• Preserving downloaded software to CDs

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    #2528294

    We have now completed our annual computer cleanup and replacement program.

    The program involved replacing older PCs with new units and updating apps such as Microsoft Office (not 365), Nuance Dragon speech recognition, Adobe Acrobat Standard 2020, etc.

    Much of the software was only available in download form. Even the boxed versions were delivered without media.

    Today’s project was to copy the downloaded application software onto CDs.

    We transferred each of the downloaded applications to a separate CD-ROM so that, if necessary, we can do clean reinstalls in case we have to recover a workstation or laptop.

    Each CD was labeled with the name of the application and its serial number.

    We are interested in knowing how others preserve their access to software that was only available by download from its manufacturers.

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    • #2528307

      We are interested in knowing how others preserve their access to software that was only available by download from its manufacturers.

      All my downloaded software (I keep 2 latest versions) are on my drive D: which is backed-up daily incrementally to external drive.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2528346

      To whom it may concern who posted an anonymous post using my email address.  This will not be tolerated.  This space is a respectful place and I want respectful people to participate.  I respect your privacy, so respect MY email address and any other person’s email address.  You can use anon@askwoody.com but abusing and impersonating anyone is over the lines and will NOT be tolerated.

      Susan Bradley Patch Lady

      6 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2528377

      I used to backup my software to CD or DVD discs, but it’s become a nightmare.  Why?  Most of my software is almost like beta versions in that the programs are being updated often.  Case in point:  Nvidia display drivers, OS drivers or some of my software image, video, audio editing programs and let’s not forget: all the great “freeware” that’s out there.

      So, I’ve become lazy and saving copies to thumb flash drives.  Problem is, I don’t trust the life or reliability of those.  Perhaps, a good ol’ magnetic HD might be the best way to go now.  Of course, most the software is available on-line from the servers of the companies that make the program(s).  But, many times those companies fade away or get bought out.

      So, I’m not really sure what to do.

      My thoughts on order of reliability (worst to best)

      1.  Flash Drive (either thumb or SSD)
      2.  Online (company goes broke?)
      3.  CD/DVD (I’ve has these de-laminate at 15 years)
      4.  Magnetic rotating HD

       

      Mike

       

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2528391

      I maintain long term archives of software and other important files 3 ways.

      1. Cloud. I use OneDrive. Cloud storage is immune to local catastrophes like fire, theft, and all extreme weather events, etc.
      2. External HDDs.  I prefer rugged cases and spinning disks that are cooled by heat syncs, not a fan.  These disks are only connected to my PCs when I’m syncing them, browsing the contents or adding files to them.
      3. External SSDs with a rugged case.  They fit nicely in a safe deposit box and your pocket.

      I do not use CD’s.  IMO they are a flimsy, fading media.

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    • #2528445

      I copy CDs to ISO files and store them with all my other backups.
      If I need a CD I can burn one from the ISO.

      As TechTango said, don’t rely on CDs.

      cheers, Paul

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2528628

      I started this thread with the discussion of burning apps to CDs.

      Perhaps I should have expanded the discussion to cover how we manage each of our computers.

      It is our practice to replace a computer when it reaches six years but not more than 10 years old.  Using this replacement practice means that, in most cases, the PC’s Windows operating system and applications continue to be supported by their developers.

      As part of our new computer set up process, the PC is assigned plastic box with lid that, at a minimum, contains:

      • The original SSD (frequently a 256 GB drive) that we replaced with a larger SSD;
      • A copy of the computer’s recovery media;
      • A cloned copy of the C drive, stored on an external HHD, that was created after the computer was set up with Windows, Windows updates, any required drivers, and installed applications – but before the computer was placed into operation;
      • CD/DVDs containing the set-up files for applications such as Microsoft Office (not 365), Nuance Dragon speech recognition, Adobe Acrobat Standard 2020, etc.;
      • Any manuals or other documentation that were shipped with the computer;
      • Acronis rescue media; and
      • Any hardware that may be left on the workbench after setting up the computer.

      We do not store updated hardware drivers, Windows updates, or application updates in the “plastic box.”

      Once the computer is placed in operation, the plastic box is stored away and hopefully never opened again.

      But if we have a significant system failure, we have the ability to recover the computer to its as new condition in a matter of hours from the contents of the plastic box.

      Then, it is simply a matter of updating Windows, installing updated drivers, and then recovering data files and Outlook contacts and calendars from backups.

      In addition, to the set of application files stored on CDs mentioned above, we also store a copies of application set-up files on the computers C drive.

      It should be remembered that when the set-up files are accessed during the installation process they are frequently removed from the computer by the application’s manufacturer.

      Therefore, when we download the applications set up file one copy is stored and saved on the PC’s C drive and another copy is used for the applications installation’s.

      With respect to the longevity of CD/DVDs, we have never had one fail. In fact, we have a collection of audio and video CD/DVDs that are at least two decades old and remain in good working order.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2528813

      Similar to TechTango, I backup my software to multiple locations.

      I posted my backup strategy the other day, so I’ll just link to it rather than posting it again.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2529094

      Perhaps I should have expanded the discussion to cover how we manage each of our computers.

      I would be a very good topic for a different post. New that is.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2529203

        Mike

        I agree, but I only have a limited amount of time to contribute to the AskWoodie site.

        Why don’t you start the post managing our computers?

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