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Windows 7: Reliability of DVDs

05 Mar 2010   #1

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
Reliability of DVDs

How reliable are name brand DVDs (eg. TDK Gold) +or- R for long term storage when stored correctly? Some reports say many years but I see the occassional comment saying don't use them???
I want them for a fall back system image and archiving data.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Mar 2010   #2

Windows 7 Pro

Flash drives are the most reliable media storage currently being marketed. But backups need about 50-70 GB's, so until they're affordable and available, I read that Memorex combines a 24-karat gold reflective layer, high performance dye and its innovative DuraLayer(TM) scratch-resistant technology to create Memorex Pro Gold Archival CD and DVD Media.

But Memorex's reported quality isn't the greatest, so I'd recommend "archive quality" disks from one of the better reported Mfgr's, ref...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Mar 2010   #3

Win7 Enterprise, Win7 x86 (Ult 7600), Win7 x64 Ult 7600, TechNet RTM on AMD x64 (2.8Ghz)

I have some 5.25 floppies from 25 years ago that still have held the data under random storage conditions. I would assume CD/DVD would do as well or better.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

05 Mar 2010   #4

Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit SP1 (desktop)

I've seen older CD's that had developed little pinholes in them, but I don't know what might have caused it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Mar 2010   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit

Every year I have a number of clients who call and ask if I can recover data from a DVD. I urge you to avoid this media if possible. Many of the brands degenerate, including Sony. The major problem appears to be large files, so if you can't email it, then store it on a back-up drive or online. As a golden rule, if it's important then have two copies in two different locations.

I've had DVD's develop bubbles in them and also had one explode in my DVD player (although it was a Windows XP disk ... and I still have those photo's). Granted none of these was stored in the most ideal conditions; but it is still something to be aware of.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jan 2011   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

As an extra step you could try SecurDisc, a proprietary method of adding built-in redundancy to the data stored on a DVD.

One of the options when creating a SecurDisk is to use the extra free space left on the disk for recovery data.
Here's their blurb:
Data Reliability helps rescue data from a damaged disc

SecurDisc significantly increases your chances of retrieving data from damaged CDs, DVDs or Blu-ray Discs, regardless of scratches, age or deterioration with Data Reliability.
When you record data to optical media, the discs rarely fill up to their capacity and a substantial amount of space remains unused. SecurDisc’s Data Reliability feature is included with every burn and efficiently stores multiple versions of the information in the remaining space to safeguard your files in the event that your disc gets damaged.

Might be worth it if you are willing to make sure you retain a system that can read the discs over the years. I was impressed with SecurDisc but it really doesn't seem to have taken off so long term viability is an issue.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jan 2011   #7

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1

An old post now but in response to the post above.

Even though it's dated this was the most scientific work I came across from the NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology - United States)
NIST Digital Media Group: publications
My conclusions. Manufactured correctly with the right materials they should indeed be archive quality media when used with quality recording/playback machinery.

Media - dirt cheap
Writers - dirt cheap
Often ok but don't trust them.

If you want "archive quality" pay the money and buy certified archive quality disks and use on a relatively new high quality writer.
Error correcting software can certainly be useful.

Redundancy is still the best bet in my book.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jan 2011   #8

Windows 7 Pro

Still believe that until flash drives are available with massive GB's (TB's will be even better), that until then, saving backup copies of all data, CDs, DVD's, pictures, you name it, has to be keeping the stuff on external hard drives (I think at least those discs are metal and don't degrade like plastic media).

So, as long as you watch how many hours you've run a backup external hard drive, I'm guessing that if you don't use the EHD but for backup storage, they should last indefinitely.

At least until 12-21-2012
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13 Jan 2011   #9

MSDN Home Premium

I transferred some Video tapes to DVDR some time ago (5 years) and they were supposedly good quality (TDK).

They are all now useless but they did play OK at the time.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jan 2011   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit

one of the best ways is to use 2 hard drives, in conjunction with your drive(s) in your system.
One is stored in a safe deposit box and gets rotated weekly or monthly with the second one.

This way you have 3 copies, 2 at your location so if the main drive goes out you have instant access to your data and the offsite copy should anything happen to your main location, like a fire or some natural disaster.

I recommended this system to a friend of mine 10 years ago and he has been doing this ever since.

You can also use an online backup system like Mozy, they give you 2GB free I believe.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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