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Ok I'm trying to install Ubuntu 12.04 onto a new hard drive. to laptop is only 3 years old but for some reason it will not recognize a usb or dvd and I cant find a cd that will hold the 708 mb file. any ideas how i can get this to work

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Make sure the USB or DVD is created using the appropriate software and the ISO file is not corrupted. – user68186 Sep 5 '13 at 19:17
Take a look at This. – Mitch Sep 5 '13 at 20:20

if you cant repair the problem with usb or dvd, try a minimal disk(less than 100MB if I'm correct). write it on a cd and install all packages(such as ubuntu-desktop) by apt-get install .... however this way you should have a high speed Internet access on you desired laptop.

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