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I am thinking to buy a notebook from my friend. Notebook usually don't have Optical drives installed in them. The notebook that I am planning to buy has free DOS (no OS is installed initially) and hence I wish to install the OS.

How can I install an OS into a notebook that doesn't have an optical drive. I know that it can be done from USB but major software vendors prefer Optical drive has their key distribution. So how the notebook users overcome this limitation?

Let me know for any questions.

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First, which OS you want to install? is it windows xp / windows 7 /linux?

You can install windows 7 from a external CD/DVD USB which you can buy anywhere, for example:

or you can install using a USB thumbdrive, but you need to create a bootable USB thumbdrive using Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool

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you would need at least a 8 gig drive for this to work - officially 4 gb, but it can be a little iffy – Journeyman Geek Oct 29 '11 at 6:47

You can install a myriad of Linux OSs by making up the install USB drive with UNetbootin:

UNetbootin allows you to create bootable Live USB drives for Ubuntu, Fedora, and other Linux distributions without burning a CD. It runs on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X. You can either let UNetbootin download one of the many distributions supported out-of-the-box for you, or supply your own Linux .iso file if you've already downloaded one or your preferred distribution isn't on the list.

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