Friday, September 17, 2010

Tip: From Downloads to Installed

Over the last few months I've developed a method of keeping track of what programs I've downloaded and installed on different machines. It's turned out to be quite useful, particularly when restoring from backups. I have set all my browsers to save their downloaded files in "c:\users\[user name]\Downloads", so I can find the downloaded file. Once I have run the install, I then move the download to a folder I created called "c:\users\[user name]\Installed", along with a text file containing any license information such as serial numbers. So in addition to "edpro50.exe" I have "edpro50 ExamDiff Pro Registration Instructions.txt". You get the picture.
This is useful because both Carbonite and SyncToy make backups of this folder. If I'm working on setting up another machine and I think "I need to install the latest version of Adobe Reader" I don't have to download it again, I just look in the "Installed" folder, and copy the relevant file to the network share or a USB drive. Then I copy it to the new machine's "Downloads" folder, and once I have installed it, to the new machine's "Installed" folder. I can then save the relevant new serial number files on the new machine, without them getting mixed up with my current machine.
The only file that lives permanently in my "Downloads" folder is the utility "UpdateChecker" which informs me of any new versions of software that is available for my PC. I don't always use the new versions, but at least this helps keep track of my apps in a systematic way.


Philip Spohn said...

I use a similar setup, plus I usually drag a shortcut/bookmark for the download site from my browser to the download folder.

JDPower said...
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