(re)Installing ANY OS on a laptop with no optical drive, or ability to boot from USB.

Aug 20, 2018

I've a glorious craptop that a certain person is trying to get me to fix. This craptop has a broken keyboard, takes 5 minutes to boot windows XP home 32 bit and is unable to connect to any wi-fi.

So I thought, why not install one of those super lightweight OS-es? Like, Xubuntu or Lubuntu. So I went to check if it has an optical drive - nyet, nada, nope. No problem, I'll prepare bootable USB. I did so, tested it on my own rig. All dandy. Time for testing!

Nyet, nada, bien, nej. It doesn't recognize it. Out of curiosity, I plugged my keyboard in and it doesn't recognize it either until the OS loads. Glorious - I havn't encountered such a configuration since my 2005 store-bought PC.

I tell the person I can't repair it as there's no way to open it (I looked), no way to install a new OS and it doesn't even have internet connection.

Person insists that it can be repaired.

Help me please. Is there a way to fix that craptop?



Dec 17, 2012

You can get a usb dvd drive and that should work just fine. It's how I do it for laptops that can't boot from a usb drive.