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I can't open the cd drive because Knoppix is using it. Is there a way round this?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

Have you tried putting Knoppix on a USB drive, so you can use the CD? You can use unetbootin for this. I have done it myself, very easy, you just download the Knoppix ISO first and then use unetbootin to burn to your flash drive.

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Actually I was forced to use Knoppix to run a Win32 malware cleaning program off my Windows machine when infected by a particularly nasty trojan. I booted into Knoppix off the USB port, used apt-get to install WINE, then downloaded the malware cleaning program and ran that in Windows emulation mode. Tricky but did the job. – PP. Feb 15 '10 at 14:27
+1 for being ingenious! – Ivo Flipse Feb 15 '10 at 20:06

If you have plenty of RAM in your machine, Knoppix has a "toram" option that you can specify on the boot menu (give knoppix toram as the startup options, appending any other options if you normally add some for this machine). This copies the whole CD to RAM and runs it from there so you should be able to remove the CD and use the drive for something else. It will take a little time to read the whole CD of course so boot time will be slow, but once running from RAM you will find it very responsive.

If you can't spare 700Mb of RAM, or don't want to wait that long from the copy from CD to RAM, Puppy Linux (see here and here for more info) which is just over 100Mb rather than around 700Mb and IIRC it automatically runs from RAM if it finds enough available (with the option of running from CD/USB if needed). Obviously the smaller size means you get less app choice by default (no OO.o, for example, as that is around that order of size on its own) but you do get a surprising amount of functionality in that 100Mb.

And, as already mentioned by PP, there is also the USB option if you have a stick-drive handy that you can use. Chances are that losing one USB port because you need to keep Knoppix plugged in will be a lot less inconvenient than having your only CD drive tied up.

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