Is it possible to download Linux onto a 1.4 floppy disk


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Thread: Is it possible to download Linux onto a 1.4 floppy disk

  1. #1
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    Question Is it possible to download Linux onto a 1.4 floppy disk

    My laptop isn't able to read CD-s so I was wondering if theres a way to maybe somehow download a light weight version of Linux on to a one 1.4 Meg floppy disk?

    atm I only have one floppy, amazon should deliver the ones that I ordered from their website in a few days but until then I was wondering if it would be possible to download,only one ISO to a floppy then erase the first ISO that was previously downloaded then download the second, erase the second ISO, download the 3rd etc.

    The reason why I ask is because Windows ME destroyed the laptop,it won't even boot to the desktop all I get is a blank screen so this method, if its available is most likely the only way I'll be able to install Linux on to the laptop, then once,and if this is even possible to do, once the light weight version is installed with all the minimum stuff needed to get hooked up to the net, then I'll use the that version to download a better version, for now I just need to somehow get an OS installed so I'll have a way to gain access to the CD rom and also be able to upgrade to a better version.

    Any suggestions, tips will be appreciated


  2. #2
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    somehow get an OS installed so I'll have a way to gain access to the CD rom and also be able to upgrade to a better version.
    just because windows cant see the CD doesnt mean its broken. adjust your BIOS to boot from a CD and insert any bootable CD (like a linux CD or windows ME CD).

    if it really is broken, and if you can get internet though ethernet, then you can have thousands of latest applications with debain:

    http://www.debian.org/distrib/floppyinst

    there are single floppy distros also, just search for them

  3. #3
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    good summary of linux distros

    Check the link below for a good summary of the linux distros available - including which are available as a bootable (a.k.a. "Live filesystem") CD and which are a bootable floppy.

    http://www.distrowatch.com

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the replies.
    I cheeked to make sure that the BIOS was set to boot from CD, everything was set that way.

    I downloaded 3 ISO images from Ubuntus website, now the only problem that I'm having is burning the ISO images to floppy.

    I placed the ISO images in to the home folder, then tried right clicking on them hopping that a list would pop up with an option to burn the images on to the floppy, but it didn't

    This is the first time that I've ever hard to Burn floppy's using Linux so I'm not sure if I have to use some... apt get command to install some kind of program that will transfer floppy's.

    The Laptop is blank, I have no way to gain access to a desktop
    The only thing that I see when booting the laptop is a black screen with a c: prompt so the only option I have to get the laptop to work is to somehow find a command that will burn the ISO images to the floppy disk

  5. #5
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    if you have a windows machine you can use rawrite program to copy the fd images to floppy disks. im assuming your not trying to copy the cd iso image to floppies right?



    soule
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  6. #6
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    No, I already downloaded the 3 ISO images from the Internet and saved them to my home folder All I need to do now is transfer the ISO Images to the floppy, just don't know how.

  7. #7
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    No, I already downloaded the 3 ISO images from the Internet and saved them to my home folder All I need to do now is transfer the ISO Images to the floppy,
    transfer the 3 ISOs to the floppy?? each ISO is 650MB, and a floppy can only hold 1.40MB. you cant do that.

    i dont understand your problem very well. your CD-ROM drive is physically damaged and cannot work anymore forever, right?

    you can get debian installed with just a floppy, but you need an ethernet internet connection, can you have that?

  8. #8
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    If you don't have / can't get a pcmcia ethernet card you may want to try some floppy distros, which run completely from the floppy.
    djserz.com.ar
    "All the drugs in this world won't save you from yourself..."

  9. #9
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    If your cd-rom isnt broken, but it just wont boot off of it, you may want to try Smart Boot Manager.

    You boot off the floppy and then it gives you the option to boot of the cd....this way you can force your computer to boot off the cd.

    If your cdrom is broken, then obviously this will be of no help.

    http://btmgr.webframe.org/
    Check out the Unix/Linux Administration Program at Seneca College.
    Thanx to everyone that helped/helps me on this forum!

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  10. #10
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    First, you don't use ISO images for floppies. And you don't "burn" floppies either, unless you do it with a lighter :-) You either

    (a) mount a floppy, then browse / copy / move files around the floppy just like a hard drive

    or

    (b) don't mount the floppy, but write an image file (often ends in ".img") directly to the floppy device. In DOS or Windows, this is what you'd use the rawrite command for. In Linux, the equivalent command is dd.

    I prefer Calipso's "smart boot manager" idea personally - then you can just use your favourite installation CD and get going. However, if this takes your fancy:

    Debian is what I know, and Debian Sarge happens to have a kick-*** floppy network install. Roughly speaking you have to:

    1) Download the four floppy-disk image files (all ending in ".img"):


    2) Using the rawrite in DOS, directly write each ".img" file to its own floppy. That makes four floppies in total. Now you're ready to install.

    3) Boot from the boot-floppy (the one you coppied "boot.img" to)

    4) Insert the root-filesystem floppy when the installer program asks you to.

    5) Insert the net drivers floppy and/or the CD drivers floppy if/when required

    6) Answer any questions (not very difficult with the Sarge installer)

    7) Let the installer work its magic!

    I've done this myself, successfully, twice. You'd be silly to try this without broadband, and you generally need to be using an ethernet network connection. However, many routers / modems use an ethernet interface, so this is quite likely.

  11. #11
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  12. #12
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    What about USB

    Damn Small Linux, Slax, and several other distros can be booted and run from a USB drive, or a combo of floppy and USB drive.

    I've seen 512meg USB drives going for less than $50 lately.

    Also, what brand is your laptop, a replacement cd-rom shouldn't be too hard to find on eBay.
    Slackware current (Dell Latitude D610)
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  13. #13
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    There is no doubt in my mind that the Laptop is dead
    AVG found 2 computer viruses along with thousands of spy ware cookies every time I boot the laptop a blank screen appears with a c: prompt, I put the Dell dsk, SW dsk-MGR floppy into the floppy drive, followed the directions and still no go. the floppy recognizes floppy's just not CD-s. The BIOS is set to boot CD-s so the problem has nothing to do with the BIOS.

    I have a supper fast DSL connection, the Laptop has a wire connecting to the Desktop. The desktop is working great' it's just the Lap top ( Dell Latitude 660 that isn't working.

    The images that I downloaded came from Ubuntus website the instructions said that the 3 images were small enough to install on a floppy I just don't know how to transfer the images to the floppy

    I was also wondering if theres a way to use this desktop ( the laptop is connected to the desktop) to somehow maybe .. use the desktop to ftp data to the laptop.

    Could not mount Floppy 1:
    Unable to mount the selected volume.:
    /dev/fd0: Input/output error
    mount: I could not determine the filesystem type, and none was specified

    Heres the error message I get when trying to format the floppy using Floppy fomater

    Read Error:
    Problem reading cylinder 0, expected 18432, read -1

    I'll never use Microsoft windows ever again now I understand why everybody likes Linux and hates Microsoft windows.
    Last edited by Eejay; 02-10-2005 at 10:26 PM.

  14. #14
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    okay okay slow down. im starting to wonder, How did you make the orginal cd's you are booting from?

    ie what software..nero/roxio whatever, then what options did you use?

    I have a feeling you just burned the iso's to the cd.
    That would be wrong. You need to actually transfer the images to the cd. That would allow it to boot.

    We may have been hunting the wrong bird.





    soule
    Anarchism is founded on the observation that since few men are wise enough to rule themselves, even fewer are wise enough to rule others. - Edward Abbey

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  15. #15
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    in addition to what soulestream said,

    The images that I downloaded came from Ubuntus website the instructions said that the 3 images were small enough to install on a floppy
    where did you read this?

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