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Sunday, July 8, 2007

Ubuntu (Feisty Fawn) LiveHD

OK, I downloaded and wanted to try Ubuntu (Desktop) but I didn't want to waste a CD-R (that is if I find out that this distro isn't my cup-of-tea), so I wanted to run it from my hard drive.

After some reasearch, there's a HOWTO that tells how to install it from HDD via downloadable HDD-media, but this requires the alternate installer version of Ubuntu, which I resisted because:
1) I have to download the alternate - my bandwidth is slow; and
2) I don't want to install Ubuntu yet.

After a few trial-and-error combos, here&'s the summary of how I did it.

REQUIREMENTS (For Windows XP box, which is my case)


Hard Disk Partitions, etc.

I have only one HDD in my laptop: (part=partition)

  • Part1: WinXP (Drive C)
  • Part2: Data (Drive D)
  • Part3: Spare (Drive E)

I split the spare (Part3) partition in to two: Part3, Part4. Part4 is sized to 700MB, enough to contain the content of Ubuntu ISO image. Part 3 is to contain Ubuntu system, just in case I opted to install it. Now, my hard drive contains 4 partitions:

  • Part1: WinXP (Drive C)
  • Part2: Data (Drive D)
  • Part3: Spare (Drive E)
  • Part4: For LiveCD files (Drive F)

Fiesty Fawn ISO Image

I then extracted the Feisty Fawn ISO image (ubuntu-7.04-desktop-i386.iso) to the root folder of Drive F. This partition/drive now contains files and folders as the exact layout of the ISO image.


1. Extracted GRUB4DOS package file to a temporary folder
2. Copied grldr file from it to C:\
3. Edited C:\boot.ini (using notepad) and added the following line at the bottom:


4. Saved c:\boot.ini
5. Created a new text file and put the following lines:

timeout 30default 0title Ubuntu (Feisty Fawn) LiveHD!

root (hd0,3)

kernel /casper/vmlinuz boot=/casper splash

initrd /casper/initrd.gz

6. Saved the this new text file "menu.lst" in C:\ as this is will be used by grldr


After all the above preparations are done, I quickly rebooted my computer. Selected "GRBU4DOS" from MS-BOOT Menu and then my LiveHD was loaded SUCCESSFULLY! I installed Feisty Fawn in partition 3 (Drive E) and turned the 700mb partition (Drive F) into a Swap partition for use by Ubuntu. Nothing is left unused :)

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