How to install Office, PowerPoint (and other software) on a netbook
Most netbooks (and some other small, lightweight laptops) don't have a CD/DVD reader. Unless we download software, it usually comes on a CD/DVD. How are we supposed to install it on a netbook?
There are several ways to solve this problem.
External CD/DVD drive
You can purchase a USB portable CD/DVD reader/burner for under $100 nowadays. Plug it in, pop in the Office media and run the installer.
A few suggestions:
- Look for one with an external power supply. Netbooks don't usually supply much power to their USB ports; some external drives won't run or won't run reliably on netbook-power only.
- Remember that you can use your external CD/DVD burner to make backups of your netbook's files. And there's probably a manufacturer-supplied utility that'll let you make recovery disks. Now's the time to do that. When the hard drive fails you'll be very glad you did.
- If you run into problems getting Windows to recognize your external CD/DVD device, restart Windows then hold down the F8 key while your netbook reboots. That will take you to a menu that offers several different boot-up choices. Look for one called something like "Disable Driver Signature Verification" and choose it. Let the system continue to restart.
USB thumb-drive or external hard disk
Use a computer that has a CD/DVD drive and copy the entire contents of the installation CD/DVD to a folder on a USB stick, USB portable hard drive or even an SD or similar card (if your netbook has a card reader built in or you have an external one you can use).
Move the USB stick/hard drive/etc. to your netbook, browse to the folder you just created and run the software's installation program.
Network shared drive
If you have a network and can connect the netbook to it, share a CD/DVD drive from one of the other computers on the network or copy the contents of the CD/DVD to a folder on a shared drive. Connect to the shared drive from the netbook and run the software's installation program from the folder you just created.
From another computer, upload the entire contents of the CD/DVD to SkyDrive or other online storage service, an FTP server or your own web site if you have one, or even mail it to yourself using YouSendIt or similar services. Download/receive the files on your netbook and install away.