i have a workstation with broken cd drive and i was intrested in installing linux.
what alternative methods can i use to do it, and with which distros?
I'm assuming your workstation is currently a Windows box? Do you have a floppy drive or a USB ThumbDrive? I've not used Windows for quite sometime, not sure if there's a way to start a Linux install from it or not... Perhaps...
i am currently running windows xp, i have a floppy drive but not any usb storage devices.
i already tryed installing suse and debian directly from ftp (booting it first from floppy disks) but my network card is an Intel Pro/100 VE Network Connection and none of them provides kernel drivers that support it.
for the moment i am really lost :(
It depends on what distro you are trying to work with. For example, I know that RedHat allowed me to do a floppy disk --> FTP installation. You might want to go and find a older, more compatable NIC card. I have had great success with 3Com cards, such as the 3C5x9 (ISA) and the 3C90x (PCI) families.
Or, borrow a CD-ROM drive from someone, or better yet, replace it. They are not that $$ anymore, and if your "time" is worth much, you could be spending a lot more time trying to get around the problem then actually going out to a computer store and getting the direct solution.
Oh -- you don't need a fast CD-ROM. Any old IDE 4x or better would work fine (I am assuming you are on a desktop and not a laptop).
And if you are really into the exotic, you could, I suppose, put that hard drive into another computer that has a working CD-ROM. Use some partitioning utilities to move the .iso images over to the hard drive, and install from there, but that too is a lot of work!