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What do you people here do with your own CD's and DVD's?

By centrino207 ยท 25 replies
May 22, 2017
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  1. Yes your own CD's and DVD's that use to use to store documents, files and taxes, payslips, finance and business. Also your family pictures and videos.

    With USB thumb-drives and hard-drives replacing CD's and DVD's as storage option these days, what do you do with all your old CD's and DVD's?

    Did you transfer it to your USB thumb-drives and hard-drives? Did you use special program to wipe the CD's and DVD's clear before giving the CD's and DVD's away or putting it in the trash?
  2. veLa

    veLa TS Evangelist Posts: 843   +278

    My father has kept them in a storage cabinet. I ended up going through some of them the other day, while I visiting the family home, and found the first two movies I ever made. I ended up moving anything video related to YouTube, where they will be immortalized, while all the old files with remain in storage on that old optical media.
  3. madboyv1

    madboyv1 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,526   +416

    If I do not need the discs anymore (either unnecessary or transferred elsewhere), I physically destroy them, either by cutting them into quarters or tossing them through the shredder.
  4. Kenrick

    Kenrick TS Evangelist Posts: 630   +403

    Make an image or if you have time back them up and arrange them. You can also use a DVD/CD catalog software such as "whereisit" so that you can find files without browsing all discs.

    DVD and CD deteriorates in time depending also with brand and with the boom of unreliable cheap dvd-r from china from the last decade expect less than 5 years life with it. Reliable brands such as japanese taiyo Yuden have many clones in the market as of now. There is no way to get a real taiyo yuden unless you know the distributor. I learned the hard way when some of my archive DVD suddenly cannot be read even if it was stored properly away from light.

    Before tossing out DVD archives, invest in a hammer and pound them up before throwing it in a bin.
  5. DaveBG

    DaveBG TS Maniac Posts: 388   +143

    I have loads of CDs and DVDs and plan to transfer them to HDD/SSD/m.2 storage once I have enough capacity
  6. MoeJoe

    MoeJoe Banned Posts: 837   +441

    Paper shredder grind. Easy deal.
  7. centrino207

    centrino207 TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 160   +10

    There is no software that wipe it clean? Where you don't have to do that.
  8. madboyv1

    madboyv1 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,526   +416

    Unless they are RW discs, CD/DVD-R discs have the expectation that once once you write data to the disc, that data stays on the disc. Depending on the software you are using, you can continue writing to the disc (after the last "track" you had written to it) until you run out of space and/or finalize the disc. Unlike RW discs, you cannot go back and delete what you've burned on to the disc.

    On an CD/DVD-RW disc, you can delete whatever you have on it, write garbage data (all zeros or ones or a random assortment of the two).
  9. All discs have been converted to .iso files. All discs have been cut into 8 pieces before throwing them into the trash. A couple with very personal info was put in my charcoal barebecue and burned to a crisp. Noone can ever recover those data.
  10. trgz

    trgz TS Addict Posts: 257   +68

    A blowtorch works well
    learninmypc likes this.
  11. ET3D

    ET3D TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,633   +288

    I still store stuff on DVD and Blu-ray. Even record CD's for listening in the car.

    I did start to transfer my DVD library (movies / TV series I bought) to ISO files. Need to continue that.
  12. BSim500

    BSim500 TS Evangelist Posts: 580   +1,140

    For irreplaceable data, I keep them. Thumb drives alone aren't really a "replacement" for anything if you're talking about archiving static data unpowered for years (even decades) due to voltage drift. Unpowered data retention in flash based SSD's and thumb drives is rated for only 1 year and whilst you may get more (2-3 years) if it's lightly used and an older drive that uses larger +20nm MLC lithography, you certainly can't throw your wedding photo's on a modern 16nm TLC USB stick, leave it for a few years unpowered and expect to even see the partition table intact.

    Cheap optical discs have their issues, but then so do cheap USB sticks. Decent optical discs can be read back decades afterwards. Same is not true even of premium flash / SSD's which hide voltage drift issues by regularly rewriting data (see Samsung 840 "fix") - something easily done when powered up at least weekly, but that workaround can't be applied when unpowered for months / years on end. Even a 4-bay NAS by itself is no single "backup" solution (I knew someone who swore it was, then someone broke in and the first thing they stole was that expensive looking NAS along with all 4 "backups"...)

    As usual the only real serious backup advice for irreplaceable data (like family photos, etc) is make sure you have multiple copies - and don't store them all in the same place. Whilst I no longer burn everything to disc, I sure as hell wouldn't rely on leaky unpowered flash based storage or a single backup HDD as a "replacement" for archiving irreplaceable data...
  13. DeanLO

    DeanLO TS Rookie

    Files / pictures that I want to save I keep a backup in the cloud and a physical backup (DVDs). Since regular DVDs only last a couple years I started to move my most treasured data to M-DISCs (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M-DISC) and store them off site. Will they really last 1000 years? Who knows, but if they last more than regular DVDs I'm all for it.

    I do not backup any important data on USB / SSD or HDDs.

    Any unwanted CDs or DVDs ... I destroy them as best I can and make sure it can't be reassembled enough to retrieve data.
    Either my cutting them up, shredding them, or using them for target practice! :cool: (y)
  14. Underdog

    Underdog TS Booster Posts: 99   +51

    A small hole drilled into them allows me to hang them in my cherry tree to keep the birds of the fruit. Eventually the weather destroys the data coating but I don't care anyway since the NSA already knows what's on them.
  15. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,208   +4,873

    I still use them for backups.
  16. centrino207

    centrino207 TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 160   +10

    I don't watch movies or TV shows on the computer so no need for me to transfer hundreds of store store bought DVD's and blu ray.

    But I do have lots of DVD's and CD's that need to be transfer to a external hard drive.
  17. centrino207

    centrino207 TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 160   +10

    I wonder of anyone had better luck with SD cards than thumb drives for back ups?

    Yea an external hard drive may be better option as long term back up. Just make sure the power does not go out when the external hard drive being read to or write to.
  18. centrino207

    centrino207 TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 160   +10

    I find it odd there is no software out there that wipe the CD or DVD clean.
  19. BSim500

    BSim500 TS Evangelist Posts: 580   +1,140

    It's the same flash-based technology. I know a few people who swore there was something on a card when they put it away safely and then years later it was blank or corrupted. The biggest problem with flash is most of the "advances" in recent years have come with a durability cost. Eg, moving from MLC to TLC means moving from 4 voltage states (0v/33%/66%/100%) to 8 voltage states (0v/14%/28%/43%/57%/71%/86%/100%) of whatever charge they're fed which halves the overhead each cell has vs voltage drift. This combined with a reduction in lithography size (40nm, 32nm, 20nm, 16nm, etc) drastically reduces unpowered data retention times before one falls into the next and errors occur). I think it was something like 16nm TLC has only 3 atoms per voltage state holding the charge (vs hundreds of +40nm MLC). Flash is fine for system drives or even weekly backups if you're overwriting the same thing, but it's one of the worst technology choices for offline archival.

    CD-RW, DVD-RW and BD-RE can be erased, but once CD-R, DVD-R and BD-R's are fully written and "finalized", the nature of the tech is then "Write Once". The negative of having to physically destroy the disc vs being able to wipe it, has a flip side in that a finalized non-rewritable optical disc is untouchable to ransomware or accidental deletions.
  20. madboyv1

    madboyv1 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,526   +416

    Again, If you have "RW" discs you can read/write/delete to them more than once, and for the sake of wiping them, you can run them through data cleaning software (like ccleaner, bleachbit, wise, etc) and sanitize the disc. You can do this because the recording layer on an "RW" disc is different than an "R" disc. Changes made on an R disc are permanent so there's nothing that software can reasonably do.

    You can think of CD/DVD-R writing kind of like a record. The grooves are etched (burned) into the substrate and become a permanent part of the record(disc). The only way to remove it is to destroy it physically.
  21. centrino207

    centrino207 TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 160   +10

    So the problem with SD cards or thumb drives or any flash is when it is power off and not use for months? So if you use it every month it would keep the data? But if you don't use it for months on end and just sitting on the desk for months not being used it will lose all the data on it.

    Also how many times can it read or write to it before it comes not responsive?
  22. centrino207

    centrino207 TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 160   +10

    May be some house cleaning detergent like bleach may be better way to destroy the disk than cut it up in many pieces.
  23. BSim500

    BSim500 TS Evangelist Posts: 580   +1,140

    That's pretty much it. First it starts with slowdowns where SSD's, etc, rely on multiple layers of error correction. The Samsung 840 is well known but isn't the only one. See this chart for the Crucial BX200 SSD (16nm TLC) where the read speed halves after just 9 weeks (due to having to rely on error correction to "guestimate" back what it wrote). If that continues over months, the speed gets slower as the errors get worse, then they start to become uncorrectable. Worst case for being unpowered for years on end, all cells drift to near 0v until everything simply vanishes. SSD's used as system drives monitor cell voltage levels, etc, and rewrite stuff in the background (part of "garbage collection").

    As for how many P/E cycles flash drives have, that varies radically from drive to drive. A high quality one like the Samsung 850 PRO have had 6PB written (6,000 cycles for a 1TB drive) whilst many modern TLC struggles to hit even 1,000x. Flash drives are the same with MLC based drives like Sandisk Extreme having more durability and speed than cheaper TLC (and a price tag to reflect it). For backups though, it's really the unpowered data retention that's more of a "hidden" problem than write endurance.
    madboyv1 likes this.
  24. zneoFreak

    zneoFreak TS Rookie

    I can not remember the last time I saved anything on a CD or DVD, I install Windows faster with USB, Even the games I own Now are all online and can be downloaded over and over. Use Compressed .ISO files with Virtual Drives that can be mounted or sent online to anywhere and External Drives ( HDDs and USB ) eliminate the only Convenience that Dics had, to be portable.

    My current Game PC does not even have a Disc Drive, its Like Leaving the 1.44 Floppy Drive in your Computer JUST encase u ever need to flash the BIOS, lol
  25. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,546   +429

    @madboyv1 - That is absolutely correct, however I also 'get' what @centrino207 is saying. If you can write to it once, why can't that same laser be used to destroy it. Like you said, think of it like a vinyl record, I totally understand you can't pull back the pits that have been produced, but couldn't you just flatten out the peaks too? I'm viewing this kind of like with cassette tapes and VCR tapes where if they were missing a tab it told the machine 'hey, this is read only' but you could just tape over the hole and boom, you had a RW tape. I know you aren't going to get a RW out of a -R or (+R as well in the case of DVDs), but I'd think there is just a lead-in portion on the disc that says hey, this is not touchable data. Software or firmware updates to the drive should, I would think, be able to ignore that part and just burn away, not like you are going to hurt anything when you are wanting to destroy the data anyway.

    Also, kind of disappointed with everyone in the tread suggesting ways to destroy the data and omitting the most visually fun way - microwaving.
    Matthew likes this.

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