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Does Apple (or any oter company) have such a service which would let you temporarily use a SuperDrive (or other external DVD Drive)? I have a MacBook Air and in order to install boot camp, I need an external DVD drive. Paying $80 for a one-time use of a DVD drive sounds absurd. For that reason, I was wondering if Apple or any other company has some kind of service which allows you to bring in your laptop and use a SuperDrive for one time installations. I wouldn't even mind paying for such a service as long as it's significantly lower than the $80 for a SuperDrive.

Any other ideas besides buying a cheaper alternative of the SuperDrive?

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Is there a place anywhere near you that rents computers? See if they'll rent you a MacBook Air with an optical drive—and then tell them you don't need the MacBook Air. –  Dori Jan 31 '11 at 9:58
    
@Dori: good idea... now I have to find such a place –  Senseful Jan 31 '11 at 19:20
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3 Answers 3

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If you really want a ONE TIME install, go to any Apple Store and let them use one of the drives there. I'm sure they'll have no problem. Tell them you want to try before you buy ;)

In other news, you can put Windows 7 on a USB Stick and install it from there. I've used the DVD only once, to create the USB Stick. There are instructions over the net on how to do that, even from outside Windows (but if you have a Win machine to do it, it's faster because there's a free tool).

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I just called Apple and it seems like this might work. They recommended I make a Genius bar appointment for it. By the way, do you happen to have the link to the instructions you used to create the USB stick you mention? –  Senseful Jan 31 '11 at 19:27
    
@Senseful yes, I remember using Google and picking up this ARSTechnica article: arstechnica.com/business/news/2009/12/-the-usb-flash-drive.ars –  Martín Marconcini Jan 31 '11 at 19:50
    
Thanks for the link. I'm trying to install Windows by using the USB flash drive, but I ran into some problems: apple.stackexchange.com/questions/8044 -- Could you please take a look at it to see if it's something you know how to resolve? Thanks! –  Senseful Feb 10 '11 at 0:40
    
@Senseful I'll be out for a few days, but I'll see if I can take a look at some point. –  Martín Marconcini Feb 10 '11 at 1:41
    
No problem. It's not that important anymore, because I tried your suggestion about going to the Apple store, and it worked. However, it would be nice to resolve that issue for the future/other people. –  Senseful Feb 10 '11 at 4:50
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You can use the CD drive of any other computer (Mac or Windows) on your network, for free. See this Apple doc for directions.

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+1 DVD sharing! –  Harv Jan 30 '11 at 20:10
    
Yup good answer. I was trying to find that article. I was thinking it was 'target disk mode' but you found the right one. –  conorgriffin Jan 30 '11 at 20:13
    
This is the one that Apple recommends. IIRC, Jobs mentioned it at the keynote when they released the Air. –  Nathan Greenstein Jan 30 '11 at 20:15
    
That doesn't work for a boot camp installation, see support.apple.com/kb/HT2298 –  Senseful Jan 30 '11 at 21:09
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At Windows installation time you only have the hardware available that the Windows installation media supports, and networking isn't one of them. –  Thorbjørn Ravn Andersen Jan 31 '11 at 17:16
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Hmm. If I were you, I'd find a way to image the DVD and deploy it onto a USB stick. You never know when you might need it. I think it's as simple as imaging it, and then in Disk Utility, "restoring" the image to the USB device of your choice.

But I've never done that, so I don't know.

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I was able to image the DVD onto a USB stick using this method. The problem is installing it. –  Senseful Feb 10 '11 at 4:53
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