Sometimes we are working with machines that just do not have CD or DVD drives installed into them. What am I supposed to do in a case like that? Well thankfully there are options.
One of those options is to run your operating system of choice from a USB drive. There are a number of programs that you could use but this time we will talk about one that am quite fond of and that is Unetbootin. I know it has a funny sounding name but it is so very useful and easy to use as you shall see.
Now 1st of all you will need a USB drive unless you already have one that is available to use for this purpose as it is best that it has nothing else on it. I’d say 8GB or greater would be good, as you want to have space for the OS itself as well as programs and other data.
Insert USB drive into PC or Laptop and allow it to load up, once that’s done then download Unetbootin from this site. Then you will need what an .iso file. Now an .iso file is really the same information that would normally be on a CD or DVD, but supposed you just don’t have the operating system already burned onto the optical media of choice, well you can still use it directly by after the instructions of this post.In fact you could take a look at this for another example of how to do this a bit differently.
OK now the instructions are very straightforward you choose the operating system you wish to use and it will install it directly onto your flash drive. Now you will be able to boot it up from there, but first you must go into what is the BIOS, and I will be discussing with you how to do that soon.
OK, I told you I would be back with this one. Where was I?……… Oh yes I was talking about how I was going to use a program called Unetbootin which is a great way to install an operating system from a USB drive, which is pretty useful when you do not have an optical drive. Or if you just want to experiment with a different way of doing things which obviously I was doing.
Lol! truth be told I had the program on a USB drive the whole time but it wasn’t working with the computer I was using so I was quite happy to find it on the DVD that came with the PC utilities magazine that I had purchased. It already had a CD drive but I removed that and put in a DVD one. What I did was to save the .iso file of Linux Mint 12 from the USB drive to the desktop which is the screen you see on your computer once you log on. Ran the Unetbootin program and to my surprise and delight it worked just fine as the accompanying pictures show.
Initially it didn’t work but when I rebooted the PC for the second time the screen came up with the boot loader which gave the choice of starting up Windows 2000 ( I told you it was an old hard drive!) or Unetbootin/Linux Mint 12 and so I chose the later option. Aha! I had it set up and what made me even happier was the fact that even when I turned the computer off and turned it back on the next day even without the original DVD or USB drive and ran wonderfully.
Now the only problem was that that Hard drive I was using by it being old and nearing the end of its life was making a really annoying noise. So I will definitely put a new hard drive in there and do this all over again. Not to mention I don’t have very much RAM, 512 MB to be exact so I would love to at least double that.
Interestingly enough I had completely forgotten what I had did months ago and then all of a sudden it came to me that when I was working as a Painter someone was throwing away a PC, and me being me I ended up taking it home and taking some of the parts out that I would use in other computers like ribbon cables screws and hard drives. Then I discarded all that I did not want.
And so I took one of the hard drives out that was like 40 GB and put in it the PC and yesterday I was working on an older PC I had that had been laying around for some time. So I decided what the heck why don’t I boot it up and see what happened and it was quite interesting to say the least.
I found out that Windows 2000 was installed already, which didn’t really surprise me. At the same time when I got it running I immediately decided that I hated it and wanted another Operating System to run on this machine. I immediately thought of making this a Linux box, Linux Mint to be more specific and I talk more about that particular flavor of Linux in another post.
The problem I immediately ran into was that this particular machine had a CD drive installed in it and all I had to install operating systems was DVDs. But no problem, since I had a DVD drive that I was able to use to get things going. And that went fine.
This may indeed sound crazy to you but this is what I did! I remembered that I had purchased a computer magazine by the name of PC Utilities a while back(last summer I believe) and it came to me that there was a DVD that came with it that had a selection of useful programs from Antiviruses to a program called Unetbootin which despite the funny name is really useful as you will see.
Stay tuned as I will finish this story a bit later