I pulled out an old laptop that has no boot from USB or drives. It had winxp on it, but only 300mb ram. I wanted to dual boot it to linux so I could play videos off the network on it for the kids. Installed a bunch of distros, but none really were fast enough or stable enough. (Looking at you puppy, you sack of shit).
Ended up settling on slax. I installed and ran it LIVE and it was.. harsh, but ok. would be better when on a hard disk. Set it up on a hard disk, ran the boot script to have it directly boot to slax. I would dual boot it later. All good. Restarted a few times to test, all good. Later that day I made some changes to the system and needed to restart, boot dead. Gone. I should have suspected this as a lot of supposed permanent changes on the live version weren't saving either. But I am pissed in that it booted for a bit then didnt.
Anyway, keeping an eye out for a cheap USB cd drive. Might help.