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I was wondering since I am having problems with my computer's CD-ROM drive and Live-CD's, is it possible to install Ubuntu directly to the hard drive? For example, wipe the whole hard drive and burn the Ubuntu Install ISO to it, let the computer boot from the hard drive into the install interface, and then install Ubuntu on the same hard drive. Its far fetched- but is it possible? Thanks.

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is a bootable USB out of question? But I think its a bit far fetched indeed –  Dr_Bunsen Oct 28 '12 at 21:59
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Is HHD a typo, or are you talking about a hybrid hard disk/SSD? –  hexafraction Oct 28 '12 at 22:08
    
a) The computer cannot boot via USB, and the LiveCD is failing me epically. b) I meant Hard Disk Drive (the main hard drive) by HHD. –  seanthewebber Oct 28 '12 at 23:59
    
oh.. I'm sorry... I meant * HDD... oops –  seanthewebber Oct 29 '12 at 0:50

5 Answers 5

Here is how I did it: If you have a computer that won't boot via USB in BIOS and the LiveCD doesn't work, download the ISO for a thing called 'PLOP Boot Manager' and burn it to a CD. Then, install the Ubuntu Install ISO image to a USB drive. Boot the computer via the PLOP CD and plug in the Ubuntu Install flash drive, then tell PLOP to boot via USB. Ubuntu then pulls up, and you can click the 'Install Ubuntu' option. Enjoy!

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The boot process for a HDD boot is very similar to booting from USB. You should be able to write the Image for USB Boot sticks to a hard drive and use it like you would use an USB stick only attacht to the ATA Bus.

I believe the modern install CD is even an iso hybrid CD. so You can even write the iso file to the hard disk (like a partition image, starting with the first sector, overwriting the hard disks partition table).

I'm saying the ISO might work, but if you can, use the USB image anyway, just to be sure.

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Thanks for the response. So you think the installer would be cool installing Ubuntu on the same HDD that the installer is running on? And I know this is going to sound like a noob question, but does the Ubuntu installer have a function that installs GRUB on the drive so the system boots right to Ubuntu without me needed to install it manually? –  seanthewebber Oct 29 '12 at 1:01
    
Installing to the same Hard disk... hmm you would have to create an extra partition, and therefore a partition table, and i am not sure how the installer image will like that. could be that you have to overwrite a part of the images bootloader, but at this time the installer would already be in memory... crude hack, could work though. Same problem goes for installing grub. The Ubuntu installer does perform the grub installation automatically. –  Paul Hänsch Oct 29 '12 at 1:09
    
Yes... sounds like fun! >:D Since I have a USB Hard Drive reader, I was thinking of setting up the partition table via Windows and burn the image to a separate smaller partition and leave the rest of the drive open for the Linux install. The install ISO is 750MB and the system memory is 512MB, so the issue is I think the system will keep going back for the ISO. You know how to set it up so the system boots to a particular partition of the HDD? –  seanthewebber Oct 29 '12 at 1:21
    
Now this could be tricky... But wait. Is there a syslinux/ or isolinux/ directory on the CD? Syslinux and Isolinux are two related bootloaders, which use the same config file format but different first stages (i.e. MBR stages). In this case you could copy all files from the cd to a FAT partition on the harddrive. And then use syslinux to boot... and I don,t know how to install syslinux from windows. Ahmm... screw it, just try copying the image to a partition first, set the bootable flag for this partition and see what happens. –  Paul Hänsch Oct 29 '12 at 1:27
    
mm.. I think I shall! I will leave a comment back when I get a chance to get to it. This means I gotta find me a empty hard drive to play with. XD –  seanthewebber Oct 29 '12 at 1:41

If I understand correctly, you are looking for other options beyond liveCD and bootable USB (somehow putting the ISO on your hard drive, booting it and installing to spare space from there sounds quite tricky, starting with the fact that you don't want to use your CD drive or USB).

Some alternatives are 1) A netboot install 1, if your PC can network boot or has a functional floppy drive. 2) transplanting the hard drive to a PC with functional CD drive or USB for the install, before moving it back again - this would require some work tweaking GRUB, most likely.

Hope this helps.

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I will look into a network install. How do you go about using floppy's? It has a floppy drive that it can boot from –  seanthewebber Oct 29 '12 at 0:03
    
Hi Sean - good luck to you with this. The information you need is at the Ubuntu Netboot page: help.ubuntu.com/community/Installation/Netboot - I've never done it, so can't be much more constructive, but you'll need to make a boot floppy to start the netboot if your computer can't boot from the network card directly, as documented above. –  Tim Booth Oct 29 '12 at 0:24
    
I just read up on it. It looks like I can start the server on my Windows PC via Tftpd32 then create a floppy. I think that may be the anwser –  seanthewebber Oct 29 '12 at 0:27
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If you have windows on there already you could install Ubuntu from within windows via wubi - just thought I'd mention that for an effort at completeness. –  Tim Booth Oct 29 '12 at 0:29
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If the Sony has an internet connection (or can at least read the CD long enough to copy wubi.exe) and Windows XP I would go the wubi route myself - I believe that you can even wipe windows right afterwards if you like with wubi-move. Ubuntu will be a nice upgrade for the Sony - make sure that it has a 3D card or onboard 3D or maybe consider steering clear of Unity. –  Tim Booth Oct 29 '12 at 0:49

you cant install space what your first os installed . you can install on another part. yes . but you need to make your hdd part bootable . and extract your iso to hdd . when you did all of thing you need install grup for booting .grub install and ubuntu is ready . when opened it select use from disk and open terminal

sudo apt-get purge ubiquity
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Thats what I was thinking. My plan was to burn the ISO to a single partition that is 100% of the once empty disc. Then since the ISO when burned to a disc installs a boot loader (like when on a CD or USB) the computer boots, then I can make a separate partition to install Ubuntu on, and once that is installed delete the partition the ISO was on. –  seanthewebber Oct 29 '12 at 0:08
    
I!m sorry. i cant understand . do you want only ubuntu on disk or another thing ? –  user84277 Oct 29 '12 at 10:23
    
In the end the plan is to only have Ubuntu on the hard drive yes –  seanthewebber Oct 29 '12 at 23:03
    
if you want it you need delete windows part and deleting windows from grub . i will show how . –  user84277 Oct 31 '12 at 18:23

I am not quite sure what is your problem. Can you boot using a live CD at all? If yes, you will discover you have the option to install Ubuntu on your hard disk from the live CD. If you have problems with the live CD and assuming your computer is new enough to boot from a USB stick, you can "burn" the CD image on a USB stick using a program like http://unetbootin.sourceforge.net/

In general, if you decide that Ubuntu is your OS choice, you should install it on the HDD. It will run much faster, not to mention that you will have much more freedom.

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No... The computer cannot boot via USB. The LiveCD is failing... That's why I turn to this odd idea.. lol –  seanthewebber Oct 29 '12 at 0:01

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