Cheapest way to install windows with broken optical drive?

My optical drive is broken, and the replacement drive is ~170$. I don't ever use an optical drive, but seemingly need one to install windows on my old(er) mbp as bootcamp does not have an install via usb option for these antiquated devices.

I was thinking of purchasing an external optical drive for occasional/rare usage. Can anyone suggest one that would work with my late 2008 15" mbp, or a way to work around not having an optical drive with bootcamp?

Thank you in advance

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You should be able to find a unit for around $60 (us), even new! Which is still cheaper than an USB external drive.

Are you sure your drive is dead? Often a good CD/DVD head cleaning disk (a can of can'ed air) can do wonders.

As to installing Windows you should be able to use another systems CD/DVD player as a network resource to access the installer files.

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I have seen the new external superdrives on the apple website for around 60 bucks, but they aren't compatible with my mbp. Maybe you could give me a link to what you're referring to?

The drive isn't dead, I just took it out of the body today and cleaned it. When I put in the windows disk it read it ask blank media. Other disks it simply spits out.

I have never heard of being able to use another computers hardware to install onto my own computer? There are no other macs in the house or nearby. Is there a tutorial on how to do this (does google search)?

Thank you for your response!

by Jeff

If it's not dead (you can read a music CD or data CD) then your media the Windows is on is not compatible with your current drive. A newer version of the drive that can be used in your system is the way to go here. As to where to find them I just googled it. I'll post a few here for you tomorrow. As to sharing you can setup either a PC (Windows or LINUX) or a Mac (OS-X or LINUX) as a network share. But you need to have a network setup either Ethernet or WiFi.

by Dan

I appreciate the help. I was able to use a PC and a windows disk to make an ISO image and modify my bootcamp to allow me to make a USB boot drive. Up and running! Thanks for your help.

by Jeff

Thats great news! If this answer was helpful please remember to score it and mark it accepted.

by Dan

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Jeff will be eternally grateful.