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I'd like to install Windows 7 on a MacBook Pro via Boot Camp.

However, the only distribution of Windows I'm aware of is on a physical disk, like this one here sold on Amazon.

My MBP doesn't have an optical drive. It can't read disks like that.

Does Microsoft offer an way to buy Windows 7 via a download?

And if so, can I then copy the downloaded installer that onto an external USB hard drive and install from there?

Or is the only option to buy an external optical drive? (If that's the case, any guidance on which one to buy -- can I get away with a generic one or do I need to shell out $80 for Apple's "Superdrive?")

I'm hoping there's some kind of workaround here, because I'd hate to spend money on a drive I'm only going to use once.

I actually have another Mac that does have an optical drive. Could that help me out somehow?

Any advice, help, or guidance would be greatly appreciated.

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Here are the 32 bit and 64 bit ISO files that you would download for Windows 7 since Microsoft only supports digital downloads of Windows 8. You could also look at this Windows 7 forum for more download links.

You would use Disk Utility to restore the ISO file to a USB Flash Drive (4 GB) (See picture below, but ignore the error :) ) enter image description here

In Boot Camp Assistant, you would then select this ISO file in the USB Flash Drive, assign how much space you would like, and it should complete it for you.

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