PSA: Rescue those old backups before disc rot renders them useless

nismo91

Posts: 1,044   +96
This is interesting. I'd like to know more if the disc "color" affected long-term performance. I used to love "black CD" or black DVD" because it looks way cooler than the average CD and I had less error in burning those.

I also noticed that some manufactured CDs like the Windows XP is probably made with higher quality materials. I've just installed XP on an old system last month and man what a nostalgia seeing the shiny Windows XP CD again.
 

moon982

Posts: 33   +5

Best is to get rid of those altogether. There's enough cheap and even free cloud options these days.
People should not be using DVDs or CDs has back ups as they are worse thing you can use. If you have data you should copy it to hard drive or SSD.

People use CD and DVD as storage and think it is going to be just as good as you get when you buy it and that not the case. The production companies spend millions of dollars done by skilled people,

Well you will spend less than $40 on the cheap burner, use cheap software or may even be free software and cheap CD or DVD that you can not compare it to production company that spends millions and millions of dollars.

Well sadly people think their CDs or DVDs is going to last long time like their store purchase CDs or DVDs and that not the case. Well you are using cheap burner, horrible burner software and cheap CD or DVD.

I don’t know how many people I know their CDs and DVDs don’t last no more than 5 years and this is what you get.

 

moon982

Posts: 33   +5
You were talking about using a single SSD. My point was to at least copy that to an HDD. BSim500 explained why. But with all this pushback - forget it.
Hard drive have life of three years at best and are horrible back ups. It not uncommon for lots of hard drives to not past first year and many die on arrival.

That why companies normally do back ups on many hard drives and swap them out every three years. even when they are good.

 

moon982

Posts: 33   +5
So far all my DOS CD games all still working fine. More than 25 years old, I guess. Among my collection of DOS games CDs, the King's Quest V CD, early Windows 3.1x based "multimedia" CDs, etc..
You can’t compare production company that spends millions of dollars vs home user that spend less than 40 dollars on burner and using horrible burner software and garbage CD and DVD you get at Walmart.
 

arrowflash

Posts: 156   +134
Best is to get rid of those altogether. There's enough cheap and even free cloud options these days.
Cloud can be great and very practical as a secondary backup, but never as primary backup. That's playing russian roulette with your data. If you really value your data you need a cold storage backup.

I think the issue is with "burned" CDs not manufactured ones, I've never heard of Manufactured CD/DVDs going bad....only scratched :-/
Manufactured/pressed CDs definitely can and do go bad, especially if improperly stored in a region with hot and humid climate.

Good. I am keeping some 50 discs and not throwing them away because I am afraid someone might use them. Burning them is obviously difficult in the city, and I am also too lazy to mess with all that dust. I guess now I can just throw them away!
Great read!
Just put a few of them on a microwave oven for 10 - 20 seconds, and enjoy the fireworks. Problem solved. Only issue is the smell of burnt plastic.

Taiyo Yuden master DVD-R are the best you can buy, have not had one issue with these even after reading data back after 18 years. Before the TY's I used the TDK DVD-R and DVD+R discs and these lasted less than 1 year before errors.

For your home movie transfers from analog tape to DVD the Taiyo Yuden DVD-R are also the safest option, they are expected to last at least 100 years!
Does legit TY media even exist anymore? Of course, I haven't been shopping much for optical media in the last 5 years, but I've never seen them in like 10 years, seems like only very subpar quality media is still being made. Adding to that, back in the optical media glory days I always heard lots of stories and warnings about fake TY media (that even faked the media identifier, and would be sold even in reputable places).

Who exactly is writing all their data to an SSD and throwing it into a cupboard?

The whole point of getting all of your old personal data onto a single SSD is to be able to access it at any given time. I wouldn’t be “storing” anything. I’d have an 8 TB SSD in my laptop and an 8 TB SSD in my desktop and using cloud services I’d be able to migrate data from one place to the next. I have no intentions of putting one of these things away for any length of time.
You completely missed the point of this article then. Like BSim500 clarified, seems like you're not among the target public for this debate.

I'm still debated about backup strategy. I'm mostly relying on cloud based services like OneDrive and icloud, but I don't really feel safe especially regarding my photo library.
Relying only on cloud backups isn't really a backup strategy...
 
Cloud can be great and very practical as a secondary backup, but never as primary backup. That's playing russian roulette with your data. If you really value your data you need a cold storage backup.



Manufactured/pressed CDs definitely can and do go bad, especially if improperly stored in a region with hot and humid climate.



Just put a few of them on a microwave oven for 10 - 20 seconds, and enjoy the fireworks. Problem solved. Only issue is the smell of burnt plastic.



Does legit TY media even exist anymore? Of course, I haven't been shopping much for optical media in the last 5 years, but I've never seen them in like 10 years, seems like only very subpar quality media is still being made. Adding to that, back in the optical media glory days I always heard lots of stories and warnings about fake TY media (that even faked the media identifier, and would be sold even in reputable places).



You completely missed the point of this article then. Like BSim500 clarified, seems like you're not among the target public for this debate.



Relying only on cloud backups isn't really a backup strategy...
You need to buy the real TY discs; these are available from PCX in Australia for example.

The issue in 2020 is not the quality and long-term resilience of the TY DVD-R disks but the storage size of less than 4.7GB. It’s still good for creating DVD family home movies to keep securely forever but not much good these days for data backup. For me fast local long-term backup storage is the way to go which is better for large files such as camera RAW files. NAS - Network Storage or multiple backup hard drives and SSDs is a good option these days.
 

MaxSmarties

Posts: 248   +112
Hard drive have life of three years at best and are horrible back ups. It not uncommon for lots of hard drives to not past first year and many die on arrival.

That why companies normally do back ups on many hard drives and swap them out every three years. even when they are good.
I’ve never seen an HDD failure after just three years. Most of ours are working fine after 10 years. Especially if used just for storage/backups.
 

amghwk

Posts: 731   +508
You can’t compare production company that spends millions of dollars vs home user that spend less than 40 dollars on burner and using horrible burner software and garbage CD and DVD you get at Walmart.
Guess what? My CDs still work. After 2 decades. But I don't use "horrible burner software". I use FREE ones. And no, I buy my CDs from 7-11.

But I also have the CD ISOs/Cue-Bins in my hard drives for using with emulators. For ease of use.
 

arrowflash

Posts: 156   +134
I wrote about multiple cloud backups by different providers (Apple, Microsoft and Google... they aren’t going anywhere soon).

By the way I have also an external Seagate Expansion 6 Tb.
I guess you are covered then, though I still prefer the 3-2-1 backup strategy (1 online backup, 1 offline backup and 1 offsite backup). In my case the offsite backup is also made of external HDDs stored at a different location, but you can replace that for a cloud backup.

You need to buy the real TY discs; these are available from PCX in Australia for example.

The issue in 2020 is not the quality and long-term resilience of the TY DVD-R disks but the storage size of less than 4.7GB. It’s still good for creating DVD family home movies to keep securely forever but not much good these days for data backup. For me fast local long-term backup storage is the way to go which is better for large files such as camera RAW files. NAS - Network Storage or multiple backup hard drives and SSDs is a good option these days.
Where I live nowadays it's difficult to find any kind of blank optical media for purchase, even in online stores. No one's using them anymore. When you find them, it's usually subpar quality brands, and overpriced. A few months ago I bought a spindle of Plasmon CD-Rs to burn audio CDs for elderly people in my family who have difficulty managing digital audio formats, it was the first blank media purchase I made in years, and the only reasonably priced brand I could find.

I agree that optical media isn't viable for backups anymore. However a few companies still use DVD-Rs for archival backups. In some government sectors, CD-Rs and DVD-Rs are still considered the only media legally acceptable for archival of digital documents. But for other uses HDDs or tapes are more reasonable.
 

Laurie McKinlay

Posts: 8   +6
So I still use CDs for my music, and I do rip them when I get the disc, but I have purchased older CDs and games (like og half life and counter strike) from thrift stores all the time and I haven't really encountered this issue. Not to say that it isn't a problem but I am not too worried.
Manufactured CDs are right at the top of the longevity list, followed by DVDs. A significant drop comes in when you're talking about recordable media. CD-Rs have a much shorter lifespan, and DVD-Rs are near the bottom. Not sure where BluRay comes in.
 

Bp968

Posts: 140   +92
LTO. Walk into any server room on the planet that is required to make archive backups and you will see LTO equipment.
 
I have shot thousands upon thousands of photographs. I keep backups on my home PC NAS, my work laptop NAS, and two cloud sources. Guess I'm paranoid.
It's more like being prudent with your data. I don't use any optical media (CDs, DVDs, BDs) any longer. I also have a DAS/NAS connected to my PC. I also store as alternative to SD memory cards I don't use any longer (16GB, 32GB, etc) as well as SSDs.
 

Bp968

Posts: 140   +92
It's more like being prudent with your data. I don't use any optical media (CDs, DVDs, BDs) any longer. I also have a DAS/NAS connected to my PC. I also store as alternative to SD memory cards I don't use any longer (16GB, 32GB, etc) as well as SSDs.
SSDs are not safe data storage offline. They will lose the data in less then 5 years in many cases. Quicker in some models.

My wife shoots about 60,000 photos a year as a professional. My technique for data retention is two cloud storage locations, and 2 local. Typically local is two HDDs but I used to use LTO. If I see a LTO4 or 5 at a decent price ill probably go back to using that. I treat personal photos similarly.

With cloud backups, if uour using reputable providers (amazon, google, Microsoft) you should have plenty of warning before you might need to move it. I used to use a NAS I build that ran ZFS for parity protection. Honestly with GB internet now and unlimited cloud storage its just not worth the effort anymore for cold storage.