How to Install Programs on a Netbook Without a CD Player

Written by justin h. pot
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Netbooks are intended primarily for what their name suggests: accessing the Internet. From time to time, however, you may want to install desktop software on a netbook. Linux netbook users are lucky because all the software they need is freely downloadable online, but if you're unfortunate enough to be using a Windows-based netbook, you might occasionally need to install from a CD. An external CD drive is extremely useful in these cases, but it's still possible to install software into a netbook from a CD without a CD drive--assuming you have access to a computer with a CD drive.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Computer with a CD drive

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  1. 1

    Copy the CD to an ISO file. Odds are your current CD burning software is capable of this, but if you're looking for a program to do the job easily, check out DoISO (free download; see Resources). This open source program can rip any CD or DVD to an ISO file.

  2. 2

    Copy the ISO file to your netbook. The simplest way to do this is to use a USB or SD drive, though you could also use your home network to do it.

  3. 3

    Mount the ISO as a drive on your netbook. To do this, you will need ISO mounting software. Check out Virtual CloneDrive (free download; see Resources) if you aren't sure what software to use. Programs like this allow you to trick your netbook into thinking the mounted ISO file is actually a connected CD drive--perfect for installing software from CD.

  4. 4

    Install the program as you normally would; the virtual CD drive will behave exactly the way the CD or DVD drive would--but faster.

  5. 5

    Unmount and delete the ISO file when you're finished installing your software. You can also uninstall Virtual CloneDrive to save precious space on your netbook, assuming you're done installing software for now.

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