Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have an old Win XP PC that I wiped the drive on (thoroughly). I downloaded Ubuntu on another PC and copied it onto a DVD. When I try to boot on the old XP PC from the Ubuntu files on the DVD I get an error message, something like the boot failed... duh. I selected the boot device after selecting the F10 boot option when I power up the old PC. Still, the same error message. If you can help, please keep it simple. I am only an intermediate user.

share|improve this question
Did you just copy the .iso file onto the DVD? You need to write a DVD image, which is different. For help, see here. – Jos Jun 19 '14 at 9:58

You don't just copy an ISO file or it's contents to a CD/DVD, as it contains a complete file system, with a boot sector, that's why it's called a CD image.

Note: If your computer is not ancient, it should be able to boot from an USB stick, which is often a better alternative to CD/DVD, as it's faster and more flexible, since you can re-format it later.

Please see this article on creating a bootable USB stick or this article on burning a DVD on Ubuntu.

If you only have Windows at the moment, here is how to burn a DVD and here is the USB stick guide.

Tip: you might want to consider Xubuntu or Lubuntu instead of Ubuntu for your old hardware. They are fully functional, but lightweight compared to Ubuntu in terms of RAM and CPU usage.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.