Install from USB drive invisible to BIOS and GRUB


Am trying to set up an audio workstation for the kids (wiping an earlier Ubuntu installation, so GRUB is already on the machine). The distro I have chosen is Jack Audio Distribution (JAD) based on opensuse 10.2. The computer is an old 800Mhz Dell that I got an online auction a couple of years ago. The bad thing is that JAD is over 1G. The good thing is that it comes on a DVD (and only a DVD). The bad thing is that the computer doesn’t have a DVD drive, only a CD. The good thing is that I have an external USB DVD…. The bad thing is that it is not recognised by the bios or by GRUB.

So, I boot using Knoppix from the CD drive, copy across the /boot folder from the JAD DVD to the hard drive, then reboot (taking out the Knoppix CD, but leaving the JAD DVD in the USB drive). From there I drop to GRUB at the command line then point the kernel and initrd commands at the copies in the JAD boot folder (presumably these two files alone would have been sufficient?) and this boots enough to get the usb subsystem running… and then it automatically detects the DVD and continues the installation from there.

Neat. (It has installed, but I am still evaluating whether or not everything works on the machine)

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