I have a couple old machines (i386) that I would like to be able to install Debian on from an hdd partition on the same physical hdd that the Lenny installation will reside on (on a different partition), so I can avoid purchasing new CD or DVD drives (the ones in the machines don't work anymore, and USB booting is not an option).* Reading the instructions here http://www.debian.org/releases/stable/i386/ch05s01.html.en#boot-initrd I'm wondering if it's possible to get the boot process going without an existing operating system; here's my idea so far:
- Shred hdd to erase all partitions
- Create 5GB ext3 partition at end of hdd via GParted
- Copy hd-media/initrd.gz into new ext3 partition
- Copy dvd installation .iso to new ext3 partition
Based on this process, with the hdd set as the first boot device in the BIOS, will the installer boot okay to begin installation or is another file(s) needed?* Since there is no LILO or GRUB on a blank hdd I'm curious if this is even possible.