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I have a Windows 8 laptop, that I cannot factory reset because of some error (it just won't do it. I've tried a lot of different things and the error persists). So I'd like to just wipe my HD and do a clean install of Ubuntu on this machine. I do not have a DVD-R or a Flash Drive to make a LiveCD/USB with at the moment.

I DO have access to the Internet, with a wired or wireless connection, and it is fairly fast, so Net Installs would be a possibility.

Can someone point me towards a decently simple-to-understand walkthrough of the process? And if not, do I have ANY other options here at all?

Keep in mind that I do not want to dual-boot, or keep Windows 8 in any form on this laptop. I want to completely wipe Windows 8 off my Hard Drive, and install Ubuntu instead.

Edit Thanks everyone for the answers, looks like I'm just going to go on ahead and buy an inexpensive USB Drive and just do it that way, after all.

I'm new to AskUbuntu so I am not sure if there is a way to mark this question as "asnwered" or "resolved".

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I don't think you need an unsupported version of Ubuntu too. If you don't please remove the 13.04 tag, if yes, any specific reasons? –  i08in Feb 27 at 17:49
    
In order to mark this question as 'resolved', you should accept one of the answer proposed (if they were helpful), or alternatively create your own answer and accept it. Otherwise we might close it as too localized. –  Andrea Corbellini Feb 28 at 18:01
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2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

In order to install Ubuntu, the easiest way to do so is using a flashdrive, but net installs are possible. You will need another computer and follow the instructions on the Ubuntu help site here. If you will be using another windows computer as the netboot server you will need to follow the link in the "Introduction" segment, or here.

EDIT: After looking around a bit I found that the download links on the second link I provided are broken. To download the latest (13.10) you'll want to replace the word "maverick" with "saucy" in the 10.10 link, or click here: 32-bit or 64-bit.

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You are in a "snake eating it's own tail" scenario, so to speak :) The request is to to overwrite your boot-sector while still booted from it! This is a very tricky request!

This is technically and theoretically possible (with enough ram, an OS could boot entirely from hard disk into memory and then dismount the original disk for maintenance, such as formatting, installation, gparted, etc) but I'm unaware of any "off the shelf" way to do this currently.

One option is to use a smartphone as a boot device. This has been reported as working on androidforums:

http://androidforums.com/android-lounge/547107-how-use-smartphone-ubuntu-liveusb.html

If that is still not an option for you, you may want to do some heavy research on how to load your own ramdisk, but this will not fulfill your requirement to have a "decently simple-to-understand walkthrough of the process".

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Been doing some research. Is it at all possible to use a smaller Linux Distro like Puppy, as a "bridge" somewhat to what I want? I do believe i can install Puppy to a partition, and then would I be able to install Ubuntu through say...Wubi, from there? –  JMadFour Feb 28 at 4:08
    
That would work. Just use an actual install of Ubuntu, not WUBI because WUBI installs within windows, not over it (sits in a directory within the C drive) so Windows would still be there. Plus, I believe WUBI will be no longer supported (since 13.04 I think). –  willl459 Feb 28 at 6:48
    
@JMadFour, I believe what you are describing (boot a mini version of Linux kernel) is exactly what you'll need, but unfortunately this specific question is probably better suited for a community such as Gentoo, etc, where the low-level shell install tasks are more common place. The major issue is you need to ramdisk the ISO, then Unmount the volume for formatting. The problem in this approach is the "Live CD" concept generally uses a ramdisk for the running OS, but not the CD. You would need a ramdisk for both; the OS will need to use the CD occasionally so it NEEDS to think it's mounted. –  user1466873 Feb 28 at 14:06
    
A bit off-topic, but to add to the Wubi conversation, this is from the Ubuntu Wubi Wiki: Wubi does not work on any new PC with the Windows 8 logo or using UEFI firmware. Please use a 64-bit flavour of Ubuntu, installed directly to its own partition instead. For more information see https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UEFI If you upgraded to Windows 8 and are using BIOS firmware, Wubi does work, but do not enable hybrid-sleep on Windows 8. –  user1466873 Feb 28 at 14:06
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@Braiam You had edited it so it was your photo/nick they saw and thought you were the op. –  Oli Feb 28 at 22:47
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