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  • Where do you store your EXE files?

    Hi GTDer, I have a question:

    Where do you store your program installation file (exe)?

    These files are usually quite big so I can't put it in my general reference folder which I sync using dropbox.
    They need to be updated constantly to keep up with the changes.
    They also need to have a filing system of their own so they are easily retrievable.

    So how do you deal with this?

    PS: I'd love to be able to file these file into my General reference system
    so I can sync it across different computers but my resources is limited.
    Is there anyway to do this?

  • #2
    I don't keep those electronically. Whenever I reinstall my computer or buy a new one, I just download the software online or use whatever CD's etc it was delivered on (I do keep those).

    What I have been meaning to do, though, is make a reference list of all the titles I use, as that would speed up my next reinstallation, but so far this intention has never materialized, so I just reinstall whatever I can remember that I had before, and install the rest later as I begin to miss them.

    Comment


    • #3
      I have a separate A-Z filing system on an NAS unit for software.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by gtdnubcake View Post
        Hi GTDer, I have a question:

        Where do you store your program installation file (exe)?

        These files are usually quite big so I can't put it in my general reference folder which I sync using dropbox.
        They need to be updated constantly to keep up with the changes.
        They also need to have a filing system of their own so they are easily retrievable.

        So how do you deal with this?

        PS: I'd love to be able to file these file into my General reference system
        so I can sync it across different computers but my resources is limited.
        Is there anyway to do this?
        Are these programs you write, archival copies, or the actual executables you use? Why do they need to be updated constantly?

        Personally, I don't bother with any of this for commercial software. I use macs, and everything gets backed up redundantly with Time Machine. Software licenses are stored redundantly as well, and I can always re-download if there are problems. If I have too many issues with a given piece of software, I stop using it and write a scathing review.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by gtdnubcake View Post
          Where do you store your program installation file (exe)?
          Since I don't use Dropbox or any other cloud system for backup I find it works well to have them in my ordinary filing system.

          I have a General Reference Folder that I have 1 layer deep of folders in it.They have names like Software - DEVONThink, Software - Aeon Timeline and so on. I put the .dmg files there. Once a year I go through and delete the oldest ones if I don't think I need them.

          I also have a folder called SW to Test that I put the demo and trial packages I use. I clean it out maybe once a year. Passwords and licenses are stored in 1Password.

          I've had to go back to old versions far too often to just depend on having the stuff available on-line so I always keep my own copy.

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          • #6
            Even with the ubiquity of Web resources, I also still keep quite a few executables on my laptop. I store them in this folder:

            C:\Users\root\Documents\Electronic\PC\PC Application

            I hope this helps.

            Joe

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            • #7
              The only .exe files that I back up are my installation files. I put them all into a folder called C:\Installation Files. I then back up this entire folder to Google Drive, since you get 15GB with Google Drive.

              You could also back them up to www.4shared.com. They give you 15GB as well, but it's not sync'ed with your computer. In other words, you can offload your installation files there if you want.

              I also back up my files to a Flash drive.

              Chas29

              Comment


              • #8
                A Local NAS Drive

                I store all my .exe files as well as old .pst files, podcast archives, etc. on a local NAS backup device in my home office. It has a custom web link so I can access my drive and files securely from anywhere. This has worked well for me over the years. The problem is one can become a digital pack-rat so an annual pruning is also a good idea!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Free software I use:

                  The backup will be out of date within the month. You should backup your system as a whole but don't waste time backing up installation files. Get the latest one next time you need it.

                  Commercial software I use:

                  I'm confident that I'll be able to download it again and apply the licence I've paid for. I still have a few CDs for old games that I might want to revisit.

                  Software I write:

                  I do enough development to justify a separate file system for my source code. I have a small selection of folders for binaries that I add to my system path.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by cfoley View Post
                    Free software I use:

                    The backup will be out of date within the month. You should backup your system as a whole but don't waste time backing up installation files. Get the latest one next time you need it.

                    Commercial software I use:

                    I'm confident that I'll be able to download it again and apply the licence I've paid for. I still have a few CDs for old games that I might want to revisit.
                    Having just gone through a major total hard drive failure let me tell you that both of those options are problematic. It took me three days to download all the free and commercial software that I didn't have the current installation packages for. And I had much of the stuff on my external drives!

                    Look at whether you are at the end of a very slow Internet connection (Rural America doesn't have very high speed service) and weigh the time to re-download and install vs the cost of extra space to save them on disk.

                    I'm buying several more terabyte drives so Ic an have dedicated ones for SW installs just in case.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by joncarry
                      Can you tell me how to separate a-z filing system on an NAS unit for software?
                      Very simple - I create a folder called Software on the NAS, and inside it I create a folder for each piece of software, which of course is sorted by filename.

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                      • #12
                        Having just gone through a major total hard drive failure let me tell you that both of those options are problematic. It took me three days to download all the free and commercial software that I didn't have the current installation packages for. And I had much of the stuff on my external drives!
                        That sounds pretty nasty. I've gone through similar things and I know it's a major pain. However, my point was that you can't keep up to date installation files. They can be out of date within days of downloading them.

                        If you do keep the old files, you might save a little bit of time but you will spend a long time downloading updates, and applying several updates altogether has more chances of causing problems than going through them one by one. I came across that problem when restoring an old Windows XP computer with its system recovery disk. A couple of the updates caused problems I couldn't resolve. It required a complete reinstall and careful selection of updates. Finding out which of the updates were problematic was a time consuming process.

                        Look at whether you are at the end of a very slow Internet connection (Rural America doesn't have very high speed service) and weigh the time to re-download and install vs the cost of extra space to save them on disk.
                        That's a very good point, and I may well have a different attitude with a slow internet connection. However, a lot of people live in areas with good connections and downloading the software you use most often isn't all that big a task.

                        Overall, the only important thing is that you are able to get all the stuff that you need to use back in a reasonable time in the event of computer problems. What "getting everything back" means will vary between people and so will the circumstances that affects the practicalities, as you have pointed out.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by cfoley View Post
                          However, my point was that you can't keep up to date installation files. They can be out of date within days of downloading them.

                          If you do keep the old files, you might save a little bit of time but you will spend a long time downloading updates, and applying several updates altogether has more chances of causing problems than going through them one by one.
                          I check my system and application software for updates frequently. What I should have done and didn't do is keep all the various update files as I downloaded them. That way I could do exactly what you describe. Go back to a known data point, and then re-apply all the updates in order. I've already spent the time to download them once, all I really need to do is keep those files around in case of a disaster.

                          That was my big mistake, I assumed I could just go get the latest version especially of the free and open source software. That was a bad assumption to make. Sure I can just go get it again but it was far more time consuming that I ever expected.

                          With disk space so cheap and bandwidth so limited and expensive it's far more economical to save all installation files than it is to depend on cloud or Internet storage of them.

                          Again YMMV but everyone needs to think about those options now, before you need to recover from a major crash.

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                          • #14
                            I check my system and application software for updates frequently. What I should have done and didn't do is keep all the various update files as I downloaded them. That way I could do exactly what you describe. Go back to a known data point, and then re-apply all the updates in order. I've already spent the time to download them once, all I really need to do is keep those files around in case of a disaster.
                            Ah OK, that makes a lot of sense. Would a regular system backup be an acceptable alternative?

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by cfoley View Post
                              Ah OK, that makes a lot of sense. Would a regular system backup be an acceptable alternative?
                              Yes, if it includes the entire system. My regular backups included all my data, hence I didn't lose much of anything data wise, a couple of recent links added to my browser and one small piece of code I clipped from one location and saved in a text file for possible use later. Both easily recoverable. Unfortunately I neglected to backup all the software I use and my system set-up. And as we've discussed that was a surprisingly painful thing to recover. Prior to this event I had believed as you do, that I could easily get it all back by downloading again and that the old versions would just require updating so why not get the latests ones. What I found out in real life was that it was a lot harder and took far more time than I ever imagined.

                              Also, I discovered that for some things the version I was using was no longer available on the web. I am on an older rev of the operating system, often the newer versions of the tools/applications won't run on my computer. I had a really hard time finding the older versions that do work on my machine to reinstall for a few packages. That too took a lot more time and effort than if I had just kept the darned installers from when I first got them.

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