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.
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.