install linux from windows without cdrom

nowadays, linux is easy to install. most distro have livecd that you can just boot into linux without installing it first.

but, i have an old sub notebook with no floppy nor cdrom with it. and it's also cant boot from usb. windows on the internal harddrive is the only one it can boot. and i need linux in it.

sure there are more than dozens way installing debian. or you can also say goodbye-microsoft. but, somehow i find none of those suite me.

this is the way i make it work...

  • i download archlinux ftp installer cd.
  • extract vmlinuz and initrd.img into c:\archinst
  • download the latest grub4dos.
  • extract grldr.mbr to c:\ and optionally menu.lst too if you like to see some sample
  • edit menu.lst to something like this:
color black/cyan yellow/cyan
timeout 10
default /default

title puppy
kernel /puppy/vmlinuz root=/dev/ram0 initrd=/puppy/initrd.gz PMEDIA=usbflash

title install arch
kernel /archinst/vmlinuz initrd=/archinst/initrd.img

title find and load NTLDR of Windows NT/2K/XP
fallback 1
find --set-root /ntldr
chainloader /ntldr
savedefault --wait=2
  • edit c:\boot.ini and add this line:
  • restart your computer and choose "Start GRUB" from your grub menu
  • then choose install archlinux from it.
  • then the archlinux installer 'cd' will boot and i start installing linux into my laptop.
that's how i do it. i can install archlinux without cdrom, even that archlinux said it cant.
not only archlinux, (possibly) you can boot any linux installer or any livecd using this method.

(too bad my other laptop cant even boot archlinux. got kernel panic on both acer travelmate 507DX and IBM Thinkpad 600X)

how do you install your favorite linux?

update: this way to install debian/ubuntu from windows ntfs without cdrom
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