Introduction: Cheech and Chong Computing.

About: Bytesize articles instead of a trilogy in one post.

Why do I call it Cheech and Chong computing, because they do not need no stinking disk drives. What we did  was to  remove every drive on the system but still eventuallly had the computer working!

The laptop was built in probably 1990, which is ancient history for most any computer. Amazing it still even works. It was a sort of a nettop before anyone ever though about nettops. As you can or will see the floppy and the dvd-rom drive were external so that you did not have to use them unless you needed to. Hard frive is removeable also.

Note: you could do this just one machine or a whole office or school.

Step 1: Doing Fine

At one time the laptop ran MSWindows ME, then that was evenutally changed to linux when Microsoft stopped supporting MSWindeows ME. The laptop is running fine when I needed to use the floppy drive. Wait, there is no real software for floppy might as well get rid of it.

Step 2: There Goes the DVD-rom Drive

Cannot really use the dvd-rom drive as everything is going to Bluray. Time to get rid of it. So no more floppy or dvd-rom drive.

Step 3: HD Is Dead.

The hard drove just crashed and if irrepairable.Time to remove the hard drive.  Oh no, now what I am I going to do?

Step 4: Is That a Cable?

All the drives are removed, No usb drives and or etc attached. What will happen? Watch the video to find out what happens.

Impossible you say?

Step 5: Overview

No computers were damaged or killed in the making of this video. In fact all the parts still work, except for the power on button cover that became apart. The removing of the parts was all done for dramatization.This instructable was a good example of IAAS (Infrastucrure as a service) Just one facet of cloud computing. Wikipedia talks about IAAS at :

What was done was not a trick, so how was it done? See:

Step 6: On an Even Older Computer.

Here we do the same thing with an old pentium one computer. a bit slow, but works.

Step 7: Ltsp - Raspberry Pi

The Rpi is not diskless but it does qualifie as a th in client that can connect to ltso.

Step 8: Other Operating Systems.

You can use pxeboot with other systems such as vmware.

Setting a VMware Workstation to PXE Boot (your version may be different)

VMware Workstation can perform a PXE boot over the local network, as version 4.5. PXE stands for “Pre-boot eXecution Environment” and is a standard developed by Intel to allow a device with PXE capabilities to load an operating system from a Local Area Network, or LAN, instead of an internal storage device, such as a hard drive or flash drive. A popular usage for PXE is for the rapid deployment of desktop and server systems within an enterprise. Set up a VMware Workstation virtual machine to attempt booting from PXE as its primary boot method.

Step 1: Open the desired VMware virtual machine, or create a new virtual machine, if necessary.

Step 2: Click "Edit virtual machine settings."

Step 3: Click "Network Adapter." Ensure the virtual machine's network settings are configured to use the same LAN as the PXE server. For example, if the PXE server is located on a physical device elsewhere on the LAN, as is usually the case, click "Bridged" to enable the virtual machine to connect directly to the LAN instead of using the virtual LAN that is internal to VMware itself.

Step 4: Click "OK" to save the settings.

Step 5: Press the green "Play" button to power on the virtual machine. A new virtual machine that has not yet had an operating system installed automatically attempts to locate a PXE server on the network. After an operating system has been installed to the virtual machine, it no longer attempts to perform a PXE boot upon startup. To perform a PXE boot every time the virtual machine is powered on, regardless of an installed operating system, proceed to the next step.

Step 6: Press the "F2" key immediately after powering on the virtual machine.

Step 7: Press the right arrow key three times to enter the boot settings.

Step 8 Press the down arrow key thee times to select the virtual network card.

Step 9: Press the "+" key three times to set the virtual network card as the first boot device.

Step 10: Press the "F10" key to save the setting. The virtual machine now attempts to boot from a PXE server as its primary method every time the virtual machine is powered on or restarted.


While you can configure a virtual machine to attempt to boot from a PXE server, the process will fail if a PXE server does not exist on the LAN for which the virtual machine is connected to.

UP! Contest

Participated in the
UP! Contest