No CD drive? No problem.

I don’t know how much of an issue this is for most people but I thought I would write about it anyways since it came up with my sister.  Anyways, netbooks are definitely growing in popularity.  They’re really small, cheap and basically fit the needs of most people.  I, personally, think they are a better purchase then getting the TamPod, I mean, iPad.  One thing about netbooks is that they don’t have a CD/DVD drive.  Don’t think that limits you to do anything.  My sister recently asked me if I could get her a copy of Microsoft Office and save her a couple hundred dollars since her new computer only came with a trial version.  I just happen to have an MSDN subscription so I can download pretty much all the latest and some older stuff from Microsoft for free and with more licenses than I would ever use just for myself.  The only bump was that I had to download the program as an .iso.  If you don’t know, that’s the format of a disc image for a CD/DVD.  Usually, I would burn that image onto a CD and execute from there but I obviously couldn’t since she didn’t have a CD drive.  So what did I do?  First, I downloaded the .iso file onto her USB flash drive.  (It’s amazing how cheap you can get these things now for plenty of space – and they’re so tiny!)  Then, I downloaded a program called PowerISO.  Basically, what this program allows you to do is create a virtual drive on your computer and mount the .iso file to it.  When you go to your “My Computer”, it looks just as if you actually have a CD drive installed and can run the program right from there.  The program is free as a trial which if you’re just extracting and mounting files then it’s fine.  The only thing you would want to purchase the full program for is if you were planning on creating an image over 300 MB which most people aren’t (plus, there are other free programs you can use for that too).

champ

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