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I'm not even sure if this is possible, but I'd like to install Ubuntu on an old laptop. Problem is, the cd drive is broken, and the laptop will not boot from usb. It used to run Windows XP but that crashed and will not boot at all. A friend suggested that it might be possible to detach the internal HD, plug it into my desktop PC (which runs Ubuntu) and put the correct files on to it. Then I could reattach it to the laptop and boot from the internal HD. I'd like to know if this is possible, and what files I would need to download in order to do this.

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It has been asked before check this – ricky Dec 10 '13 at 16:35

If you have the proper cables to successfully connect the Laptop HD to your Desktop Computer, then you should be able to boot from live CD and install Ubuntu on your Laptop Drive. I wouldn't think that Ghosting the drive would be necessary, as it sounded like you might have been alluding to.

I think a simple live CD install would be fine for the laptop HD.

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But if I install it on the HD drive while it's attached to the desktop, will it still work when I put it back into the laptop, even though the two computers are very different in terms of processor, memory etc? – Sean Dec 10 '13 at 16:39
The first boot might be a little slower as the kernel has to reconfigure itself to different hardware. Otherwise as long as you install the right version for your laptop you should be fine. Probably 32bit/x86 since the laptop was running XP? – jm_____ Dec 10 '13 at 16:47

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