no idea how to install please help

I have a laptop with 2gb memory and over the years installed win95/98/xp last win8. all have been installed on an empty hd but I am really struggling to put Ubuntu on this laptop.
the laptop has a formatted 320gb hard drive with usb but no cd/dvd drive, on a windows 7 laptop I downloaded Ubuntu and extracted it direct to the empty hard drive, only to find it states that I can try it out to hd or test it before installing.
but when I re-boot, the same screen keeps showing, it seems that I have to install windows first before Linux, but I want Linux only so could you please advise how to install the best Linux os available?

You cannot just uncompress the ISO image to the HDD … even if you then get the bootloader working you’ll still end up with a “Live” session.

You need to boot the LiveCD and run the installation routine.

If you have no optical drive (cd/dvd) then maybe your PC can boot from a USB stick … in which case we can “burn” ISO image to a LiveUSB stick and use that to install Ubuntu to your HDD

your only other option would be to remove the HDD from the laptop … stick it in another laptop that does have an optical drive or can boot from USB stick … install Ubuntu … then swap the HDD’s back over
(unlike Windows, this will work in Linux)

On the Windows 7 laptop, download “Linux Live USB creator” from here -
You should be able to select the ISO you have already downloaded (hopefully a 32bit Ubuntu 14.04 LTS ISO?). Make sure your USB stick is inserted, and there is nothing on it you want to keep (it’ll wipe the stick).

Once the stick is created, just insert it into the laptop, then power it on and it should boot to the “live” session of Ubuntu, where you can test it out before installing (check wireless works, in particular)

sorry it has took so long to reply, vm has a fault in our area so broadband works when it wants at the moment, thank you for all your advice. I am having to reply quickly as vm has contacted me stating that I am about to go off in 5 mins, I will wait until everything is ok on broadband end of the week! before I try and install with it being Linux live
I will keep you informed how I get on and once again thank you ;D :wink:

Good luck, give us a shout if you get stuck or don’t understand something.

I will get around to setting it up but work calls wont get back till next week now

That’s cool, we’ll still be here :slight_smile:

Got Ubuntu installed, all fine until I tried to install various updates :cry: then it kept showing Authenticate. I know the password is correct but it keeps stating it is not! do I need to have a password to do anything on the laptop? when it was windows7 I set it up so it would boot up and change any-everything without any password. I am the only person to use this so I cannot see why I would need one, can you please advise all your advise will be very greatfull

You need a password as a security feature - it’s a check that nothing can be installed on your system without your expressed permission.

As part of the install, you should have been forced to enter one?

Thank you for your quick reply, yes it made me use a password which I used 7 letters and one number but now it is not accepting it stating wrong password >:(

Do you still have the live CD/USB you used to install the system? There is a procedure to reset your password

Thank you for your quick reply, yes it made me use a password which I used 7 letters and one number but now it is not accepting it stating wrong password

If you’re sure your putting in the right password check caps lock isn’t on, passwords are case sensitive

Good luck


I have spent the whole day messing about with this, I put the check driver etc and was asked for the password (I did install it)after each item checked, each item need the password. I give up and will go back to windows it seems to be easier than this and far less hassle

Yep, if you consider entering a password when installing software/drivers system wide as “hassle” rather than a vital first line measure that’s part of a proven multi-layer security model designed to protects your entire OS from malicious code, then you’re right Linux probably isn’t for you.

We wish you all the best with Windows.