How to use your computer without a hard disk

If you have seen me online in MSN a few days ago and realise that I don’t have a display picture or the ability to nudge, that’s because I wasn’t using MSN messenger. I was running Knoppix, a flavour of linux on my laptop without a hard disk because the hard disk was in a bad condition. My brother swapped it with my hard disk before he went back Kuching and left me to clean the mess up. That’s going to cost him a car.

Full graphical user interface.

Contrary to the belif that linux is a command line operating system and requires a linux guru to make it work, Knoppix is actually very user friendly. Well, in fact all linuxes nowadays are very user friendly. I remember a time when getting linux to display the GUI and to play sound was a very challenging task. But now times have changed, and if you start using now, you’ll probably never understand what we went through during the older days.

Okay, back to the topic of running linux without a hard disk. First, you have to get Knoppix. If you have streamyx or some DSL equivalent, then good for you because the file is around 700mb. Go to its official website here and download the latest knoppix version. After you have downloaded the ISO file, burn it to a CD and label it so you wouldn’t have trouble finding it later. Now put it into your cdrom drive and boot from it.

Pop in the cd, press enter and you’ll see this. Owh.. now you know all my system specs..

The best thing about Knoppix is that it doesn’t disturb your hard disk. So you can “dual-boot” without having to install knoppix! And since everything is autodetected, you just need to sit back, relax and wait for the GUI.


After you have booted up, you should see a welcome page. Congratulations! You can start using your knoppix! For starters, browse around the operating system. Make yourself familiar with the interface, use some simple commands and stuff. If you get stuck, google is your friend.

Until next time, stick to the games in linux. I’ll release a tutorial on how to get internet access using knoppix if your lan or wireless card is supported. Knoppix has a nice script called “netcardconfig”. A hint if you don’t want to wait ;) Continue reading