How do I install ubuntu on a blank hard drive without using dvd or usb? I have a computer with an extra blank drive thats been formatted. I want to download ubuntu onto the blank drive and install it on there to be put into another computer. I dont have a dvd or a usb drive. I dont want to buy one either! everyone keeps saying buy one or gives me directions to use dvd or usb. I just want to install it on a blank hard drive the put that drive in another computer. Can anyone explain how as simply as possible, please?

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    windows 10 on the computer with the extra formatted drive. windows 10 on c: and formatted blank drive is D: The computer D: drive is going into obviously not running at the moment. Im on the windows 10 pc and have already downloaded ubuntu onto D: and extracted the zip on to it – Barry Shelton Mar 21 '18 at 6:18
  • do I just install the drive into computer currently with no os and the turn it on? – Barry Shelton Mar 21 '18 at 6:21
  • Yes, that will work. Just remove the hard drive and physically install it in the other computer. – karel Mar 21 '18 at 6:22
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    wow I feel dumb. Thanks so much for your help. It was greatly appreciated – Barry Shelton Mar 21 '18 at 6:22

Try installing it onto the drive (full install) using a virtual machine. You could maybe mount the drive to the VM and proceed with the installation. I've tried this and didn't succeed, but it might work for you. Hopefully it does work. You should try it.

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As posted here:

You can create a partition that will be at least 8 GB. You may call him H:

Then using UnetBootin you can select hard disk and select H: drive (instead a C:).

After it writes the live cd to H:, boot from H: and install linux to D: drive. After that you can remove the partition

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  • seems drawn out. since the unzipped ubuntu download is already on D hdd, cant I just somehow install th os there so all I have to do is pop the hdd/ d into the other computer then fire it up maybe tweeking the bios and downloading drivers or updates after its on the machine? Im quite computer illiterate and just want to do this the quickest and easiest way possible w/o dvd or usb drive, neither I have at the moment. – Barry Shelton Mar 21 '18 at 7:13
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    Live OS and OS may look same but you can't directly install it because the installed OS has many different files, repos and user system than normal OS. There is also Virtual machine option but it is much complexer than my answer. – Ege Sucu Mar 21 '18 at 7:17

You can install Ubuntu in several ways into the blank hard drive.

  • A live (live-only) system. If cloned from the iso file, this system will 'waste' most of the drive space of the hard disk drive, but it can be used in any other computer to install Ubuntu into another drive.

  • A persistent live system. This system will be portable between computers, you can use the whole drive to save personal files, install program packages. But the kernel of the iso file will be used, it cannot be upgraded. You should avoid general upgrading of all program packages. This system will not be as stable as an installed system.

  • An installed system like 'any installed system'. Such a system is portable between computers, but not as portable as a live or persistent live system. Avoid installing proprietary drivers (for graphics and wifi) if you can. Otherwise the portability will be limited. This system can be completely updated and upgraded and is as stable as possible.

See this link for more details.

How to do this from any operating system

  • You can clone a live-only Ubuntu family flavour system directly from the iso file.

    • In Windows you can use

      Win32 Disk Imager

      but I am not sure if it will write to an internal drive. If not, you must use another cloning tool or connect your blank hard drive via USB.

    • In Linux you can use

      • Disks alias gnome-disks or
      • mkusb
  • You can install a persistent live Ubuntu family flavour system directly from any operating system (for example Windows) by cloning a compressed image file according to

    Compressed image file with a persistent live system

  • You can install an installed Ubuntu system directly from any operating system (for example Windows) by cloning a compressed image file according to


Final notes

  • Please remember to backup everything that you cannot afford to lose before you start on this adventure, because you might damage your drive with Windows by mistake.

  • I agree with the advice 'everyone keeps saying buy one or gives me directions to use dvd or usb'. This is by far the easiest method unless the computer is very old or damaged, so that you cannot use a DVD disk or USB drive.

  • But you are welcome to use a blank hard disk. You will learn useful things about computers and operating systems along the way. Good luck :-)

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