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

nismo91

Posts: 1,115   +150
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: 61   +17

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: 61   +17
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: 61   +17
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: 357   +376
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...
 

MaxSmarties

Posts: 488   +287
Relying only on cloud backups isn't really a backup strategy...

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.
 

lesovers

Posts: 14   +15
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: 488   +287
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: 1,036   +952
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: 357   +376
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: 212   +154
LTO. Walk into any server room on the planet that is required to make archive backups and you will see LTO equipment.
 

tokyojerry

Posts: 12   +3
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: 212   +154
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.
 

Victor38077

Posts: 26   +0
It is happening to me already. Some of my recorded discs are starting to fail, some of my commercially bought DVDs are also starting to fail.
 

tokyojerry

Posts: 12   +3
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.

Very interesting indeed. Thanks for your thoughts on the topic. So, if I understand you correctly, SSDs, memory cards, etc., have even a shorter life span then the optical media? Then I reckon we are all screwed as there really is no media that can retain our data with any reasonal longevity. The only thing that is 'permanent' is 'impermanence'. That is our plight when dealing with data storage in the digital era. Long term storage mediums just are not there.

Cloud solutions are OK but frankly, I feel more comfortable when I am in control of my data and not some third party. There are just too many things that can go awry. A company goes out of business,or they sell off your data, or manage to corrupt your data somehow and a myriad of other issues. I do have a Google Drive 2TB storage plan at the moment. However, I have that more for OTG data access, transfer, sync functions, rather than a peace-of-mind backup solution. As you point out, Google is one of the reputable providers and doubt they will go under any time soon. I would not go so far as to say unlimited cloud storage unless you have deep pockets. Nothing is for free in this world. If someone is to provide a service they surely are going to want to be paid for it.
 

Danny101

Posts: 1,623   +697
I had MP3 CD readers so I would make mp3 CD's that would play up o 300 songs. Of course I did sacrificed quality and re-encoded down to 88K, which was barely radio quality. I would hear occasional chirps. If I had to do it all over again (I use USB sticks now at whatever quality), I would go no further down than 96K (standard radio quality; 128K=CD quality). With a good mp3 re-encoder, you could pack a mp3 CD with 3 days of radio quality music and much longer on something like a 4 GB USB stick if you're stereo has an usb connector for it. Good for a cross-country road trip. No satellite radio is needed. Sure, there are newer standards, but mp3 is universal and you can always play it.
As far as CD's, I've found that the slower you burn them, the better off you are. Just like charging a phone. Fast charging, fast recording, isn't the best choice. Heat is a killer for electronics. Slower is best. Phone charging should give you the option to choose slow charging even with a fast charger. Of course using aftermarket cords and chargers tend to revert and default to slow charging.
Anyway, enough with the side-track.
Slower, less heat= less errors, easier to read.
Fastest, high heat= more errors, harder to read,
Choose the simpler standard that doesn't try to pack in so much data, thereby making your tracks larger. Again produces less errors and easiest to read and of course would likely last longer.
It's just physics.
 
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Bp968

Posts: 212   +154
I had MP3 CD readers so I would make mp3 CD's that would play up o 300 songs. Of course I did sacrificed quality and re-encoded down to 88K, which was barely radio quality. I would hear occasional chirps. If I had to do it all over again (I use USB sticks now at whatever quality), I would go no further down than 96K (standard radio quality; 128K=CD quality). With a good mp3 re-encoder, you could pack a mp3 CD with 3 days of radio quality music and much longer on something like a 4 GB USB stick if you're stereo has an usb connector for it. Good for a cross-country road trip. No satellite radio is needed. Sure, there are newer standards, but mp3 is universal and you can always play it.
As far as CD's, I've found that the slower you burn them, the better off you are. Just like charging a phone. Fast charging, fast recording, isn't the best choice. Heat is a killer for electronics. Slower is best. Phone charging should give you the option to choose slow charging even with a fast charger. Of course using aftermarket cords and chargers tend to revert and default to slow charging.
Anyway, enough with the side-track.
Slower, less heat= less errors, easier to read.
Fastest, high heat= more errors, harder to read,
Choose the simpler standard that doesn't try to pack in so much data, thereby making your tracks larger. Again produces less errors and easiest to read and of course would likely last longer.
It's just physics.

Even way back in the day when storage mattered I refused to rip an MP3 at less then 160k. 128 was *not* CD quality and you can easily hear the difference on a decent car system, much less a decent home system. Plus with the amount of time and effort spent ripping them I didnt want to repeat it. Even at 160k thats 10+ times the number of songs on a CD. Of course it was pretty quickly that after market radios started supporting USB sticks and a 8GB stick stored more music then id listen to in years. My current car has a 64GB stick permanently living on one of the USB ports in the back of the radio. Most of the music is 160-192k mp3s. You could listen nonstop for 800 hours without a repeat. 800 hours at 60mph is 48000 miles, so you'd get 3 repeats in the life of the average car, 4 or 5 if you really keep cars a long time.
 

Danny101

Posts: 1,623   +697
Even way back in the day when storage mattered I refused to rip an MP3 at less then 160k. 128 was *not* CD quality and you can easily hear the difference on a decent car system, much less a decent home system. Plus with the amount of time and effort spent ripping them I didnt want to repeat it. Even at 160k thats 10+ times the number of songs on a CD. Of course it was pretty quickly that after market radios started supporting USB sticks and a 8GB stick stored more music then id listen to in years. My current car has a 64GB stick permanently living on one of the USB ports in the back of the radio. Most of the music is 160-192k mp3s. You could listen nonstop for 800 hours without a repeat. 800 hours at 60mph is 48000 miles, so you'd get 3 repeats in the life of the average car, 4 or 5 if you really keep cars a long time.
You're probably more of an audiophile than me. When I looked it up at the time 128K was the listed ripping quality as CD Windows Media I think. At least it was good for me. It was more of an experiment than anything. But I do remember seeing 160K a few. Perhaps there were disagreements somewhere, but I was looking at space saving and accepted those numbers.
 

tokyojerry

Posts: 12   +3
You could listen nonstop for 800 hours without a repeat. 800 hours at 60mph is 48000 miles, so you'd get 3 repeats in the life of the average car, 4 or 5 if you really keep cars a long time.

Another way of considering your 48,000 miles is, you could drive around the earth at it's equator almost twice assuming that were possible. :)
 

arrowflash

Posts: 357   +376
In the early days of mp3 everyone was spreading the myth that 128 kbps mp3's were CD quality, and this misconception stuck and sadly still survives today. However 128k is actually very close to perfect reception analog FM radio quality. For CD quality we have to encode at no less than 192 kbps, probably 224 or 256 in the early 2000s when encoders weren't as polished as they are today (nowadays with up to date encoders even 160 kbps can give very close to CD quality depending on parameters used).

By the way, I'm no audiophile (heck I don't have a single FLAC in my collection since I consider it a waste of space, 256k+ mp3 are already audiophile tier for me), and even back in 2002 you could easily notice the difference between 128k and 192k/256k if you used anything better than a set of $20 Walmart speakers in your PC.
 

Bp968

Posts: 212   +154
You're probably more of an audiophile than me. When I looked it up at the time 128K was the listed ripping quality as CD Windows Media I think. At least it was good for me. It was more of an experiment than anything. But I do remember seeing 160K a few. Perhaps there were disagreements somewhere, but I was looking at space saving and accepted those numbers.

No, they *did* quote 128k as CD Quality, its just that after some testing most folks in the audio and pc industry disagreed and decided 160-192k was a more realistic number but it varied by the listener. Most people I knew could hear the difference between 128 and a CD (including me) but 160k sounded identical. A few tested up to 192k before it sounded identical but it tended to vary on the source at that point (classical or something with lots of highs and cymbals was really noticeable up until 160k+).
 

Bp968

Posts: 212   +154
Another way of considering your 48,000 miles is, you could drive around the earth at it's equator almost twice assuming that were possible. :)

Or we could fly around the earth 20 times before running out of music. A 40 hours per trip around we have 20 trips before we run out of music! Now we just need to stock a 747 with enough food for nearly a month, plus a months worth of pilots, and hire a fleet of mid air refueling vehicles. Air force one can refuel midair so I know the 747 airframe can handle it. If someone wants to calculate the fuel burn for our month long airborn music festival that could be fun.. ;)

Edit: that was easy. It burns 10-11 tons per hour or roughly 1 gallon per second at cruise. So 3600 gallons per hour or 2,880,000 gallons during our flight (excluding slowing down for refueling and the fuel burned by the multiple refueling aircraft needed every 6-7k miles of flight). Or 8000 to 8800 tons of fuel (again before refueling losses).
 
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