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Thread: Will Ubuntu run on a PC with no hdd?

  1. #1
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    Dec 2012
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    Will Ubuntu run on a PC with no hdd?

    I have a Dell Inspiron 5100 notebook with 1.25GB RAM. It worked for years, then got a "Drive 0 not found" error. Replacing the HD did not fix it. Finding that Ubuntu would run from a USB stick, I created one using 12.10 as instructed on Windows and changed my bios order to boot from USB. I used a new 16GB Micro Center jump drive formated FAT32. The notebook now boots to the Ubuntu welcome screen OK, and
    everything but the HD works. But when I click on Try Ubuntu, all I get is the desktop picture and a mouse pointer. Will Ubuntu run from USB on a PC with no hdd?

  2. #2
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    Re: Will Ubuntu run on a PC with no hdd?

    I used to have an ubuntu on an 8 gb flash drive. My laptop supports booting from usb. I see no reason as to why it wouldn't run from a usb stick/drive.

  3. #3
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    Re: Will Ubuntu run on a PC with no hdd?

    sounds like compiz is not working for you, try a differnet DE like xubuntu/kubuntu/lubuntu, you may prefer linux mint
    Laptop: ASUS A54C-NB91 (Storage: WD3200BEKT + MKNSSDCR60GB-DX); Desktop: Custom Build - Images included
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  4. #4
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    Re: Will Ubuntu run on a PC with no hdd?

    Will Ubuntu run from USB on a PC with no hdd?
    Simple answer: Yes.

    Here's a way how:

    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/LiveCD/Persistence


    I run LiveCDs on systems where I unplug the hard drives all the time, never didn't work.
    Mind you CD and USB are different the basic concept is the same.
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  5. #5
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    Re: Will Ubuntu run on a PC with no hdd?

    Thanks to all 3 of you who answered my question. I reinstalled Ubuntu to my USB stick, and this time I chose 12.04 instead of 12.10, and left my internet connected while running the Pendrivelinux Universal USB Installer, and added a 1GB persistent file. I don't know which of these changes made the difference, but this time Ubuntu booted up without any problems, and everything works! Problem resolved!

  6. #6
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    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Will Ubuntu run on a PC with no hdd?

    Quote Originally Posted by rayshif View Post
    Thanks to all 3 of you who answered my question. I reinstalled Ubuntu to my USB stick, and this time I chose 12.04 instead of 12.10, and left my internet connected while running the Pendrivelinux Universal USB Installer, and added a 1GB persistent file. I don't know which of these changes made the difference, but this time Ubuntu booted up without any problems, and everything works! Problem resolved!
    1GB persistence will likely be used up quite soon.
    You can have up to 4GB persistence using a casper-rw file.
    If you need more persistence, you can make a ext partition named casper-rw of any size that will fit on your drive.

  7. #7
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    Ubuntu 13.10 Saucy Salamander

    Re: Will Ubuntu run on a PC with no hdd?

    Quote Originally Posted by deadflowr View Post
    Simple answer: Yes...I run LiveCDs on systems where I unplug the hard drives all the time
    +1

    @OP

    You might also consider installing a fully functioning system to a USB hard drive in the usual way. Don't have to fight with persistence issues, install whatever apps you want, etc. Obviously more fragile than an internal HD, but backups should look after that.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Re: Will Ubuntu run on a PC with no hdd?

    I just installed Xdbuntu 12.04.01 on a 32 gig SD that will boot off of a card reader.
    I followed C.S.Cameron's intructions on this
    link ( post #3 ):

    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.p...ighlight=flash

    This works whether or not you have a HD with
    windows on it.

    Works excellent.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Re: Will Ubuntu run on a PC with no hdd?

    I guess I don't know what persistence is. Is it used for programs and data? I have 14GB free on my USB stick. Should I use it all? How can I increase it? Do I need to reinstall Ubuntu to the stick?
    Last edited by rayshif; December 15th, 2012 at 07:24 AM.

  10. #10
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    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Will Ubuntu run on a PC with no hdd?

    Persistence is space used to save installed programs and settings.
    You can have two types of persistent files or partitions:

    Casper-rw which saves everything, (that doesn't load at boot, such as video drivers).

    Home-rw can be used along side casper-rw, it is similar to a separate home folder, or partition. it will save your settings and downloads.

    Most people just use casper-rw.

    Once a persistence file is filled up the drive will no longer boot, at least until some files are removed.

    It is important not to do an update using update manager when using a persistent install.

    I have been often accused for making things seem over complex.

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