I've not done this with a CD ROM drive but it might be worth a try.
Hi, I currently own a netbook without an optical drive. I was first pondering the idea of just purchasing an external drive when the idea came to me that I could just network one of my desktop's CD drives. The problem is, that I want more than just file sharing, I want the netbook to see the virtual drive as a local drive. Reason being: If i want to install software from CD's, newer applications today have anti piracy checks in place that won't allow this kind of installing (which I am not upset about since piracy is becoming a bigger and bigger problem). I am not looking to pirate anything, I just want to save the expense of an external CD drive.
Any ideas? (ie software solutions, or OS tweaks (im perfectly fine with editing the registry if this is a possible solution path).