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How To Install Ubuntu Without USB Drive on UEFI Laptop

Ubuntu 13

In this guide, we will walk you through the process of installing Ubuntu on a UEFI laptop without the need for a USB drive. This might be useful in situations where you don’t have a USB drive handy or your laptop doesn’t support booting from USB. We will discuss two methods: modifying the GRUB bootloader and creating a FAT32 partition.


Before we begin, ensure you have the following:

  1. A UEFI laptop with an existing operating system (like Windows or Fedora).
  2. The Ubuntu ISO file. You can download it from the official Ubuntu website.

Method 1: Modifying the GRUB Bootloader

This method involves adding a custom entry to the GRUB bootloader that points to the Ubuntu ISO file on your hard drive.

Step 1: Locate the Ubuntu ISO file

First, copy the Ubuntu ISO file to a location on your hard drive. Note down the disk and partition number. You can use the lsblk command to list all the block devices and their mount points.

Step 2: Edit the GRUB configuration file

Next, open the /etc/grub.d/40_custom file in a text editor with root privileges. You can use the sudo nano /etc/grub.d/40_custom command to open this file in the Nano text editor.

Step 3: Add a custom menu entry

In the 40_custom file, add the following menu entry:

menuentry "Ubuntu" {
 set isofile="/path/to/your/ubuntu.iso"
 loopback loop (hdX,Y)$isofile
 linux (loop)/casper/vmlinuz boot=casper iso-scan/filename=$isofile noprompt noeject
 initrd (loop)/casper/initrd

Replace /path/to/your/ubuntu.iso with the actual path to your ISO file, and (hdX,Y) with your disk and partition number. The loopback command creates a device named ‘loop’ that represents the ISO file. The linux line tells GRUB where to find the kernel and the boot parameters.

Step 4: Update GRUB

Save the file and exit the text editor. Then, update GRUB with the sudo update-grub command. This command will generate a new GRUB configuration file including your new menu entry.

Step 5: Install Ubuntu

Reboot your laptop. At the GRUB menu, select the Ubuntu option to start the installation process.

Method 2: Creating a FAT32 Partition

This method involves creating a new FAT32 partition on your hard drive, copying the Ubuntu ISO files into this partition, and booting from this partition.

Step 1: Create a new FAT32 partition

Use Windows Disk Management or a similar tool to shrink your existing partition and create a new FAT32 partition of at least 3GB.

Step 2: Copy the Ubuntu ISO files

Extract the Ubuntu ISO file and copy all the files into the new FAT32 partition.

Step 3: Reboot and install Ubuntu

Reboot your laptop and press F12 (or the key your laptop uses to enter the boot menu). Select the UEFI Ubuntu option to start the installation process.


These are two methods to install Ubuntu on a UEFI laptop without a USB drive. Both methods have their own advantages and disadvantages, so choose the one that best suits your situation. Remember to backup your data before proceeding with the installation. Happy Ubuntu installation!

Can I use this method to install Ubuntu on a laptop with a BIOS instead of UEFI?

No, these methods are specifically for UEFI laptops. If your laptop has a BIOS, you will need to follow a different installation process.

Is it possible to dual-boot Ubuntu with Windows using these methods?

Yes, you can dual-boot Ubuntu with Windows using these methods. However, it is important to be cautious and follow proper partitioning guidelines to avoid data loss.

Can I use these methods to install other Linux distributions instead of Ubuntu?

Yes, you can modify the GRUB bootloader or create a FAT32 partition to install other Linux distributions. However, the specific steps may vary depending on the distribution.

Will modifying the GRUB bootloader or creating a FAT32 partition delete my existing operating system?

No, these methods should not delete your existing operating system. However, it is always recommended to backup your important data before making any changes to your system.

Can I use an external hard drive instead of a USB drive for these methods?

Yes, you can use an external hard drive instead of a USB drive. The key is to have the Ubuntu ISO file accessible on your hard drive or partition.

What if I encounter errors or issues during the installation process?

If you encounter errors or issues during the installation process, it is recommended to search for specific error messages or consult the official Ubuntu documentation and support forums for troubleshooting steps.

Can I remove the custom menu entry from the GRUB bootloader after installing Ubuntu?

Yes, you can remove the custom menu entry from the GRUB bootloader after successfully installing Ubuntu. You can edit the /etc/grub.d/40_custom file again and remove the entry, then update GRUB using the sudo update-grub command.

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