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I'm running a Dell Latitude XT that the hardcover went bad in, and, being an IDE computer, the hard drives are expensive, so I was trying to run Ubuntu straight from a USB our zip drive.

I have downloaded Linux Live USB, but every time I format the USB drive that I want to use it comes up with an error saying that there is no operating system. How can I fix this problem?

This is a second laptop that my kids use and don't want.

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Can the laptop boot from USB did you md5sum hashcheck the downloaded iso and how did you create the live USB media? –  ubfan1 Sep 1 '13 at 23:07
If it's an IDE system, then it is about 10 years old. That's old enough that it's no surprise that it doesn't know how to boot from USB drives either. Time to junk it and build a new system. –  psusi Sep 2 '13 at 2:34
Take a look at This, see if it helps. –  Mitch Sep 2 '13 at 5:55
What does "zip drive" refer to? The infamous Iomega Zip drive? –  Peter Mortensen Sep 2 '13 at 18:12

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