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Download an OS (like Linux) onto a totally erased hard drive. Answered

Some one I know nuked the hard drive of an old computer. I got my hands on it and now I would like to turn it into a server (or just a plane old PC), but I don't know any way of downloading anything onto it in that pretty-much-nothing-on-it state. I would like to download an OS (like Linux) to make it easier to download and program things. Any Ideas?



Best Answer 7 years ago

You can get an entire Linux operating system on a bootable DVD. Its called Knoppix and it works great. I use it for diagnosing computer problems. If a machine will boot from the DVD and run Knoppix then its not a hardware problem. The DVD once loaded allows you to immediately go on line. It comes with hundreds of programs already installed and working. It has a bunch of different web browsers, several office type programs including open office and lots of games. You should try it. If your computer can boot with it then it will work with any Linux system.


Most linux distributions are available as a downloadable ISO file which can be burned (from a separate machine) -- anywhere from a cd 700 megs, to multiple DVDs 4.x gigs.

You may need a program to burn the iso file to disk. Be sure your computer's bios is set to boot from cd before hdd, otherwise, it'll see the empty hdd and fail.

+1. Download ISO, burn to CD or DSD, boot and install from that. If your machine doesn't have an appropriate reader, you can get USB-attached readers and configure your BIOS to boot from that.

What do you mean by "nuked"? Things that end in "-ked" are usually broken beyond usefulness.
Have you got a machine to put the drive into?


Nuked is a term that means the entire memory on the hard drive is wiped out, including the Operating System. So I guess it could be "Beyond Usefulness" in a scene. But this is Instuctables! Almost NOTHING is beyond usefulness here. I do still have a machine to put the drive into and it still can hold an OS, I just don't know how to get that OS onto the computer, and that is why I am asking. (But I think I may already have the answer I am looking for, I just need to test it out.)

I'd say "scrubbed" or "wiped". Plug it into a machine with a optical disc drive is what I think you'll be doing?


You'll have to make a live disk on a second computer and boot off of that. The Ubuntu website can tell you exactly how to do it.