I have a really old Dell laptop that is beyond slow with its current WinXP installation. I want to make it usable again by installing a Linux distro (such as Xubuntu) but there is one big problem: It won't boot from anything besides the hard drive.
It comes with an external optical drive that connects through something... it's not USB, that's all I know. It USED to boot from CD using that drive, but now, for some reason, it won't anymore. It has a single USB 1.1 port. Of course it doesn't boot from USB.
But, would it be possible to take the hard drive out of the laptop, put it inside of another computer, install the OS onto that hard drive using the computer, and then put the hard drive back into the laptop? Without having screwed up hardware configuration in the OS? Is there any other way of installing an OS with a computer that won't boot from anything? Or is it completely hopeless?