faster since you're reading from the HD.

    ReplyDelete
  87. Hi,

    I am trying to do this from within PCLOS to install OpenSUSE. It crashes:

    :Failed to detect CD drive !

    I have grub's menu.lst editted correctly. Tried it with the iso fully extracted, as well as only linux and initrd extracted + full iso file copied to my dedicated 1.3 Gb drive for HDD version of LiveCD.

    The only distro that successfully works so far is PCLOS.

    Any help? You can mail me direct @

    dulwithe [at] myrealbox [dot] com

    - Dulwithe

    ReplyDelete
  88. @Dulwithe: Why does the installation try to detect the CD drive? Are you sure you haven't mixed up the paths of the CD drive and the hard drive?

    You should not extract the ISO file but copy it intact to the hard drive. And are you trying to install linux from a live CD? I'm not sure whether that is possible.

    ReplyDelete
  89. Thanks for your response, Kaushik.

    I don't know why certain distros crash with the same type of hdd "LiveCD" method. I've tried extracting just the kernel and RAM disk files, and put them with the ISO file on the "LiveCD" partition.

    I have had mixed results. I got Mepis to work yesterday. Some distros don't work with this method, others do. I have NO idea why.

    My guess with the SUSE distro is that its kernel or RAM disk is directed to look exactly for a cd drive and boot from there. If no cd drive is found, "reboot in 120 sec..." Apparently suse 10 worked this way, but suse 11 doesn't (but I don't want to try and install a year-old distro).

    . D.

    ReplyDelete
  90. Apparently, Live CDs are different from normal installation CDs. Live CDs are programmed to look for the Cd drive and load from it. I suggest you get a normal cd and try that, or you can continue with your experiments. :)

    ReplyDelete
  91. hi,
    I got preinstalled Vista on my laptop. I removed all the partitions by installing
    Ubuntu 8.04 making some partitions and keeping other space free for XP. But when I am installing XP from the bootable CD it says hard disk not found. Please help me how to get rid of this problem.

    abhi

    ReplyDelete
  92. @abhi: Installing Windows after Linux is always going to create problems. Anyway, try this:

    If Winxp can't detect your hard drive, then you will have to boot from a Win98 CD. If you don't have the Win98 disk then download the boot disk image from here and burn it to a CD.

    Now boot from the disk, and at the commad prompt issue this command:

    fdisk /mbr

    This will rewrite the MBR and you can now load windows. After you have finished installing WinXP, install ubuntu's bootloader to dual boot WinXP and Ubuntu.

    ReplyDelete
  93. Hi Malachias,
    Very good to hear a nice tip from you, and especially booting Ubuntu live cd from hard disk. I tried the way you mentioned above but, it didn’t work. At the copy commands,"$ sudo cp * /tmp/install /mnt/fakecd
    $ sudo cp .* /tmp/install /mnt/fakecd
    " I got “directories ignored” error message. I thought that may be 'coz of root security and I manually copied the total iso files in to 750MB new partion. Then I rebooted my system and got into ubuntu installation and I found the same error "mount CD failed. no device exist". Then I opted for command line. I found "cdrom" folder in '/' directory, and I thought it is place where cd drive is mounted and I mounted my 750MB drive to '/cdrom' and tried to install. Now, our 750MB drive works as a CD drive. Happy to get what we desire, but when I format swap partion it shows "device is use" error message. And here i got struck. And I also found that 750MB drive must be ext3/ext2/cdfs file system type. 'coz at the time of installation kernel cant mount a FAT file system.

    Any help is appreciated.

    ReplyDelete
  94. Vasu,

    I'm very sorry, that was a typo on my part. Instead of

    $ sudo cp * /tmp/install /mnt/fakecd
    $ sudo cp .* /tmp/install /mnt/fakecd

    I meant


    $ sudo cp -R /tmp/install/* /mnt/fakecd
    $ sudo cp -R /tmp/install/.* /mnt/fakecd

    Basically the idea is to get all the files into the fakecd partition.

    Hope that helps!

    -Mala

    ReplyDelete
  95. Erk, my bad again - don't do the .* one as that'll catch everything in ../ as well =P Replace the second line with
    $ sudo cp -R /tmp/install/.disk /mnt/fakecd

    Sorry again >_<

    --mala

    ReplyDelete
  96. Is it possible to for me to install Linux on Extended partition ?

    If so my other question is ......

    I am going to install Linux Mint on Extended partition.

    What is the correct entry for Step 5, that is when i am going to edit the menu.LST ?

    PS: I have one hard drive and i have installed Win XP in primary partition and i have 4 logical drives in extended partition.

    Thanks in Advance

    ReplyDelete
  97. @mldarshana: You can install Linux in the extended partition. No problem with that. I have always used the extended partition for linux.

    The step5 will be the same. No change, since you have only 1 HDD. So it will look something like this:

    title Install Linux
    kernel (hd0,0)/boot/vmlinuz
    initrd (hd0,0)/boot/initrd.img

    Make sure you use the correct file names.

    ReplyDelete
  98. I think I have followed your instructions... I have two HDs:
    *One that has one big FAT32 partition(dev/hda1). On this one I have the iso-file (called su.iso), boot directory with grub and the original windows installation
    *The other hd (dev/hdc1) is empty and here is where I plan to install Linux (gentoo).

    When I boot and have selected to install linux i get to a point where I get this message:
    !!Could not mount specified ROOT, try again.
    !!Could not find the root block device in .

    Any suggestions about what I have missed?

    Teh iso that I am using is the "Gentoo 2008.0 Minimal CD/InstallCD" for x86 found at http://www.gentoo.org/main/en/where.xml

    Thanks in advance! / Anders

    ReplyDelete
  99. I have copied disk image image.nrg to partion 'H' having fat32 file system and and my 'C' drive is having ntfs file system which is used by windows operating system.
    I extracted the file vmlinuz & initrd to c:\boot
    also the grub. Also added the lines with exact replacement to menu.lst under the grub.
    I restarted the PC and selected "Install Grub" option, it shows...
    Booting 'Install Linux'
    kernel (hd0,0)/boot/vmlinuz
    error 14: Invalid or unsupported executable format

    how to get out of this problem.....any suggestions...

    ReplyDelete
  100. You can't use .nrg format. You need ISO file. Convert it to ISO.

    ReplyDelete
  101. thanks to reply kaushik....
    as i was suspecting the same
    but can it be converted to iso format......

    ReplyDelete
  102. how to convert nrg to iso format ?????


    thanks in advance....

    ReplyDelete
  103. I have converted .nrg format image to .iso format but it is still showing the following error.....

    Booting 'Install Linux'
    kernel (hd0,0)/boot/vmlinuz
    error 14: Invalid or unsupported executable format
    Press any key to continue.........

    now what to do ....i'm not getting the things causing to happen it....
    how to resolve this error...any suggerstion???

    ReplyDelete
  104. I have converted .nrg format image to .iso format but it is still showing the following error.....

    Booting 'Install Linux'
    kernel (hd0,0)/boot/vmlinuz
    error 14: Invalid or unsupported executable format
    Press any key to continue.........

    now what to do ....i'm not getting the things causing to happen it....
    how to resolve this error...any suggestion ???

    ReplyDelete
  105. i did the whole steps, i just cant select the instalation source, with a ubuntu server
    i just go the option to use the cdrom has a source (at the instalation menus)

    ReplyDelete
  106. Sorry man...no working with ubuntu 8.04 alternate disk...help me

    ReplyDelete
  107. This guide's crap.

    Don't use it.
    It won't work.

    I don't believe that the author has ever sucessfully pulled this off.

    ReplyDelete
  108. i want to try the option installing using the network, i got a distro with a sort of feature,
    that allows that i think..

    ReplyDelete
  109. The chown command gives a missing operand error. I'm sure it's something obvious,but I'll be damned if I can find it. Might have something to do with Slackware 12.1.


    chown: missing operand after yada : yada

    ReplyDelete
  110. @fugiwara01

    No, it's not Slackware. I noticed that also, while reading the command. I'm surprised some of the more Linux-savvy users didn't notice. I am in the midst of trying to install Intrepid using the method described, and I'm no expert. But, I BELIEVE (can't guarantee) that what dougfractal had in mind was POSSIBLY this:

    sudo chown `whoami`:`whoami` /distro

    Maybe it has something to do with the boot process being able to read or write to that directory during installation? After I downloaded and copied the two files, I was already set as the owner so I didn't have to touch the permission of those files.

    Good luck! (to both of us)

    ReplyDelete
  111. After configuring the keyboard, the installation fails to find the ISO image. I was delighted to find an option that reads something like "Scan hard drives for installer ISO image", but I was disappointed to see that it always fails to find it. I moved the ISO from /distro to /boot to /media/sda1 (Windows partition), all to no avail.

    I am currently downloading the alternate installation ISO to give it one last shot. If that doesn't work, I may be forced to burn yet another CD. :(

    ReplyDelete
  112. i found a tiny installer that boots the sistem and starts the setup
    it worked perfect it runs with a internet connection

    ReplyDelete
  113. some body help me,

    i want install linux bactrack2 to my old laptop,
    did all steps and the grub started. I selected the "Install Linux".

    i have partition, c: system xp (ntfs) , d: data(fat32) and for source e:(fat)
    title install linux
    root(hd0,4)/BT
    kernel(hd0,0)/boot/vmlinuz
    initrd (hd0,0)/boot/initrd

    when procees
    display
    kernel panic , no init found .

    so i move to install BT 3 but
    stop
    Usage:init 0123456sQqAaBbCcUu

    what i was do?

    ReplyDelete
  114. Thanks Kaushik ! for this wonderful article. But need some more help from u.

    I'm a newbie for Linux. I have single OS, win XP media center installed on 4th partition(F:,NTFS).

    I'm interested in installing Fedora 9 on E:,FAT from the CD ISOs through the hard disk directly. For this i followed your steps. I downloaded grub and put the iso, grub and boot etc. on the F:
    Then i updated boot.ini from control panel. When i rebooted the system, i selected the 'tart Grub' option. But then after it shows the error "hal.dll missing or corrupt".

    I'm not getting what had gone wrong ? Please tell me whr i may have made a mistake.

    ReplyDelete
  115. This is great. Just what I was looking for to install Debian on some old laps without CD, floppy or USB boot capabilities, but with Windows. It worked very fine. It avoided me the necessity of creating a net install server, and the waste of installing everything from Internet for all laps with netbootin.

    ReplyDelete
  116. Thank you very much, my old lappy has a buggered optical drive and therefore cant boot from dvds or cds, this is incredibly useful to me, cheers

    ReplyDelete
  117. for vista you can use easybcd which is free select add and remove entries and then select neogrup then install neogrup then select configure
    and add at end

    C:\grldr=”Start GRUB” then save and reboot

    but i have problem i want chose direction of my iso image i do not want scan hard disk

    please tell me if you know

    ReplyDelete
  118. amazing, thank you very much!

    ReplyDelete
  119. it works with suse i finally did it
    under vista

    thanks

    ReplyDelete
  120. I can't get this to work. Is there something I am doing wrong or is it just that this is just crap. Somebody help!

    ReplyDelete
  121. Thanks for such a good article, but I faced problem in installation:
    initially all went well like butter, when I selected the hard drive partition and provided iso image name, then it was not able to find the iso image:

    Actually my hard disk is partitioned in 4 parts + one unformated partition(deleted the F 50 GB, created FAT32 30 GB, and left 20GB free for linux)
    it shows four partition like
    /dev/sda1/ NTFS
    /dev/sda5/ NTFS
    /dev/sda6/ NTFS
    /dev/sda7/ FAT32

    I provided it like:(as iso is on F: drive, so I assume F=/dev/sda7/)
    /dev/sda7/fedora.iso

    I tried other permutations also like:
    1.
    a. selected /dev/sda7/
    b. path: fedora.iso (I renamed iso image to simple name)

    2.
    a. selscted /dev/sda7/
    b. path: /fedora.iso/

    but it does not work, and I get error like: Error occured in finding image file on hard disk.... /dev/sda7/ does not seem to contain any image...
    can somone please help as what would be going wrong..?

    ReplyDelete
  122. for ashish
    you must write the entir path of iso even a dot

    entire.iso

    for open suse 11 it do every thing for you just

    under windows mount iso by daemon tools and reboot and you will find optin to install opensuse 11 press it and then it will say to you to insert dvd or cd ignore it and press back button and then countnu installation by select install or boot from hard disk

    ReplyDelete
  123. "Unetbootin" is a simple open source tool that allows you to install a variety of distributions over the Internet, without burning a CD.
    The "Wubi" tool for installing Ubuntu this way has been around for a while, but unlike UNetbootin, Wubi installs Ubuntu on a file stored in a Windows environment and creates no actual partitions. UNetbootin will create a partitioned dual-boot system as though you installed with a CD. It's useful if you're working on a machine with a slow or no CD/DVD drive or don't have any spare discs to burn.
    I prefer the "Wubi" for Ubuntu it's very simple to install and to uninstall

    http://wubi-installer.org/

    ReplyDelete
  124. Hi, idon't know what to say imazing tutorial.
    But i hava problem it didn't work on my PC it's freez on "Launching GRUB..." i tried to copy boot folder and grldr to older PC and bam it's works
    Can anyone help me ?

    Best regards, John.

    ReplyDelete
  125. i have this error after Time: acpi_pm clocksource has been installed.
    DONE.

    Check root= bootarg cat /proc/cmdline
    or missing modules, devices: cat /proc/modules Is /dev
    ALERT! /dev/rd/0 does not exist. Dropping to a shell!

    That's it :( are anyone can help me ?

    ReplyDelete
  126. After configuring the keyboard, the installation fails to find the ISO image. I was delighted to find an option that reads something like "Scan hard drives for installer ISO image", but I was disappointed to see that it always fails to find it. I moved the ISO from /distro to /boot to /media/sda1 (Windows partition), all to no avail.

    I am currently downloading the alternate installation ISO to give it one last shot. If that doesn't work, I may be forced to burn yet another CD

    ReplyDelete
  127. This is seemingly a life saver for those of us with an old machine and only CD-ROM drive (NOT a DVD drive) as we can instal bigger, DVD only versions of Linux instead of just being outta luck, however...I agree that it doesn't seem to work on Linux Mint :(

    ReplyDelete
  128. It won't find the iso file. I'm trying to install xubuntu 9.04. I have copied its iso file into root and /boot, still no luck. It scans the hard drives, but fails to find the iso file.

    Any suggestions?

    ReplyDelete
  129. I hv XP installed & installing Fedora 11.
    I hv 3 drives C,D,E all FAT 32 & a free space of 15 GB. I hv done following entries in menu.lst:
    title Install Linux
    kernel (hd0,0)/boot/vmlinuz
    initrd (hd0,0)/boot/initrd.img

    It is booting perfectly.
    While installing it shows 3 partitions:
    /dev/sda1
    /dev/sda5
    /dev/sda6
    when i choose anyone of them or enter full image file name with extension in Directory option it says image file (*.iso) not found.
    Why is it not finding image file? What to do?

    ReplyDelete
  130. Can't install ubuntu 9.04 following this method.
    ?????

    ReplyDelete
  131. Trying to install Mandriva 2009.1 over XP on Eee 1005HA..

    mount: could not find filesystem 'LABEL=One-20091-KDE4'

    and then multiple mount and
    SQUASHFS error

    ReplyDelete
  132. I copied .iso files to C:\linux which is NTFS

    ReplyDelete
  133. I am trying to install linux on a small server on a local network. The server will work as a NAS, does not have any keyboard or monitor or USB or DVD/CD reader, but it is connected to the local network. All the other computers are laptops so I do not have monitors and so on. How can I install using network install?

    ReplyDelete
  134. I have never done network install, much less on a PC without keyboard and mouse. You have to ask a Linux system admin. Try asking for help at some Linux forum.

    To the other people who are facing trouble with Fedora 11 and Mandriva, I'm not sure because I have not tested whether this procedure holds true for newer distros. Just make sure you are following the steps correctly. It should work.

    For Ubuntu 8.04 extract /casper/vmlinuz and /casper/initrd.gz from the ISO file. The files should be the same for later versions of Ubuntu.

    ReplyDelete
  135. Hi, I want to install a Slackware derived distribution in a laptop without USB nor CD. It has a blank HDD, without any OS. I'll try to connect the HDD as an slave in a winxp PC, in order to properly format different partitions for a full Linux installation. Does anybody have any idea to achieve this difficult installation? I'll make the blank HDD a boot disk, and try to obtain a result.
    Thanks if there's any idea...

    ReplyDelete
  136. Does this work for Puppy linux?

    ReplyDelete
  137. I haven't tried this on Puppy Linux but I can't see why it wouldn't work. You just need to identify the vmlinuz and initrd.img files (could be differently named) and the rest is the same.

    ReplyDelete
  138. Is it possible to have diskless installation on Windows 98 PC?

    ReplyDelete
  139. Wooh! Thanks for the tut.. Anyway, does it work with any Linux Mint version? Thanks ^^

    ReplyDelete
  140. This is something I am looking for a looong time... my old think pad that has no cd and bootable usb support will ne soooo glad about it!!

    Thank you and best wishes from me and the old damn Thinkpad

    ReplyDelete
  141. I have a Windows ME laptop and after doing most of these steps I learned that it doesn't have a boot.ini file. What can I do?

    ReplyDelete
  142. This worked for me as I have an old notebook that does not have a CD and trying to load the drivers I need to a boot disk for the ext CD drive are just a pain in the butt with this I can just copy the file and then install
    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  143. hello Dear
    Great works
    Every Thing is OK but it stuck and give error Missing Iso 9660 Image #1
    What can i do

    ReplyDelete
  144. Really wonderful, Kaushik. It really worked well for me in the first try itself. You post was really helpful and hope it would be the same for all others too.

    Praveen Raj

    ReplyDelete
  145. I'm trying to install Linux Mint that way but when I'm doing step 7 (" From the grub screen select "Install Linux". ") I get this message (after something being loaded...):

    Console: switching to colour frame buffer device 160x64
    [drn] nouveau 0000:01:00.0: 0x111D: parsing clock script 0
    ALERT! does not exist. Dropping to shell!

    BusyBox v1.14.4 (Ubuntu 1:1.13.3-1ubuntu11) built-in shell (ash)
    Enter 'help' for a list of built-in commands.

    (initramfs)

    need help plz!

    ReplyDelete
  146. after selecting "install Linux" the kernel appears to boot . but it halts at :
    "begin : waiting for root filesystem" . it halts there for some 5 minutes and then drops to busybox shell. need help plz

    ReplyDelete
  147. @blaze and @yog: This type of things are difficult to troubleshoot without knowing what's exactly happening.

    You should go to the distro's support forum and ask your questions.

    ReplyDelete
  148. thank you!!! i have been looking for this and you explained so clearly... i have a toshiba portege 7020ct with no cd/floppy/usb bootable.

    any doubt i'll bother you

    thanks!!

    ReplyDelete
  149. does not work....i follow the direction and still black screen...need help..

    email me: sweet7592@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  150. how to do this with pc bsd

    ReplyDelete
  151. Hi, i tried this but when i reboot it says cant mount the selected partition what should i do?

    ReplyDelete
  152. Now extract Linux_kernel & Ram_disk to /distro#

    How these is done???

    ReplyDelete
  153. This tips is very useful. But it works upto Fedora 8. Not upper version.Kaushik, i have a wireless internet connection. It run in windows xp. But not fedora 8. my wireless adapter is TP-LINK 11b/g.Fedora 8 does not recognize it. I tried installing ndiswrapper rpm packages. But it shows fails dependency and want ndiswrapper-kmod-common-1.48 when try to install ndiswrapper-kmod. But i did not find ndiswrapper-kmod-common-1.48 in the net. Would you pls help me giving suggestion how i can run internet in Fedora 8.

    Ahid

    ReplyDelete
  154. When I attempt to enter the path of the .iso file for openSUSE 11.2 it says that it cannot find the repository.

    I have the .iso file at the root of sda1 and tried the partition sda5 but neither have worked, any help appreciated.

    ReplyDelete
  155. Everything went smoothly until I got to iinstallation, says:
    Cannot access Installation Media
    opensuse 11.2 0 (medium 1 )
    Check whether the server is accessible

    ReplyDelete
  156. Failed to mount iso:///?iso=openSUSE-11.2-DVD-i586.iso & url=hd:/OpenSuse?device=dev/sda1 on: Unable to find iso filename on source media.

    ReplyDelete
  157. Any Idea how I could do that on windows 7?

    ReplyDelete
  158. Hi.
    I am trying to install the latest Ubuntu (11.04) on an old Dell laptop that does not have an optical drive and cannot load from USB.
    I have gotten as far as step 7, but when I hit Start GRUB, I get the message "Windows/system32/hal.dll missing or corrupt."
    I am wondering if this is because I have Windows on D:?
    C: only has MS-DOS.
    Should I have copied the files to D: and pointed to hd0,1 in step5?
    I could use some expert advice.....

    ReplyDelete
  159. PS - For anyone who is interested, I didn't reformat my drive with a FAT32 partition for the ISO file before installing. I un-archived the .iso files and saved them on a USB card reader (1Gb SD card).

    So, I suppose I could easily use this same technique for install to a USB memory stick.

    ReplyDelete
  160. Was having trouble installing Ubuntu using this approach. Problem is the ubuntu CD tries to automatically find the CD, and there appears to be no way to tell it to look for an image on the hard disk.

    In the end, I solved it by using my network: I extracted the ISO onto a server, set up NFS to share it, then put the following in my menu.lst:

    title Ubuntu network CD
    kernel (hd1,0)/ubuntu/casper/vmlinuz boot=casper netboot=nfs nfsroot=192.168.1.2:/mnt/lv2/export/ubuntu -- splash
    initrd (hd1,0)/ubuntu/casper/initrd.lz

    Obviously you'll need to change the IP address and paths to work with your local setup, but this worked for me.

    ReplyDelete
  161. is it working for fedora 15 ?

    ReplyDelete
  162. CAUTION - since the fellow who talked about installing FROM LINUX caught a little error he made that did NOT make its way into the main text, who knows how reliable all this is?! I don't mind - well, maybe I *do* - wasting hours and hours because intelligent and basically caring individuals do NOT care enough to test things before disseminating them.... And who knows whether the advice relating to 4-year ago distros still holds?

    I'm not ungrateful, but it would be GREAT if somebody confirmed this or that way above ... Otherwise, use at extreme risk of significant waste-of-time!

    ReplyDelete
  163. @Ed Townes: This is reliable, but since I haven't tested it on newer distributions I have no idea whether this method is still applicable. I will try to test it on recent distributions as soon as I can get my hands on them.

    About not including some workaround that a commenter posted on the main article, I can't do that without testing it myself. Users are employing all sorts of hacks and tweaks to make this work on the newer distors. But like I said, I will try to update this.

    ReplyDelete
  164. Hello and thanks @Kaushik for this step-by-step explanaton. I am trying to install Lubuntu 11.10 on an old Sony Vaio - no cd, no floppy, cannot boot from USB.
    I have followed the steps you listed to the letter and always end up at a initramfs prompt. Does this indicate something has failed along the way? I see no error messages per se. I never get prompted for the ISO file, which I have on c:\

    Is there some command I can run at this initramfs prompt to continue on to the actual booting/install process?

    Thanks again.

    ReplyDelete
  165. Dear
    I havefollowing common prompt:

    THen what next?

    I am helpless here onwards.....

    It says type 'help' to get list of commands.

    WHich command to use for Linux Mint 12
    ?

    Any valuable suggestions?

    Vaibhav

    ReplyDelete
  166. Dear
    I havefollowing commond prompt:
    initramfs

    THen what next?

    I am helpless here onwards.....

    It says type 'help' to get list of commands.

    WHich command to use for Linux Mint 12
    ?

    Any valuable suggestions?

    Vaibhav

    ReplyDelete
  167. For all those having problems getting this process to work with Lubuntu, there are a couple of differences:
    when modifying the menu.lst file, simply copy the contents of the install paths from /boot/grub/loopback.cfg
    you will have to change the paths to the correct paths for the files.

    ReplyDelete
  168. Totoaly usless because i don't have windows!!

    ReplyDelete
  169. From a mint 10 installation with GRUB2 as bootloader I have not seen how to do this with GRUB2 using CentOS 6.3 install (bin) DVD iso on hard disk. For instance: I have in GRUB2 command prompt tried:

    loopback loop (hd0,1)/iso/CentOS-6.3-x86_64-bin-DVD1.iso
    linux (loop)/isolinux/vmlinuz [boot=isolinux] ......iso-scan/filename=CentOS-6.3-x86_64-bin-DVD1.iso
    initrd (loop)/isolinux/initrd.img

    After line 2 (starting linux) the system attempts to run but fails and then recycles to GRUB2. not sure where to go from here without further knowledge ....any clues??
    There is an install.img file under directory images on the DVD maybe this is the answer. what do I use for the boot parameter?

    ReplyDelete
  170. Is it possible to do this on Windows 7? There isn't a boot.ini file in windows 7, so is there an alternative file that I can edit?

    ReplyDelete
  171. I'm really interested in this method of installation since I don't have any USB sticks laying around and only a USB-HDD available (I do have CD-RW's but using them is certainly less fun! :-)

    I've been trying to get this method to work with a pretty weird Distro (ArchBang i686 03.03.2013) where kernel is vmlinuz but there's not initrm file anywhere...there is only one other file together with vmlinuz inside ARCH\BOOT\i686\ called archiso.img and that's the one I've assumed to be the initrm, but who knows...and on top of this I'm modifying the boot sequence in a pre-installed Windows 7 hard drive, so...I've been defeated ¬¬ for now...

    In any case, I found out about bcdedit.exe and the BCD stores, which are the equivalent to the Windows XP boot.ini referred to in this article, but not nearly as easy to edit in the right way -- if anyone can shed a bit of light on this, it would be very much appreciated, so I can go to sleep with my Linux Distro already installed :-)

    Thanks

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  172. Yes, it is possible to do this from Windows7.

    Open an elevated Command Prompt (cmd.exe with Administrator rights) NOT a PowerShell, and then type the following (use top left corner of cmd prompt to Edit->Mark/Copy/Paste):

    bcdedit /create /d "Start GRUB4DOS" /application bootsector
    *you will be able to Mark and then Copy the {id} value
    bcdedit /set {id} device boot
    bcdedit /set {id} path \grldr.mbr
    bcdedit /displayorder {id} /addlast

    Then copy grldr.mbr to C:\, grldr and menu.lst to the root directory of any FAT16/FAT32/NTFS/EXT2 partition.

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  173. What really doesn’t make sense here, is where the distro gets its install files from. They normally get them from filesystem.squashfs, but there is no step that extracts this, and AFAIK, they can't automatically find it in the iso.

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  174. I have a message when I run GRUB, it says "grldr is compressed" and I can't do a thing. They try hd0,0; hd1,0, hd2,0... until 5 and then it stucks. Anybody know why?

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  175. About GRDLR being compressed, I found out. Right clic on the file, copied on c:\, and clic on properties. On the general tab, clic on Advanced. You have to uncheck the compress square. Sorry about my english I have a french OS. :-) I also unchecked the first square in archive attributes. Done now. :-)

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