Install Ubuntu (9.10) via Floppy

Introduction

If you  are in hurry you can skip this section. 🙂

I had an old laptop with no capabilities of booting via USB and with a broken cd-rom, but a working floppy. So the main goal was to boot the computer from a floppy then tell the computer to boot via the ubuntu live installed on an USB key.

What you need.

  • A computer that can boot from cd and a USB port.
  • A computer with a running floppy drive.
  • An empty USB key (>=1Gb).
  • An empty Floppy (1.44Mb).

Create the bootable USB

Boot the pc with the desktop live cd-rom. Plug-in the empty usb key and make it bootable. From Applications menu there’s a voice like create USB key. Otherwise you can have a look at the Installation from USB stick on ubuntu official site.

Create the bootable floppy

I’ve tried many way to have a bootable floppy, that can recognize the USB key for booting (dsl, sbm, …) but the only one that had worked was: plop bootmanager. As advised me on the TiLUG Mailing List (Italian).

Download the latest version of plop boot manager (at the time of writing: 5.0.5), expand the obtained zip wherever you like and write the image on the floppy: dd if=plpbt.img of=/dev/fd0.

Booting

Now insert floppy, plug the usb key into the computer with broken cd-rom and boot it via floppy. When asked, select USB from the menu and that’s all folks!

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