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I dusted off an old laptop from 2004 which has Windows XP. I want to put Ubuntu on it.

So, I downloaded the CD image and then burnt it to a disc.

I tried starting the laptop and booting from CD but no luck. The CD drive doesn't work in the laptop anymore!

So I shared the files on the local server and then accessed the wubi.exe file from within Windows XP, and it proceeded to download something else and install. It then asked me to restart, which I did.

I now have a folder C:\ubuntu with a bunch of files in it. How do I get the option to boot to Ubuntu?

Sorry, I have never installed a Linux variant before!

Many thanks

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One minute between posting and answering, that's quick! – harrymc Jul 20 '10 at 10:34

I pushed F8 during the boot sequence and there was the option, Ubuntu.

It is now finishing the installation :)

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Another way of installing Ubuntu on an older laptop is to actually take the small hard disk out and connect it to a more modern PC where you can run the Ubuntu CD and install it on the laptop hard disk, once it is connected via one of those USB-IDE/SATA controller.

The only thing you have to be careful when installing Ubuntu on such external disk is that in the last window, you need to click this "Advanced" button and select the proper device (/dev/sdb, for example) to install GRUB. Otherwise, you will end up with GRUB overwriting whatever you have on your main hard disk. I strongly recommend that you record the partition on which you install Linux (/dev/sdba, for example), so you know where to install the master boot record at the end of the install process.

You can find a USB -> SATA/IDE controlled at most computer stores today. If not, you could order it from places such as That's where I got mine. I got it two years ago for about $30 US.

And of course, this requires a little bit of hacking in your existing laptop, to remove the internal hard disk. but it's worth it/

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