Psuedo-Scientific study of longevity of CD-R data: I have a stack of 50+ CD-R disks that I filled with data during my undergraduate years, so most of the disks are going to be 11 years old plus or minus 2 years. I'm currently attempting to copy the burned disks back to my hard drive by simple drag and drop copying within Windows 7. I'm using an HP dvd640 drive to read the disks. I do not remember with which burner various disks were burned with, and that may influence results somewhat.. I know that the disks were burned with at least 2 burners, the first was a old DVD drive with CD burning capabilities, it came with an HP tower that I bought in 1998. The other drives were a Philips 4x cd burner and a Pacific Digital 8x. However, I do not know which drives burned which disks, so since I don't have that data I'm only focusing on the success rate of reading all the files burned to particular branded CD-R media. So far the results are: (brands listed with as much information as is given on their label) Because of the way this board handles spaces, I can't make it look nice. So the results are going to be presented as: Disks Successfully Read / Disks Attempted / Notes Staples 700MB CD-R 15 / 15 / ~300KB/Sec read rate on some Unbranded no label 8 / 8 / Appear with data on them, but none in explorer PNY 700MB 16x 0 / 1 / Tiny star like blemishes on bottom HP 52x CD-R 1 / 1 /~300KB/Sec read Imation 650MB 8 / 8 Prime Peripherals 700MB 4 /4 /~300KB/Sec read on a couple disks Memorex CD-R 700MB 2 / 3 / Likely a surface blemish Summary is, only 2 disks failed to be read and one of those was likely due to physical damage rather than deterioration over time. Seems like if you take reasonable care of your disks (stacked or sleeved) and keep them out of the sun, then you can probably expect the disks to last 10 years. I don't have DVDs this old, so the success rate after 10 years on DVDs may be different due to much tighter tracks.