cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Saving Data on DVD

Community Veteran
Posts: 8,398
Thanks: 894
Fixes: 9
Registered: 02-08-2007

Saving Data on DVD

Several articles have appeared in computer & Photography magazines which suggest that data stored on DVDs and CDs may have a shelf life of no more than 2 years even when stored in ideal conditions, with one article including an experiment where a dvd was left on the dashboard of a car and was unreadable after 3 days. Whilst I cannot expect anyone to comment on experiments where DVD are exposed to extreme conditions I would be interested to hear from anyone on this topic. I Accept no data storage system is perfect but if this information is correct would it be better to store all data on 2 external hard drives or is this going overboard. The Data I store are  mainly photographs but only personal stuff so any loss would be more sentimental rather than financial
9 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,850
Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: Saving Data on DVD

i have some dvds that must be getting on for ten years old and are still alive and well.  i think that storing them away from the light in a relatively dust-free atmosphere, encased in a protective enclosure, helps to prolong their lifespan.
there was also talk of the ink used in printing the disks eventually corrupting them.  this hasn't happened either.
rewritable media is somewhat more problematic, cds being next door to useless after a couple of writes and dvds complaining after 5 and more.
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,460
Thanks: 1,027
Fixes: 62
Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Saving Data on DVD

Have a read of this http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=76744 and only buy good quality DVD's.
I always use a disk which is manufactured using a Taiyo Yuden dye from here svp
Personally I always back up my data to a separate hard drive in another computer as well as on DVD. Belt and braces approach.
Having said that I haven't seen a problem yet but for archive storage do not use RW media as that is far worse.
VileReynard
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 10,823
Thanks: 245
Fixes: 10
Registered: 01-09-2007

Re: Saving Data on DVD

Quote from: artificer
rewritable media is somewhat more problematic, cds being next door to useless after a couple of writes and dvds complaining after 5 and more.

They must be rubbish disks then!
Although reformatting DVD's is not recommended, I've certainly achieved 20+ rewrites (not counting).
For CD's - I've got more disks, so they tend to get rewritten less - but certainly 10+ rewrites.
I've never had a write problem with optical media.
(I've encountered CD's with scratches which need careful attention to make them readable).

Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 2,758
Thanks: 467
Fixes: 5
Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: Saving Data on DVD

I've got an unbranded CDr here that has been sat on my window cill since January 2003 according to the writing on it.  The label side is marked from the sun as can be seen from the difference in colour where some paper was on it.  Still reads ok.  Reminds me though that I really do need to tidy up in here!
Phil
Community Veteran
Posts: 8,398
Thanks: 894
Fixes: 9
Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: Saving Data on DVD

Thanks for the comments, I think the way forward is to invest in a spare external hard drive so in essence if the disk(s) fail I have a back up on the hard drive, If the hard drive fails I will have to hope that no more than one disk goes !
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,735
Thanks: 12
Registered: 02-02-2008

Re: Saving Data on DVD

Depending how much data you've got you could use a free email account, such as Gmail or Hotmail as a backup store.
I mostly use rewriteable CD's in a multi-member cycle and fully verify after writing. Before reuse I do a full erase and I've got plenty that are past 50 reuses with no problems, in fact I can only recall 1 ever failing in several years.
pjemmanuel
Grafter
Posts: 349
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Saving Data on DVD

Quote from: artificer
rewritable media is somewhat more problematic, cds being next door to useless after a couple of writes and dvds complaining after 5 and more.

Can't say I agree with a rewriteable DVD complaining after 5 writes.
I've got a stack of DVD +RWs for use in my DVD recorder of which up to three are in continuous use for recording off the TV. The current three have been in use for around a year now, with each one being recorded and erased on average once a week. That's at least 52 write cycles and they are showing no signs of giving up yet.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,850
Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: Saving Data on DVD

i said that rewritables can be problematical.  some  go on for years, such as the three i keep for remastering in rotation that have lasted through endless rewrites.
not all 'quality' brands are as good as touted.  a stack of no-name dvd blanks gave me excellent service, whereas some verbatim were a waste of money.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,229
Thanks: 1
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Saving Data on DVD

Here's a Top Tip:
Look for Verbatim brand disks "Made in Japan" in 50 or 100 cakes. They also usually have a shouldered "bulge" at the bottom of the cake and a "serrated"  base. These are Taiyo Yuden and should be almost the best quality.  You can often find them mixed up with other Verbatim disks which are branded identically but are in straight sided cakes "Made in "  India, China or Taiwan. Those are not TY and can be left on the shelf ...
On the other hand, I was getting 90% coasters on some cheap Kodaks from Tesco and it turned out my burner had turned into a toaster. Once I replaced it the rest of the Kodaks were fine. Sometimes it's the luck of the draw I reckon.
Paul