[ubuntu] Will Ubuntu run on a PC with no hdd?

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http://ubuntuforums.org – I have a Dell Inspiron 5100 notebook with 1.25GB RAM. It worked for years, then got a "Drive 0 not found" error. Replacing the HD did not fix it. Finding that Ubuntu would run from a USB stick, I created one using 12.10 as instructed on Windows and changed my bios order to boot from USB. I used a new 16GB Micro Center jump drive formated FAT32. The notebook now boots to the Ubuntu welcome screen OK, and everything but the HD works. But when I click on Try Ubuntu, all I get is the desktop picture and a mouse pointer. Will Ubuntu run from USB on a PC with no hdd? (Hardware)