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Physically moving a facility and there are boxes, folders, and stacks of software installation media everywhere. How do you handle the physical install disks so they are accessible when needed?

And in a related question, all of the licensing stickers, and related paper?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 5 down vote accepted

We make it a point not to rely on physical media for precisely this purpose. When we get physical media, it is ripped to ISO almost immediately and put on a dedicated file server along with text files including any registration/serial info needed. We generally throw out product manuals (especially the bulky ones) because more often than not, digital copies can be found online from the vendor if needed. We do still keep the physical media and serials, but it generally lives in CD/DVD binders in a storage room somewhere since we never have to access it.

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Works especially well for OS's that can mount ISO's just as well as CD-ROMs (Linux, Mac), but I imagine you can just easily install some CD-ROM emulator software for Windows. –  Kamil Kisiel Nov 28 '09 at 18:45

As someone who works from home physical media is useless to me. When something new comes in I have someone in the office stick it in a drive so I can rip it, then have them toss the CD/DVD. Or I have it shipped to my house and I'll rip it an upload it to the network share at the office.

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Physical media can be hard to keep track of, especially if you're in an environment where you have several people who might be carrying the media around to various locations (or worse, where you have to loan your media out to end users. Don't laugh, it's a fact of life in academia). I've always kept physical media in a file cabinet, using a different hanging file for each package. ISOs were copied to a server in case I ever needed to make a new version, although most applications were installed via rdist (Linux) or SCCM (Windows).

For OS media, I generally threw the minimum necessary for booting onto a thumb drive that I kept around my neck and did the rest of the installation from http-based media.

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