Installing PuppyLinux to an IDE Hard Drive
(taking over the whole hard drive)

This was done, using PuppyLinux v2.15ce

Hardware scenario: the test computer had two IDE fixed Hard Drives, the boot drive being hda, set as Primary Master, and the second was the Secondary Master, hdc. I set out to do a take-over installation on the first hard drive, which is what many people will want to do.

The procedure is exactly the same as installing in an empty partition alongside Microsoft Windows; the only differences are in the creating of the partitions, which is a different topic altogether.

The procedure is also exactly the same as installing in place of Microsoft Windows; remember this tutorial is only about doing the installing.

While irrelevant to the installation, both hard drives are, in fact, plug-in from the front panel, using the cradle method. However, the computer thinks they are "fixed" drives. I only mention this in case you have those drives and wonder if you can use this standard method. Yes, you can :)

I have used this method on a range of computers, proprietary (IBM, Compaq, H-P...) and locally assembled (using MSI motherboards and locally assembled parts), and have installed Puppy versions 2.00, 2.02, 2.10, 2.12, 2.15, 2.16, and GrafPup versions 1.04 and 2.00

I have not had an installation per se fail me. When I had problems, they arose with the editing of the Grub menu, which were my fault, trying to be too smart, too quickly, cutting corners...

Disclaimer: I will not be held responsible for any mistakes you may make, or any misunderstanding you may have of my suggestions. Sorry. It's your computer, and you are free to break it whatever way you choose :D


So, down to business, let's get started. This is the menu navigation needed to reach the "click-and-install" menu item... while difficult to see in a screencap, the procedure is

The default of the welcome dialog is here. Read it :)

We are going to use an ATA style IDE hard drive, so we highlight the item as shown...

After clicking OK we are faced with a choice because we have two HDDs. If we had only one, then we would not have a choice of where, would we? Just a choice of "if" or "ifn't" :D

If there is more than one hard drive in the computer, the default is the one which normally would not be the boot drive, to preserve whatever system the computer normally starts from.

In this case - probably most cases - we want to put it on the first drive. Note that there is no mention of partitions at this stage. This is a complete drive assembly.

Make the choice...

and click OK again... and we see what the installer offers in the way of choices...

It has discovered that this drive has two 4-gig partitions already set up. Note, it does not check that those partitions are empty, just that they exist. And it is NOT a Windows partitioning, either, because there is no extended partition, just two primaries.

In actual fact, I created the second partition myself, having resized the original one using GParted on the live CD. You should always have a look to see what is in there before you commit yourself. In fact, I had a Puppy derivative called GrafPup already on there, so I'm going to install to the second partition, the one I just created.

Forget the comment about a "Superfloppy". Normal practice is to always partition an HDD - even if there is only one partition :D

In your average home computer you would have one drive, which likely would be identified as hda - and it would suggest that you install to partition hda1. If you have already saved your data somewhere else, and want to destroy your windows installation, then go for it.

I mention further down that this tutorial is NOT about partitioning. Nor is it about backing up data. It is about installing PuppyLinux computer operating system to a computer. If you need other hoops to jump through first, then close this page and go and do whatever housekeeping needs to be done first, and then come back here.

I can't make this point more emphatically. Read my lips :)

Go back (the long button at the bottom) if you have any concerns, or click on the partition of your choice...

It now confirms your choice - the choice that YOU made...

Three files only? Yes, three compressed files which are expanded one at a time, three steps or stages.

Okay, good question. Where are they? Remember that you may have removed the CD while running in Live Mode...

Yes, I do have two optical drives on that machine. The other one is a burner. Just a point, though, there is no way to tell it if you have it in another drive... so put it in the drive it nominates...

Okay, click your permission...

This is overkill imho, because the installer is written to cover all possibilities, for all sorts of potential users.

To someone who just wants to install it on "the computer" just accept the default (Normal).

Yep, coffee time, but it doesn't take very long...

Same comment as the one above.

Again, multiple choices, but in our case, go for "Install Grub" and accept the default as it suggests in the next screen.

Puzzled by the name Grub? Linux developers have used acronyms for ever; Grub stands for Grand Unified Bootloader :D Any the wiser? A useful bit of trivia to keep up your sleeve, lol :)




What it is asking is where the actual program called Grub is located. In almost every case it is the default, which is in the partition where the system you have just installed is located.

It is possible to use the bootloader of another system, but you have to have geek tendencies to do that. And believe me, even if you want it to end up there, it's easier to fix it later, than fix the nasty mess you can cause with wrong syntax right now, lol. Been there, done that; I speak from experience :(

So, OK


Read the instructions!

When all else fails, read the instructions!

Leave the entry blank, and hit OK.

OK again

OK again

The job is finished. Don't worry about other choices... Click NO to exit

Disclaimer: I will not be held responsible for any mistakes you may make, or any misunderstanding you may have of my suggestions. Sorry. It's your computer, and you are free to break it whatever way you choose :D


last updated 1st October 2007