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The motherboard I have doesn't support booting from USB, and I don't have any CDs lying around here. Is there any way to install Linux Mint (or any other flavor for that matter) directly to the disk?

I resized my Windows partition, and have a secondary, free partition.

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Sometimes some USB drive are detected as HDD... have a go, check your BIOS and check under HDD boot and see if your USB is listed you may get lucky –  Darius Sep 26 '13 at 8:11
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4 Answers

There might be two possible solutions

Installing through LAN

You might need to set up a BOOTP + DHCP server then boot over the network via PXE, read here for detailed instructions

Alternatively,You could follow up the solution provided over here

Additionally you could do grub boot from iso,the detailed answers were provided over here

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Not sure if you have another computer and the cables lying around, but if you do one option would be to remove the hard drive and plug it into a second computer that could copy the files directly onto the free partition.

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  • Download and install Qemulator and its extention pack.
  • Load the iso as CDROM on the emulator software.
  • Ensure your hdd is seen in the Virtual Envionment.
  • Load the ISO live session.
  • Try install.

Else.

  • Copy ISO to c:/
  • use the emulator to and add C:/ as a mount.
  • Install Grub
  • Configure Grub to boot both iso and Windows.
  • restart computer select ISO boot (or whatever you called the menuitem in grub config).
  • Run install select second partition as / (which is root).

Hopefully this helps. You might need to research how to install the GRUB loader and configuration, I could teach you here but researching it yourself gives you valuable experience.

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The only other method I can think of would be PXE booting. This would be installing the OS over the network. Here is a link to a relevant page that has directions.

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