Mar 7, 2010
I had a little mission this week-end = my girlfriends 250Gb SATA hard drive laptop crashed this week (video card failure), and I wanted to help her by getting all her valuable data on an old Pachard Bell EasyNote laptop I have hanging around.One big problem : this laptop does not boot on CD drive, nor USB drive, and does not have a Floppy slot. There is an old hard drive with a lot of bad sectors in it, and I have a 80Gb IDE drive I want to put in.
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My tools : a SATA to USB adapter, a IDE to USB adapter, a Ubuntu 9.10 LiveCD, a Windows7-run netbook, and the web.My goal : to configure the hard drive in some sort for it to install Ubuntu on boot (much like when you buy a laptop : the OS installs on first boot).I quickly found this to be impossible, as there is no Ubuntu pre-install format available (or that I found). So the next step was to get a complete install on the new hard drive, one way or another.First I tried cloning the 250SATA drive on the 80GB IDE drive, but this clearly led to an error (Grub error 18. It was looking for a 250Gb drive where I only fed him 80.)
Next step was to get some kind of LiveCD-like boot from the hard drive. This is made possible by using the UNetBootIn tool and the related Ubuntu Documentation. I met some problems during the real Ubuntu Install at the point where the laptop tried to format the drive the CD image was on. This other Ubuntu Guide gives a few workarounds and tweaks for that situation, but they didn't solve the issue for me.Final idea was to Live-CD like boot from the rubbish hard drive and install the system on the new hard drive plugged in through USB. This failed because the computer does not boot LiveCD-like on the old hard drive...
I'm kinda stuck on what to do now. I still don't have a nice boot on the computer (only a Live-CD like obtained with the UNetBootIn tool), and am still not capable of doing a "real" install on the Laptop.I'm aware that solving the boot-from-cd issue would bring me a faster solution (maybe!), but the idea was to get a hang on this so that I can install Ubuntu on my CD-free netbook soon (Although my netbook might very well boot on USB, but still).My final and last idea is to go buy some kind of adapter that would let me plug the two hard drives into the laptop at the same time, LiveCD-like boot on the new one, install Ubuntu on the old one (connected directly via IDE) and then clone the old one to the new one. But I wish I don't have to go to that extreme ;o)Writing this I just thought of one thing : I could install Live-CD like Ubuntu on a flash drive, launch it on my netbook and install Ubuntu on the new hard drive connected through USB... Would that work?