Best way to install software on a mac with a broken CD/DVD drive?
January 3, 2008 4:12 PM   Subscribe

I need to install new software on an older Macbook with a broken CD/DVD drive; can I do this by putting the CD or DVD into a windows pc and sharing it; or can I put a disc image on a USB drive?

I'm not where I can test it out right now, but this weekend I need to install Adobe Illustrator CS3 onto a Macbook with a broken CD/DVD drive. I won't have any other Macs available (to share the DVD over the network), but I will have a Windows PC around, on the same network as the laptop. Which of these will work?

A. Put the DVD (or CD--not sure which the program is on) into the PC and share the drive with the network, and run the install on the Mac via the network.

B. Create a disc image of the install CD or DVD and put it on a little USB drive; drag the image to the Mac desktop and install from there.

posted by troybob to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
Best answer: Both.
posted by limon at 4:16 PM on January 3, 2008

I've never tried option A, but it sounds like it *should* work absolutely fine; I *have* tried Option B and it will definitely work.

Make an ISO image of the install disc on a PC, then copy it to your USB drive and carry it over to the Mac.

You can use Apple's Disk Utility (comes with OS X; it's in the Applications/Utilities folder) to mount the ISO image from the Mac.
posted by enrevanche at 4:22 PM on January 3, 2008

I don't think either will work.

1. You will lose your network connection upon reboot
2. Your USB stick will need some work to be bootable.

Best bet is to buy an enclosure or a usb<>ide adapter for your DVD drive.
posted by mphuie at 4:24 PM on January 3, 2008

Why does anything need to be bootable?

I have installed software from USB keys and windows shares on a mac without problems.
posted by pompomtom at 4:29 PM on January 3, 2008

mphuie: He's installing CS3, not the OS. There is no need to reboot.
posted by xil at 4:30 PM on January 3, 2008

Best answer: They will both work, but I'd recommend option B for speed and stability. In my experience, Windows-Mac networking tends to be a bit flaky - more so than a mounted ISO, anyways.
posted by wsp at 4:40 PM on January 3, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks everybody!
posted by troybob at 4:43 PM on January 3, 2008

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