No matter how reputable the manufacturer of your CD and DVD-R media is, how well the recordable CD/DVD media is made and how properly you store it, one day it will eventually fail. Sooner or later. If you have valuable information to back up, do not rely solely on your burned CD/DVD media. At very least, use different brands and make backups often – then you’ll be increasing your chances of reading back information from at least one of the several copies. Have multiple backups ready; if possible, make a second backup on another hard drive, network location, cloud or webmail service. READ MORE »
Posts tagged cd
The shelf life of recordable CDs and DVDs burned at home using a DVD burner is limited. Do not confuse recordable media with commercially manufactured (pressed) CDs and DVDs such as software, music or movies you can buy in stores. There is a big difference. If properly stored, pressed DVDs can last pretty much forever. Not so for DVDs that you burned at home. Most recordable media uses organic dye to actually keep bits of recorded information. The organic stuff will be deteriorating with time, making reading these discs increasingly more difficult. Media deterioration occurs with time, slowly increasing the chance you won’t be able to read data from CDs and DVDs that you burned after a few years.
Some manufacturers claim their media is good for 10, 30, 50, or even 300 years. “Archival quality” is a frequently used (and heavily misused) term. No one lives for 300 years, and the technology has not been around for the last half-century, so verifying these claims is pretty much impossible. There are, however, known and well-documented cases of recordable media failing because of premature deterioration of the organic layer.
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What could be more frustrating than reaching for a CD/DVD backup and discovering you can’t read the most important files? Don’t worry just yet; there are tools that can do more than Windows to read your files back. Read this article to learn more about the issue of optical backups, their fate and recovery. READ MORE »