New PC

Neil hok.krat at
Mon Oct 13 14:53:59 UTC 2008

On Sat, Oct 11, 2008 at 11:12 PM, John <John at> wrote:
> I've just bought a new mini laptop computer which, unfortunately, has
> windoze as its main OS.
> Although the windoze has not yet been activated, can anyonetell me how I
> can move the installation drive to a USB stick so that it's ready in
> case of (extremely) dire emergency?
> J
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There are some things you need to do:
1. Create a live USB stick to run your netbook without the internal
drive.(assuming you do not have a CDrom drive in there)
2. Copy the entire internal disk to another USB stick
3. Install a decent os
4. Burn the tainted USB stick (with XP on it) :P
5. ....

Let's get started:
1. You can only do this from a current Linux installation or from a
live disk running on a full system!
You should start with a FAT-16 formatted USB stick (no bigger then 2
GB). It doesnt work with a FAT-32 formatted stick. Just ask if you
wanna know how to fix this.

print this instruction list (or write it down or take a picture of
this with your camera and have the film developed or have some monkeys
chisel it into a granite slab)
Press ctrl-alt-F1 (WARNING: ctrl-alt-F7 to get back)
enter: mount
Look at where your USB stick is (something like /dev/sde1)
enter: "umount <where your USB stick is>"
SYSTEM. skip this if you are running from a live CD)
enter: "mount -o loop <where your live CD is> /mnt/cd" (IF YOU ARE
RUNNING FROM A FULLY INSTALLED SYSTEM. skip this if you are running
from a live CD)
enter: "mkbootdisk --32 --partition <where your USB stick is> /mnt/cd"
 (if you are running from a live CD you must enter /dev/cdrom instead
of /mnt/cd)
(so for example: "mkbootdisk --32 --partition /dev/sde1 /dev/cdrom" if
the stick is @ /dev/sde1 and you are running a live CD)
enter: "mkdir /media/usb"
enter: "mount <where your USB stick is> /media/usb"
enter: "cp -R /mnt/cd/* /media/disk/" (or /media/<whatever your cdrom
is called. Probably something with Ubuntu>/* instead of /mnt/cd/* if
you are using a live CD (DO NOT FORGET THE /*))
enter: "umount /media/usb"
enter: "rmdir /media/usb"
pull the USB key out of the PC.

You should now have a fully bootable USB stick.

2. Copying XP to another USB stick
First of all: you can't just copy the files. That wouldn't work.
However, we do have a low level tool to perform these kind of things.
"ctrl alt F1" again
"mount" and check where the EMPTY usb stick is.
"dd if=/dev/sda1 of=<path to disk. Something like /dev/sdb. NOTE: no
number at the end. If you think it should be there: well it
Let it run for a while. It is copying everything
Check wether the files are on the USB stick (you could have copied a
complete but empty other partition)

3. Use the USB stick to install Ubuntu

4. Burn the tainted USB key.
I'd advise a fusion bomb of at least 100 megaton. Just don't do it near me.
No it is somewhat of a culture to advise everyone to destroy everyting
from Redmond. I am just kidding. It is wise to start with Linux on a
test system. In this way you can start with it without endangering
your ability to surf and read emails (on how to solve the problems)

Hope it helps


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