I have a decade old laptop that is "working", with Debian 4.x running.
It has working USB, but cannot boot from USB. Its optical drive is powered but doesn't seem to work (I have tried booting several old bootable CDs and DVDs).
To top it off, in my attempts to pull the system up by its bootstraps, I mangled
apt-get no longer works. I don't have
build-essentials installed, either.
It does have network connectivity, so I can fetch stuff off of the internet.
Is there a way to "bootstrap" into a newer OS given the above restrictions? There is no important data on the computer.
I would probably have given up on this computer if it wasn't because it is needed for a charity organization.