Stupid Things I Have Done Part Deux

  Ian in Northampton 24 Oct 12
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Answered

OK, this is a problem, not a solution.

I had waaaay too many software CDs/DVDs cluttering up my office. One wet Sunday afternoon, I had a brainwave. I'd back them all up to an external drive, saving myself loads of space and giving me the option to reinstall them direct from the hard drive if necessary.

I then chucked the disks in the bin...

... before I'd checked to see if what has been copied was what needed to be copied... :-(

I just came to reinstall a piece of software, and discovered that nowhere - but nowhere - is there a setup.exe file in the backed-up version.

I checked others - and in the large majority of cases, I have the same problem.

As such, the backup files I have are useless - and the original CDs/DVDs are long gone.

Unless someone out there knows better.

I don't know whether for some reason the setup.exe files didn't copy or whether, in fact, there never were setup.exe files on the original media.

I'm guessing that just about all the CDs/DCDs were autorun-enabled. Does that mean they wouldn't have had a setup.exe file?

So: is the solution to my problem as simple (and as tedious...) as copying the relevant files back to blank media, but making the media autorun-capable?

Advice greatly appreciated.

Oh, and - a warning to us all not to get smart with software... :-(

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 24 Oct 12

do you see an auto run file? or any other .inf file?

auto run file if opened in notepad should show you the file it is set to run.

right click inf file and select install - may work

Fruit Bat /\0/\: thanks for the quick response. In a random poll of about ten of the bits of software I have backed up, there is no sign of either an autorun file or an .inf file...

  HondaMan 24 Oct 12

Probably because they were set to be run from the disk's menu system. You may have to search each individual file, or as you are in XP search on the external drive for *.exe or *.inf. That may help.

HondaMan - that was such a great idea, I went and did it immediately. Guess how many .exe files are on the drive? 8,992... And none of them where I needed them to be. I'm currently at 11,200+ .inf files... :-( I think I'm just going to have to be grateful that I no longer edit video, make DVDs or do photo editing (yes, most of what I've lost was expensive software from Adobe)... :-(

  northumbria61 24 Oct 12

Ian - makes very interesting reading though! We all learn by our mistakes - and Oh! Yes - we have all made em over the years.

  Woolwell 24 Oct 12

You can download a lot of programs now and providing you have kept the licence then all will be ok.

A few years ago I bought an upgrade disc, went to install on new pc and then realised that the original disc was missing. I went back to the manufacturer who asked for proof of purchase. Fortunately I had kept the original e-mail and they supplied a replacement disc. They stressed that they would do it once and once only.

northumbria61: thanks. Yes, I like to think that the forum is as much about sharing ideas and experiences as it is about helping people solve problems. Hopefully, those who read this post won't make the same mistake I did.

In fact, the plot has thickened slightly... Central to my use of my PC are MS Office and MS Money. As such, I'd retained both those CDs - just in case... I checked - and the version of each on the hard drive doesn't have the setup.exe file - but the CD version does. I over-copied the hard drive version and - hey presto - the hard driver versions now have setup.exe files.

Curiouser and curiouser...

  lotvic 24 Oct 12

Why are you searching the whole ext drive for the .exes and .infs? I would have thought you would be searching inside each single program folder one at a time (where you have copied one CD/DVD).

  rdave13 24 Oct 12

I think that next time you should save the CD/DVDs as iso files. You should have software that does this. When you need to reinstall use something like Alcohol 50% (free), if I remember correctly, to mount the iso where you can install the software.

lotvic: good point - I'll go back and do that. rdave13: hindsight is a very perfect science... :-) But - good tip.

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