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Will Ubuntu live cd/dvd work with no hard drive installed?

I have an old laptop which doesn't have a HDD and I can't get Live CD to boot on it. (Trying to boot using 'try Ubuntu' option). It gets so far and then just shows a flashing cursor in the top left hand corner. it stays like this indefinitely.

If however, I put the hard drive from my other laptop into this one, it boots from the CD fine. Even more oddly, once it's booted into Ubuntu I can remove the hard drive (probably not advisable while the machine is still running!!) and it continues to work fine.

I have noticed that the hard drive is access briefly during boot up and it is at this point where it would fail if the hard drive wasn't present.

Just curious, someone asked the exact same question on here before and the general consensus was that it should work without a hdd, although, in truth, the people who answered could only confirm that it works with a completely dead hard drive in the PC and not in the complete absence of one.

Can anyone confirm? Thanks!

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To answer this we probably need more information: brand, make, model of system. BIOS version. etc. This sound more like a hardware issue than the live cd needing a hard disc ;) –  Rinzwind Jan 20 '13 at 21:59
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marked as duplicate by Rinzwind, LnxSlck, qbi, Jorge Castro, gertvdijk Jan 20 '13 at 23:41

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

2 Answers

Short answer: No.

Long answer: Probably not. Some hardware setups will complain that there is no hard drive (mostly Laptops, as AbrahamVanHelpsing just pointed out). It is not needed for the LiveCD, however. You can fully boot to the LiveCD, if the BIOS accepts it.

This doesn't mean that every function is available and that it runs flawlessly, though, obviously. A hard drive is an integral part of the computer and without one, you lack serious long-term storing capacity.

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Some laptops won't even finish POST if the hard drive doesn't respond properly during boot regardless of whether it is a boot device.

Your question is hardware specific, not specific to a LiveCD/DVD.

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