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I wonder if someone can help me? I am fairly new to trying to actually understand and use computers myself rather than just buying whatever Windows/Mac wants me to! You will get a giggle from my flawed attempts anyway :-)

I would like to start using Ubuntu on my PC, just got a new harddrive and did have a borrowed windows 7 disk as was planning to temporarily install it so i could get ubuntu. However I didn't have high enough spec hardware for win 7 (I think it is due to only 1gb ram, i do have 64 bit technology and a 1tb harddrive). I am quite happy to install 32 bit ubuntu and hear it is easier the use than 64 anyway.

So I have one other rubbish mini laptop (windows xp) which i am trying to use to get ubuntu onto a usb (laptop has no cd drive) so i can install it on the pc. First tried just downloading ubuntu 13.04 desktop onto a usb and trying to boot the pc from it which gave the message 'no operating system'. Then I tried this to create a bootable usb which sounded promising: http://www.pendrivelinux.com/universal-usb-installer-easy-as-1-2-3/ . However then it starting asking for my saucy desktop iso in order to install it onto the usb stick, can't really manage to find out what a saucy desktopp iso is, maybe a mirror image of an operating system, no idea why i would need that.

So in short, I'm lost. All I can think of is getting windows xp somewhere so i can get my pc to work and install ubuntu from the internet on that, or going to a friends house in the hope that creating a bootable cd is easier than creating a usb.

Sorry for my general ineptness and hope someone can help!

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4 Answers 4

If you downloaded the correct file for installing Ubuntu, then the .iso is the same as the file itself that you downloaded, and you didn't need to extract anything from the archive. In order to make an Ubuntu bootable live USB you need to use the .iso file itself instead of a file or files from the contents of the archive that you extracted.

In order to make an Ubuntu live USB for installing Ubuntu, use UNetbootin (Windows/Mac/Linux/Ubuntu Software Center). The flash drive you use should be 1GB or larger (2GB or larger for Ubuntu 14.04 and onwards), plus whatever additional space on the USB drive you want to use for persistent file storage, and formatted to FAT32. UNetbootin will automatically format the USB flash drive to FAT32 if it is not already formatted to FAT32. In either case the formatting procedure will delete all of the files that are already on the flash drive.

It is very important to verify that the device that you are installing the Ubuntu live USB to is indeed your flash drive, so that you don't overwrite any of your system or personal files which may make your operating system unbootable. In Ubuntu you can find the device name of the flash drive using Disk Utility (or Disks if you are using Ubuntu 13.04, 13.10 or 14.04). In the picture below the name of the flash drive is /dev/sdc1 where /dev/sdc is the device name of the flash drive and the 1 after sdc means UNetbootin will install the Ubuntu live USB on the first partition on that device.

enter image description here

The Ubuntu live USB flash drive that you make this way will be bootable from PC computers. In order to enable your computer to boot from the USB flash drive, you must enter your BIOS menu by pressing one of these keys, usually: Delete, F2 or F10 as soon as the motherboard splash screen appears when the computer is booting. In the BIOS menu, you need to change the boot order so that the USB flash drive, which is usually called USB-HDD in newer computers, is the first entry in the boot sequence, and then save your new BIOS settings and exit the BIOS setup.

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Ok thanks karel, will try that later today and let you know how it goes, sounds right :-) –  Emma Sep 26 '13 at 12:47
Good luck and I hope you finish it soon in case your question gets deleted because a question about a development release like Ubuntu 13.10 will be off topic until Ubuntu 13.10 is released sometime in October. –  karel Sep 26 '13 at 12:52
Thanks for that comment too! I am just trying to install some kind of operating system other than wiondows, is 13.10 not the right thing for me to be installing? Right am going to try now! –  Emma Sep 26 '13 at 15:08
Ok.... sp @karel thanks for pointing that out. I was selecting ubuntu 13.10 on the usb creating thing which for some reason meant that i couldnt see the original .iso file among my documents, why i don't know but when i correctly selected 13.4 it did show up. Coupled with the fact i extracted all the files which i shouldn't have done. So that's it solved, thanks patient people :-) –  Emma Sep 26 '13 at 15:38
@Emma If this answered your question, you may mark this answer as accepted by clicking the gray check mark to the left of it. –  karel Sep 26 '13 at 15:45

I see you already found the relevant guide. Unfortunately it doesn't mention, that you still need to download an image file with Ubuntu. Choose wichever you like, though I recommend v13.04 (64 bit) for a recent system.

Select that image file as described in step 2 of the guide.

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Step 1: Download the Ubuntu CD image file (a .ISO file) from the official Ubuntu Download site. I strongly recommend to use the 12.04 LTS version, it's by far more stable. Since you only have 1 GB RAM, you might want the 32bit version (see the relevant question).

Step 2: Run the pendrivelinux USB creator and select the Ubuntu version you downloaded (if you followed my advice it's Ubuntu 12.04 Desktop) from the drop down menu. Then click the browse button and select the file downloaded in step 1. Then select your USB drive in the dropdown menu und click create. Screenshots can be found on the official guide.

Step 3: Reboot from the USB drive.

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To search, open filemanager, go to your pen drive, press "ctrl+f" and type ".iso". If you still can't find the file by this way then I think you have erased the USB drive.

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Ok thanks Pavak Paul, i will try that when i get home –  Emma Sep 26 '13 at 12:48

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