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Trying LINUX on USB HD

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Last Modified: 2010-04-20
Am seriously wanting to try LINUX and understand that it is available booting from a CD: I would like to install it on an external USB HD and boot from that. The only problem is that the BIOS on my laptop does not support booting from USB nor PCMCIA only floppy, HD or CD.
Is there any way I can boot LINUX in this setup without installing it on my one HD - I do want to create a separate partition, just in case I screw up my Win 98SE & WinXP partitions.
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