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View Full Version : CDs and DVDs have shorter lifespan than first thought


Mr. Anderson
May 6, 2004, 09:20 AM
http://www.cnn.com/2004/TECH/ptech/05/06/disc.rot.ap/index.html

Kind of scary, since I backup using CDs and DVDs.... now it looks like it might require copying older disks after a certain period of time....

I hope there's a solution to this soon - something that will hold Gigs of data and be able to last decades...

D

MongoTheGeek
May 6, 2004, 09:57 AM
http://www.cnn.com/2004/TECH/ptech/05/06/disc.rot.ap/index.html

Kind of scary, since I backup using CDs and DVDs.... now it looks like it might require copying older disks after a certain period of time....

I hope there's a solution to this soon - something that will hold Gigs of data and be able to last decades...

D

They also found some type of fungus that eats away at the acrylic of the disk itself. There has only been one known instance so far, but be careful.

gopher
May 6, 2004, 10:06 AM
http://www.cnn.com/2004/TECH/ptech/05/06/disc.rot.ap/index.html

Kind of scary, since I backup using CDs and DVDs.... now it looks like it might require copying older disks after a certain period of time....

I hope there's a solution to this soon - something that will hold Gigs of data and be able to last decades...

D

You should also look at this:

http://news.independent.co.uk/world/science_technology/story.jsp?story=513486

I would make duplicate backups of everything just to be on the safe side. I never trust only one disk to hold all my data. Always have at least two of everything, preferably in separate places to avoid theft causing loss.

virividox
May 6, 2004, 10:33 AM
DOh its a conspiracy the cd makers paid cnn to do this so ppl would just buy more and more and more cds

Dippo
May 6, 2004, 10:51 AM
Oh man, this sucks.

I guess I better start taking better care of my CDs and DVDs, and I guess I better stop leaving my burnt CDs in the car in direct sunlight :p

gopher
May 6, 2004, 11:05 AM
DOh its a conspiracy the cd makers paid cnn to do this so ppl would just buy more and more and more cds

No conspiracy. I bought a spindel of CompUSA CDs which had 90% degraded by the time I wanted to use them. Never will I trust spindel stored CDs again. I will always only buy those CDs stored in jewel boxes and not attempt to label the CDs directly, and instead use the inserts in the jewel boxes to identify them. That's the real way to take care of them.

Best CD media I've seen is from:

Verbatim, Imation, Kodak, and Sony.

maxvamp
May 6, 2004, 11:05 AM
If anyone remebers LaserDisc, or LaserVison, you would remember that it was then called LaserRot.

Much of the defects happen in the manufacturing process, where absolute clean room standards were not kept. Microbs that consume the al. reflective material would get 'glued' onto the surface and eat away at the material.

It took MCA about 4 years to figure this out, and when they did, they basically handed over the plant to Pioneer electronics. Oddly enough, several years later ( 84 -> 86 ) they had a rash of the same problems.

Nowadays, with the CD technically having only one side ( as opposed to DVD ), combined with very low QA standards for the discs, it is more frequent.

This does not surprise me. Expect newer CDs to rot faster than older ones. Still, your data is more secure than on tape.

Anyone for ripping their CD library to thier Mac?

Max.

maxvamp
May 6, 2004, 11:10 AM
The previous comment was for stamped discs only.


CD/DVD - R discs use a dye that may or may not discolor over time, depending on the manufacture's R&D dollars put into it, as well as consumer care for the disc.

CD/DVD -RW Don't use a dye, but the discs are more reliant on the user's care, and may be more reluctant to erase over time. These are 'probably' the safest form of storage.


Max.

Makosuke
May 6, 2004, 12:37 PM
That's worth a spinal shiver, though every disc I own is so far fine.

The note about DVDs being a sandwich, versus aluminium-on-a-substrate, design, is important; that's one of the reasons DVD-R discs are much tougher physically than CDRs. There is obviously potential for issue with the sandwich technology, but it seems to be an overall improvement, and hopefully manufacturing tech has advanced far enough from the laserdisc era that the things'll hold up (the fact that they're MUCH smaller and light must help, too).

I found the last sentence here very amusing:

DVDs are a bit tougher than CDs in the sense that the data layer (or layers -- some discs have two) is sandwiched in the middle of the disc between two layers of plastic. But this structure causes problems of its own, especially in early DVDs. The glue that holds the layers together can lose its grip, making the disc unreadable at least in parts.

Users that bend a DVD to remove it from a hard-gripping case are practically begging for this problem, because flexing the disc puts strain on the glue.
I always knew those impossible-to-remove DVD cases were evil, and now there's scientific proof! We should have some kind of class action suit against the companies that use those cases, since it would seem they're essentially causing us to ruin our own DVDs by taking them out of the case.

Y'know, if you want to be conspiratorial, perhaps they know about this and do it on purpose--time to buy the new edition once your disc mysteriously stops working due to delamination because of the deathgrip case!

Makosuke
May 6, 2004, 12:45 PM
Heh... out of curiosity, I just grabbed my oldest DVD (Armitage III, which Amazon says was released October 1997--that'd be right around when I bought it, so I should have one of the first batch), and it plays fine. Not exactly a scientific test, but so far so good. Has it really been 6 1/2 years?

Looking at that disc reminded me--remember when some DVDs came in a CD jewel case in a longer cardboard slipcase? I wish they'd stuck with that format--my collection would be a lot physically smaller now.

krimson
May 6, 2004, 03:07 PM
i never believed the lifespan advertised by the manufacturers, any layered medium will deteriorate and CD/DVD's are no exception.

Im sure if you locked them away at a climate controlled Iron Mountain media vault, they'll last the 50+ years they advertise. And if you have data that needs to be stored for that long, you probably should be looking into a climate controlled environment.

armchainmstenw
May 6, 2004, 03:13 PM
For me, it doesn't really matter much, because most of my data is not irreplaceable. One should probably rebackup discs every once in a while, though. It's not as if they're too expensive.

LethalWolfe
May 7, 2004, 02:40 AM
No conspiracy. I bought a spindel of CompUSA CDs which had 90% degraded by the time I wanted to use them. Never will I trust spindel stored CDs again. I will always only buy those CDs stored in jewel boxes and not attempt to label the CDs directly, and instead use the inserts in the jewel boxes to identify them. That's the real way to take care of them.

Best CD media I've seen is from:

Verbatim, Imation, Kodak, and Sony.


I think your problem was w/your choice of brand, not the fact they were on a spindle. ;)


Lethal

wdlove
May 7, 2004, 02:17 PM
This news is disheartening, also thought that CD's and DVD's were indestructible. I take very good care of them. My concern is most with DVD's, they can't be copied at least I don't have that technical knowledge. So are we lost when it comes to DVD's?

When backing up data I always make 2 copies and alternate those copies.

What is the next new media? Will it be longer lasting?

LethalWolfe
May 7, 2004, 06:36 PM
This doesn't surprise me. I always wondered how long my burned CD's would last. Currently I keep important/personal data all in a single folder (w/many subfolders inside of it). Every few days I copy that "mother folder" onto a 2nd HDD (internal on my PC, external on my Mac). The odds of both HDDs corrupting/crashing beyond repair at the same time are slim enough that I feel safe working this way.

Does anyone know how long printed digital pictures are supposed to last?


Lethal

stoid
May 7, 2004, 08:09 PM
Does anyone know how long printed digital pictures are supposed to last?

Depends on the ink/paper/printer combination, and also how you care for them. If you use bargain ink on off brand paper in a low quality printer and then put the photo on a busy freeway in a thunderstorm it's not going to last too long. But if you use the suggested ink/paper/printer from the same manufacturer and keep the prints stored in a good place (away from excessive sunlight and moisture) then they will get much longer life. I have heard numbers quoted of 80 years, but then again the same had been said about CDs...

Chip NoVaMac
May 8, 2004, 11:12 AM
May be it is a play by HDD to get some of the newer 250GB HDD's off the shelves?

Though it does give some pause for thought on how we should be storing our data for the long term.