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Think it's safe to trust your data on DVDs?

This is part of my effort to bring the issues of DVD recordable disc degradation/deterioration to the knowledge of everyone in the world.

Sadly, the majority of the DVD recordable discs on the market are not very reliable or durable. The lifespan or longevity of these discs after burning is typically 2-3 years. In fact, this problem is so critical that it has warranted research studies by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the Library of Congress. NIST has been working with the industry and the user community to develop a standard methodology for determining archival quality grade discs. Due to this effort by the NIST and the Library of Congress, some manufacturers have released Archival Grade DVD Recordable Discs recently, though such discs are still unproven.

Hence, please think twice before entrusting any important data to DVD recordable discs, and do have secondary backups if possible. For more information, please read the above-mentioned database.

Stability Comparison of Recordable Optical Discs—A Study of Error Rates in HARSH CONDITIONS, National Institute of Standards and Technology

Effects of Humidity AND Other Factors on Optical Discs, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

Effects of Environmental AND Other Factors on Stability of Optical Storage Media, U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

Optical disks might not last as long as you would expect—or hope, Government Computer

CDs and DVDs not so immortal after all,

Beware the Fading Dye: Writeable CDs, DVDs Vary a Lot in Quality, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL ONLINE

When Good Discs Go Bad, PC World Magazine

The 100-year archive dilemma, IDG News Service

Irrelevant to me, as I NEVER use DVDs. They are too expensive for my purposes...
i totally agree thiamshui

dvds r VERY dodgy - i had a bunch of recorded movies from my camcorder - afta 3.5 years, sum of the disks can corroded internally while a few of the dual layered discs had split in half!

if ppl muct use dvds, make several copies of the original; if the dvd is the only copy, recopy it every yr
this is a problem with any CD or DVD recordable or not, search google for "laser rot" where the aluminum core of the discs begins to oxidize.
im not bothered about data on my dvd's cause i dont store important data on them. i mostly store my music and movie backups and rips, which can be got back easily even if at all the dvd's dont work

and moreover, i get only good quality dvd's so that the data retention is good.
thats why i went from DVD to back up my docs and photo's to a mobile 2.5" HD.

DVD are as dodgy as hell. CDs used to be shure to hold your data 7-10y if you store them well. Nowadays you cant even burn a dvd with perfect quality (using the nero disc quality tool).

Mobile HDs are EZer anyway... just need an USB2.0
I got bunch for Data DVDs for backup, so is there any types of DVDs that will last for longer?
Damn, the numbers are still more terrible... 2-3 years now !
I guess the best archiving solution, for the people who actually archive a lot, is the hard disks. They can last much longer, and you also can erase/replace anything you want ! It's also much faster.
You'll make a big investment when buying your backup hard disk, but in the end you'll spare a lot of time&money by acting so. That's my opinion.
yeah many places selling usb hard drives for not alot more then the actual drive price its self!

me m8 picked up a 200GB for about £80

best thing hes every brought apparently! so hand to just go anywhere plug it in and u have all ur files!
Guess It's time to start looking for an external harddrive.
I don't have $200 for hard disk storage, thats why I use DVDs
ForceRun wrote:
I don't have $200 for hard disk storage, thats why I use DVDs

And your signature says that you have a 1.3 terrabytes worth of harddisk array ?! Shocked
It is all used and more. I got a ton of Music, but that only takes about 40 to 60 Gb. Big thing is I hate grabing my game cd and DVDs just to play so I got most of them imaged to run of virtal DVD drives thats another 250+ Gb. I guess what takes the most space is all my TV shows, I got all the StarGates, Star Trek, 24, and the list goes on and on... Most of them are backed up to DVDs but still my drives are mostly full. I don't have any more space for internal drives, and i'm out of extra cash for the time being. I hope that when blue ray or HD DVD finally come out they will be better than the old 4.7GB DVDs of today. And maybe they will come out with better video compression that actually still looks okay. And the game devolopers should switch to systems like Steam instead of CD/DVD protection. Thats my ranting.
i wud say dvds are the cheapest source of external storage.
As long as you're not getting Ritek G05 yes.
Anyway I always store important data on at least two discs of different brands and batches, and in different shelves...
I have always taken the extra time and money to buy Taiyo Yuden DVD media. I know there is probably little reason to fear that my data and movies I have burned will go bad even on the cheapest media, but it gives me peace of mind and no coasters. If it comes to a choice of whether I trust a hard drive or a DVD for my most valuable data, i'll choose the DVD any day.

This is exactly why i bought all those extra GBs of hard disk space for my computer. Besides the fact that my work space is probably the most cluttered and "black holeish" of any workspace on the planet, meaning ill probably lose the disks before they lose the data. A hard drive is in my opinion the most practical and inexpensive way to back up massive amounts of data on a computer, ecspcially external hard disks that can be unplugged should the rest of the system become compromised.
If you keep your DVDs in a safe place, I believe they will be ok for a long time.
That’s why I don’t keep them in the usual plastic boxes, only in packages made of soft materials: rubber and tissue.
I think CDs are stronger; the problem is that there isn’t enough room in a CD for decent backups.
I’m sure there will be better solutions in the next years; hope they’re compatible with CDs and DVDs.

After many missaps with damaged DVDs ending up loosing TBs of data,and since $/1GB is far more efficient on DVDs i chose some TY DVDs (since they are considered the best) and took a backup writing at x2 speed.Ofcourse with slim cases.Cakeboxes imho are the problem for damaged Discs.
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