Almost every day there are posts from people in desperation because they have lost or mislaid the CD/DVD containing their operating system, some essential software or a product key of which they are in urgent need.
Please, folks, keep all of your important things (disks, documentation, product keys etc.) in a VERY safe place after you've loaded them and, more important, remember where that place is.
What I do, and I know some people disagree with this, is to place all the disks and documentation relevant to a particular machine in an envelope inside the case. I also ensure that the product key for the O/S is actually attached to the case as the Microsoft conditions of use dictate it should be.
It is also advisable to save the registry entry [regedit-hkey-local machine-software.. Highlight name and go to File-Expor and Save The reason I do this is that it is not unknown for software companies to remove registration. If you have the Registration entry, you can import it, and be able to use the program, where otherwise the program wil be unusable.
I would need a bigger case! The amount of disks that go with my computer and all its progs! I however agree with you on the need to keep track of all the bits! For my system at work I have a fairly large ammo box that holds all the disks, each computer has its own 500 gauge plastic bag with all its discs in. Each bag, disk and the computer that they belong to has a number on so that I know what goes with what. In the past I have spent hours trying to get something to work because I cant find the correct disc -12 identical computers, each needing a different recovery disc!!!! Argh.