I got an old laptop which works perfectly except for a broken screen. I would like to install Linux on it and use it as a home server. The problem is that the VGA output works only after it boots into the OS, so I cannot access the BIOS to change the boot sequence.

Any ideas?

Thanks in advance

  • Have you tried an external monitor? – Paul Apr 21 '12 at 13:07
  • Yes, as I said, the problem is that the external monitor only gets data after the OS(currently Windows 7) boots. – Afiefh Apr 21 '12 at 14:36

You can take out the hard disk and connect it to another machine and install the new os from there. Then stick it back to your old laptop and boot up

  • +1 Unlike Windows, Linux is far more tolerant of hardware changes and would cope with using this method – Tog Apr 21 '12 at 18:30

You can install Debian by starting with a program inside Windows.


This may or may not work, depending on what gets displayed on your external screen.

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