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!


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 A newer version of the drive that can be used in your system is the way to go here.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.


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.


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