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Best Practice for Storing Software Media

By SoLittleTime ·
I'm looking for advice on simple processes that work for other companies for storing software for their users. We currently have software boxes for each user and we keep all their floppies and CD's in their box. It's hard to keep the boxes in order; they take up a lot of room, etc.

We'd like to be able to retrieve the media quickly and easily when needed.

Please let me know what methods you use to store software floppies, cd's, backup tapes, documentation, etc. and how well that works for your department/company.

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How I do it.--pt 1

by LordInfidel In reply to Best Practice for Storing ...

First, I get some plastic containers... (The size will depend on the number of systems that you have) This is going to be used to store everything.

I then seperate everything into logical groups.

1. Video Drivers
2. Sound Card drivers
3. Modem drivers
4. Nic drivers
5. MotherBoard drivers
6. Laptop restore cd's
7. Printer drivers

Those sorts of drivers go into their individual containers, sorted by group.

Next for the documentation (Not OS Liscences), a cardboard box will do just fine. Again seperate everything into matching docs. If you have a thousand manuals on the HP1100 series printer, you only need a few copies. Get rid of the rest.

Liscenses- Windows liscenses. We all need the physical liscene/serial. But we hate the book. Well nothing says we need the book, just the liscense. So a trick there is to take a razorknife and cut the cover off of the book. Cut off the entire cover, not just the serial!

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COA not License?

by admin In reply to How I do it.--pt 1

I went round and round with MS on this once.

Later on you say 2 of 3: Box, EULA, License which I have heard from MS, although they really seemed to want EULA's

But the Certificate of Authenticity, which I also have been cutting off the coversaccording to them was not a replacement for the EULA, or even part of the equation. I found this REALLY surprising originally as most people I knew at that time were referring to it as "the License" and storing these to use as proof if it ever came up.

I have been told that reasonable proof of purchase can help, especially in court, but again that the COA is essentially just a proof for the customer that it is authentic, the EULA is the proof of actual license for MS...
Anyway, I'm still keeping them for good measure (it can't hurt :) but was wondering if you had someone from MS tell you they were worth keeping.
I've been round and round with these people locally all the way to Redmond about EXACTLY what it is you need and it always seems to point to the original EULA.

Thanks, this subject of MS license details never ceases to amaze me!

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by LordInfidel In reply to COA not License?

I was using the EULA for not only MS but for other products such as Adobe, etc.

MS, from all of the audits I have ever seen, and from what I have been told thru the grapevine. Is that in order to be compliant you need the 2 out of the 3. It'sthe box, the media and the liscence (can be a eula if it has the liscense info on them, such as a liscense pack).

As I am sure you know, The easiest way to make sure you don't have to worry about this stuff is to buy your liscences thru an an authorized MS vendor, and purchase them thru open liscense.

That way it is stored electronically exactly what you have.

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Pt 2

by LordInfidel In reply to Best Practice for Storing ... programs

Get yourself a cabinet with a lock and key. The size again will depend on how much software you own.

I personally only open 1 copy of each piece of software, make 2 copies (I know, you are only allowed 1, blah.... youhave multiple copies purchased anyways) Put the original back in it's box and seal it up. Only install off of the copies. If you lose a copy, it's not that bad. Lose the original and your screwed. Also inventory all of your software and make sure you are compliant.

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Pt 3

by LordInfidel In reply to Best Practice for Storing ...


If they are OEM then you probably do not have the cd or box, just the EULA/cd key.

Keep All EULA's.

Keep ALL original OS CD's.

Keep ALL MS boxes.

In order to be compliant you need 2 out of the 3 above unless it is either OEMor purchased thru OpenLiscense.

Again, make a 2 copies of each OS and put the originals Back. Same goes for Office. Only use the copies for installs.

Put those in their own section under lock and key.

And again, inverntory for compliancy.

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Pt 4

by LordInfidel In reply to Best Practice for Storing ...


This will depend on your strategy and what you need to accomplish.

A good rule of thumb is, keep a recent set off site. That is, if you backed up the file server over the weekend. On monday morning you remove those tapes. And you take them off site. That way if something happens you can go back to a recent set.

Another alternative is to use the 2 week method. You take last weekends backup offsite, and keep this weekends on site for faster retrieval.

A quick mention on off-site. There is no need to pay for a fancy service. Find a warehouse type facility that has fire suppression and is concrete and allows you to have access to your boxes. Keep the tapes in a fireproof container. FireKing safes are reliable.

You should not pay more than 20-30 mth for off-site storage. Do not pay a records archival service. They do not off-store your data. Pick someplace close that is under 10 min driving distance.

I hope this helps.

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Great advice - storing by software title

by SoLittleTime In reply to Best Practice for Storing ...

Thank you so much for your quick response and your great advice on everything. Storing media by software title is an option that we have been considering but had not settled on yet. In our IS meeting, we discussed your solution and are excited about moving forward.

We do hope that other people will share their ideas as well so we can take all of the best practices and come up with simple lasting solutions. Thanks again, you were VERY helpful!

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