archival dvd's

Started Jun 15, 2006 | Discussions thread
Richard Homeyer Senior Member • Posts: 2,088
Re: DVDs are totally scary devices

Guy Parsons wrote:

My experience with making backups of movies to get rid of the
rubbish and only have the feature (for my own home use of course),
led me to the belief that DVD is a really bad way to store data
that matters.

Some DVDs I burnt gave me read errors in my very forgiving DVD
player, so I started investigating error rates on the DVDs.

I used Nero that came with a Samsung DVD burner and the Test Drive
function in the Extras and then select Disk Quality tab and check
your sample DVD just written. It is a totally horrifying
experience. First I checked some cheapie DVDs and the total error
count went over 25 million or so but most of course were fixed by
the auto error correction facilities, but with 25 million errors
already on a disk, what chance of more developing with age?

Then I swapped to Verbatim DVD (-R in my case) and the error rate
dropped dramatically down around 15,000 or so, the best of all the
ones I tried. So far there is no such thing as a DVD that doesn't
have errors, it is an impossible ask. Even new movies on
commercially printed DVDs have many errors.

So the upshot is that I will never trust DVD to archive anything,
it is just too darned flaky. But it's OK for watching movies where
an occasional glitch doesn't matter.

Someone else said it right when they quoted "the life of DVDs is 3
years or 100 years, whichever comes first".

So for archives I keep storing my stuff on multiple bigger and
bigger hard drives. It's overall the cheapest and easiest and most
reliable way to store stuff.

Regards............. Guy

I think that you can expect more than 3 years if you use good quaity media and error test to ensure your drive is burning them well. 100 years, no chance. I would be suprized if the would last 20 years (I doubt it very much). Hard drives are defanatlly more reliable for long term storage, though keep in mind if they are hooked up and running, hard drives fail too and probably wont outlast a dvd by much. Tape might be a beter format if you need long term data storage. Of course you could use an external hard drive and only run it when backing up or retreiving important data. you have to be carfull with that too (I was backing up inportant data to an external, my foot caught the usb cord knocking it to the floor, killing the drive, lol). It really sucked to loose all my important data, some ireplacable like baby photos.

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