So you got a new netbook or laptop but it doesn't have a CD/DVD drive. How will you get Outlook installed? And, really, is it worth installing a memory-pig like Outlook on a netbook?
Yes, in my opinion, if you use Outlook on your desktop, its worth installing it on the netbook or laptop too. You might want to use a custom install and only install the parts of the Office suite you will likely need on the netbook or laptop. (I installed only Outlook, Excel, and Word from Office Pro.) If the netbook seems sluggish, you may be able to configure the SD card or a USB stick as extra memory.
Okay, so you've decided to install Outlook. Now how do you get it from the CD to the netbook without a CD drive? As long as you have a second computer that has a CD drive, its simple, with a choice of two options.
1. If the computers are networked you can simply share the CD drive. Pop in the CD and open the drive on the netbook, either running setup from the shared CD or copying all of the files to the netbook. This tends to be slower, plus it's helpful to be near the CD drive if you are installing several programs.
2. If the computers aren't networked, you can copy all of the files to a USB drive or a media card. On the other computer, go into Windows Explorer options and enable Show all hidden files and folders and also show all protected files. Then select all files and folders on the CD and copy them to a folder on the USB drive or media card. Insert the stick or card in the netbook and run setup. (I have an 8 GB USB stick I only use for installation files. It stays in my computer bag, just in case I need to reinstall or repair something when I travel.)
Downloadable trials (such as Office 2010) can be downloaded and installed provided the trial is the same suite as you purchased. Enter your product key to upgrade to the non-trial version. However, if you have a CD or even the downloaded files on another computer, its usually faster to copy them to a USB drive or media card.
If you want to create a bootable USB, this page has simple, easy to follow steps. While the specific instructions are for Windows 8 Preview, they work for Windows 8.1 and any other OS.
However, you do not need to use bootable media to upgrade. You can start the upgrade using files copied to a USB or media card. However, installing from bootable media will leave you with a cleaner hard drive.
Published December 28, 2011. Last updated on September 13, 2013.