How to install ubuntu when my laptop does not have a cd drive

By Elliah ยท 18 replies
Jul 4, 2008
  1. i have an old ibm thinkpad that i want to install ubuntu on..however it does not have a cd rom drive...what can i do?
  2. What is the spec of the thinkpad? Which model is it?
  3. Ultiweap

    Ultiweap TS Enthusiast Posts: 606

    If you have this option on your laptop you can install it with a removable disk(Pen drive) and you will need to change First boot in the bios of your laptop.
  4. Obi-Wan Jerkobi

    Obi-Wan Jerkobi TS Maniac Posts: 502

    Here is how you can install Ubuntu 8.04 on pen drive. But it needs to be at least 1GB and you have to change the pen drive to boot first in bios settings.
  5. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Ubuntu also comes with a Floppy Disk install set. Do you have a floppy drive.
    Which model of Thinkpad is it?
    You can use a USB enclosure in drive to download the UBuntu via another computer, then copy it to the Thinkpad... or use an external USB drive, if the Thinkpad has USB ports.
    On older Thinkpads, it is very difficult, to impossible, to install via a USB drive... which is why I would like the model.
  6. Elliah

    Elliah TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 84

    it's an IBM Thinkpad X30
  7. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +422

    If it doesn't have a cd drive, it probably doesn't support booting off USB :(

    Does Ubuntu have a net install version? If so you may be able to do a floppy boot and initiate a net install somehow.
  8. Obi-Wan Jerkobi

    Obi-Wan Jerkobi TS Maniac Posts: 502

    From research, I've seen your laptop does support booting off of USB CD drives. If you have one of those laying around, you could give it a shot. Maybe even a USB stick it might boot from if that is the case.
  9. Elliah

    Elliah TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 84 i managed to boot from a usb got all the way past the progress bar with the ubuntu logo on it..but after that i got this peach coloured screen with absolutely nothing on it except a mouse usb drive is flashing but the hard drive light on my laptop is not...has the installation hanged?
  10. Obi-Wan Jerkobi

    Obi-Wan Jerkobi TS Maniac Posts: 502

    Give it a bit of time, that is kind of an old laptop. The peach coloured screen is the equivalent of the blue welcome screen. It shouldn't have hanged, give it 5 or so minutes, it is running off of USB 1.1 which is rather slow.
  11. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    The T-30 is a very reliable unit. It may be five years old, but it is a rugged and well made. It only allows 1 GB of memory, but is relatively fast with 1.6, 1.8, 1.9, 2.2, and 2.4 GHz models in the T-30 range.
    You can buy a burner drive on eBay for $27 to $33. Case is solid. CPU fan is reliable but inexpensive to replace, as is the screen.
    The weakness was the 40 GB Hitachi Deathstar hard drive, but new ones by Seagate and WD can be had for $40.
    Replace the inverter for $15 and you have another five years of life.
    The peach screen is usually due to a bad Ubuntu driver for that reliabel 16 MB Radeon video graphics.
  12. Elliah

    Elliah TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 84

    ok...turns out that there was an error message before i got to my everlasting peach screen...there's this message about GNOME settings daemon errors...

    "There was an error starting the GNOME Settings Daemon.
    Somethings, such as themes,sounds,or
    background settings may not work correctly.

    The Last error message was:
    Did not receive a reply.Possible cause include:
    The remote application did not send a reply, the
    message bus security policy blocked the reply,
    the reply timeout expired or the network
    connection was broken.

    So now what do I do?
  13. Obi-Wan Jerkobi

    Obi-Wan Jerkobi TS Maniac Posts: 502

    I get the GNOME Daemon error sometimes when running off of usb, sometimes it takes a couple of tries. Even on my Pentium 4 with a BFG 6800GT it does that. Did you ever get to a desktop?
  14. Elliah

    Elliah TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 84

    i don't consider the blank peach screen a desktop so i guess that means no i never got to a desktop. what does the gnome daemon settings error actually mean? i thought it meant that the desktop wouldn't show up properly or something like that...
  15. Elliah

    Elliah TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 84

    i decided to use xubuntu instead..and lo and behold i got all the way to the partitioner step (step 4 I think) before it hanged again.... >_<
    so i was thinking how do i go about running the alternate install cd for xubuntu from a flash drive? do i use the same steps as that of the live cd version?
  16. Obi-Wan Jerkobi

    Obi-Wan Jerkobi TS Maniac Posts: 502

    I imagine that might be worth a try, as there's no problem if you do mess up, so go ahead and give it a shot. How much RAM does the Thinkpad have, as I have this problem with the live cd's with my older systems with 128MB or so ram. I think your Thinkpad might not have enough RAM leftover for the live cd, which might explain the freezing at the orange screen and eventually hanging at the partitioner.
  17. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    True, that a couple of T-60's designed for W2k OR w98 came with only 128 MB, but most with 256 or more, and 256 should work... Though I would load it with two 512 mb modules, budget permitting
  18. Obi-Wan Jerkobi

    Obi-Wan Jerkobi TS Maniac Posts: 502

    The reason he got so far in Xubuntu is because it only reqires 256MB probably. He probably couldn't get in Ubuntu 8.04 becuase I think it reqires 384MB of RAM.
  19. Elliah

    Elliah TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 84

    I'm trying to do an alternate install through usb far i'm stuck at this step in installation:

    "When you get to the point in the install that the installation process checks for the cd you will switch to another session by alt-2

    Once you have created /cdrom /dev/cdroms you will want to link /dev/cdroms/cdrom0 to your usb drive.

    ln -s /dev/sda1 /dev/cdroms/cdrom0


    mount -t vfat /dev/cdroms/cdrom0 /cdrom -- This line is optional. If you tell the installer to check for the cd again, it will essentially do the same thing.

    switch back to the installer using alt-1 and check media/continue."

    I can't create /cdrom / dev/cdroms because apparently it already exists...and i can't access it either because i keep getting a permission denied message...any help?
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