I have a vintage 2001 laptop (Vaio R505) which is very hardware limited. Fortunately there is much that works, but I can't figure how to make it work better. The two biggest constraints are 256MB RAM and no floppy or CD and it cannot boot from a USB drive because the BIOS is ancient.
It does have enough disk for a shrunken WinXP partition, an Ubuntu Lucid partition, swap, and 60MB unallocated. Even stripped down Xubuntu installation with a custom built minimal kernel is a little too heavyweight for the small core and ultra-slow swap.
I'd like to install Damn Small Linux because it is designed for machines of this vintage and specs but I can't figure out how to get it loaded. To get Xubuntu on, I started WUBI in windows which is designed to then install Unbuntu. My bootloader is now GRUB2 and happily boots Linux or XP (which I keep around for no good reason).
I'm almost certain that putting the right materials on my free partition and telling GRUB about the DSL installation is possible, I just don't know what the right materials are.
As this is a pretty odd circumstance and I am capable of rolling a custom kernel, I'm mostly looking for pointers to information to demystify the boot process and what update-grub needs to see to add DSL to the boot-list.