Installing from CD image on disk
The following is of interest to me: On a user help forum, someone was
trying to find a way to install Debian on a laptop with no CD drive and
no network connection supported by the available kernels or installs.
Apparently he had a link by which he could download from, say, Windows,
but could write only to floppies. I considered this, and testing with
my own Woody install floppies and a single Woody CD image, I confirmed
for myself that if he could safely partition his disk (even if he had to
temporarily wipe out his Windows and reinstall), his problems would be
solved (with Woody).
Using only the first two ("rescue" and "root") floppies, I had no
difficulty, by exiting to a shell, mounting the vfat partition and, in
turn, the ISO image filesystem. I returned from the shell and used this
as my source for the drivers as well as the full install. This
information would have been very useful to those trying to install
Woody, but I have not confirmed that it can be done from Sarge install
floppies, since they seem to be unable to recognize my hard disk or any
of its partitions, even if I explicitly supply boot arguments to mount
one as root and give the file system (it complains there is no such
valid device). And there seems to be no option to install from the hard
disk anyway. This would be murder for me if I had to use this method,
since I have only an Intel PCI modem which I believe still requires a
3rd party (Intel) driver to use in Debian.
But my hardware concerns are not why I wrote you. I wrote because the
information as to the method I have described would have been useful to
point out in the Woody documentation, which I think it may not have been
(perhaps I am wrong; after all, installing from hard disk was an
option), and because a similar installation process and documentation
should be available with Sarge; there would be no need then to worry
about how to burn a downloaded CD image to disk, until you are good and
ready, provided your disk is partitioned or has unallocated space.