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Keep proper records of purchased software and email accounts.

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+warwagon    13,028

When reinstalling Windows either to fix issues due to a failed hard drive or any other series of issues, any software you have purchased needs to be reloaded and accounts need to be set back up and/or logged into again.

 

When I assist clients in reinstalling their applications, configuring their email or signing back into their online accounts after a Windows reinstall, I rely on them to have some very important information. Usually they can’t provide it’’.

 

Here is a sampling of some of the difficulties I encounter:

 

Clients don’t have the serial numbers to reinstall applications they purchased.

Clients don’t know the account username/password to log back in to get the serial number for the applications they purchased.

Clients don’t know their email password, online account passwords.

Clients don’t know what account they used to activate their Microsoft Office.

 

In many cases it is possible to reset online account passwords through the email. But if clients don’t know their email password it makes it much more challenging.

 

I can’t stress enough how important it is to keep detailed records.

 

SO... What should you do? GO NOW and buy yourself a 79 cent notebook and write EVERYTHING down!

Quote

 

I’m just going to give you an example of what I do, maybe you can do the same or get some ideas from it

 

I have a folder call serial numbers, in that folder I have a bunch of text files. Each file has the name of the application that I purchased. Inside the text document the name of the applications along with which version of the application purchased (Example Quickbooks Pro 2017 or Syncback Pro v7) along with the product key needed for re-installation.

 

Usually you can re download the application off the internet for re-installation but just in case I usually save the setup file I used to first install the application just in case. I personally use a program called “Lastpass” www.lastpass.com which saves all my passwords for all the sites I have passwords for (Because I use Lastpass most are pure gibberish). I also periodically print them off and store them in a secure location.

 

I also use Gmail which archives every email I’ve ever gotten, so it is easy to go back and find an order form for an application I bought. I also sync all my emails to my computer using an email client called Thunderbird (I back it up) in case one day Gmail goes POOF!

 

 

Let’s recap what information you should be recording and updating (if you make changes). Leave enough space below each entry so you can add future changes and information that may, at some future date, become relevant to this account.

 

1. Program name and version (example Syncback Pro version 7)

2. Serial number / product key – The code needed to reinstall the program.

3. Account information – Email address / username / password used when creating an account and the site where you purchased the program.

4. Email address and password for logging into your email.

5. Username and password for every website that you use requiring these credentials. Sometimes there might also be an email address associated with the website. Record this also.

 

As always, I strongly recommend that you create a backup of your files regularly, these files include photos, documents, and music. It should include everything that has been created or edited on your machine since the previous backup. Often this can be done on a thumb drive.

 

With the above information, repairs and re-installation will go much smoother and you will always have your notebook information to help you when you need it.

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goretsky    1,045

Hello,

 

While there is a lot of flack given for telling people to write down account names and passwords for offline storage, having a password notebook is not a bad idea in and of itself.  The key thing is that it is stored securely in the same fashion you would keep other important documentation (birth certificates, deeds to property, passports, etc.).

 

As for product license keys and activation codes, those can be stored in a text/CSV file, spreadsheet, etc.  With proper encryption, that can be a fairly safe mechanism.

 

Regards,


Aryeh Goretsky

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techbeck    6,870

Why a notebook?  I log everthing on my computer.  Plus, my handwriting sucks.

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+warwagon    13,028
1 minute ago, techbeck said:

Why a notebook?  I log everthing on my computer.  Plus, my handwriting sucks.

It was actually a modified version of a post I did on my Facebook page business page. So the notebook was still left in.

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techbeck    6,870
3 minutes ago, warwagon said:

It was actually a modified version of a post I did on my Facebook page business page. So the notebook was still left in.

What software do you normally use for backup?

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+warwagon    13,028
Just now, techbeck said:

What software do you normally use for backup?

Syncback Pro.

 

I actually found a section of my article describing how I store stuff.  that we cut out due to how complicated it would be for the average user. I found it in a version stored on onedrive, i'm in the process of adding it back in this article.

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techbeck    6,870
2 minutes ago, warwagon said:

Syncback Pro.

 

I actually found a section of my article describing how I store stuff.  that we cut out due to how complicated it would be for the average user. I found it in a version stored on onedrive, i'm in the process of adding it back in this article.

I just use Synctoy myself.  Simple and i do not need anything extra.  Just basic sync for changes.

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+warwagon    13,028
2 minutes ago, techbeck said:

I just use Synctoy myself.  Simple and i do not need anything extra.  Just basic sync for changes.

I also use syncback to backup files nightly to an online service. The backups run nightly and it sends me error reports via email the next morning if it failed.

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techbeck    6,870
5 minutes ago, warwagon said:

I also use syncback to backup files nightly to an online service. Also backups run nightly and it sends me error reports via email the next morning if it failed.

i make 2 offline backups and keep one at my parents house.  Switch them out periodically.  Not a fan of online backups.

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+warwagon    13,028
4 minutes ago, techbeck said:

i make 2 offline backups and keep one at my parents house.  Switch them out periodically.  Not a fan of online backups.

I also have 2 offline backups 1 in a safety deposit box, they get rotated monthly. I use to use Carbonite but cancelled my subscription because they took forever to implement two-factor, then when they finally did, the web site required it but the android app did not... what the #### was the point then. Probably fixed by now, but that was just sloppy as if not a **** was given.

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Jared-    577
On 7/31/2019 at 12:54 PM, goretsky said:

Hello,

 

While there is a lot of flack given for telling people to write down account names and passwords for offline storage, having a password notebook is not a bad idea in and of itself.  The key thing is that it is stored securely in the same fashion you would keep other important documentation (birth certificates, deeds to property, passports, etc.).

 

As for product license keys and activation codes, those can be stored in a text/CSV file, spreadsheet, etc.  With proper encryption, that can be a fairly safe mechanism.

 

Regards,


Aryeh Goretsky

 

That is a terrible idea....

 

Any decent password manager will let you store software license information. LastPass, PasswordState...

 

 

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+warwagon    13,028
40 minutes ago, Jared- said:

 

That is a terrible idea....

 

Any decent password manager will let you store software license information. LastPass, PasswordState...

 

 

Some people may not want to out ALL their eggs in one basket.

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Jared-    577
On 8/22/2019 at 11:48 AM, warwagon said:

Some people may not want to out ALL their eggs in one basket.

Sure, have multiple electronics vaults\records\whatever. 

 

Anything on paper is usually out of date within a week, especially if you're required by <insert system here> to rotate passwords <every X>. Paper sucks.

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+warwagon    13,028
4 minutes ago, Jared- said:

Sure, have multiple electronics vaults\records\whatever. 

 

Anything on paper is usually out of date within a week, especially if you're required by <insert system here> to rotate passwords <every X>. Paper sucks.

This is true. In my case I don't rotate passwords so the only issue i'd run into is the paper missing new passwords. It's not my only source but it is last resort reference.

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