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Thread: DVD Media Life Expectancy

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    DVD Media Life Expectancy

    I store a lot of my work stuff on DVDs for backup. I like to think that, if I burn a good quality DVD and verify it, I will still have virtually a 100% chance of reading it in say 10-15 years time. Beyond that time, I doubt that I will care. Am I living in cloud cuckoo land? Should I be re-recording my archive of DVDs every year / 2 years / 5 years?

    Also, what is the best media that I can get for this purpose?

  2. #2
    finding nemo staffsMike's Avatar
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    It might be worth checking them after certain periods of time but generally if they are stored at room temperature in a case they will be fine for as long as you need them.

    I've only had discs degrade if I have left them in the sun or in my car over winter.

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    Like anything involving the future, who knows what will work in 15 years time. You might find getting a DVD drive to read the disk a challenge!

    As a fairly new technology, I don't know how it compares with CDRs, but I have CDRs from 7/8 years ago that still read fine. Some are even in fairly poor condition.

    However, modern DVD drives seem to have different levels of compatibility with brands of media. I have 4 different DVD drives, and media will read in some and not others.

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    Senior Member Giraffe's Avatar
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    Some DVDs (and CDs) can become useless in a couple of years; some DVD+RWs will last for up to 20 reburns.
    Bought 'burnt' CDs are pressed, so are more durable.
    The quality of the disc and the burner will have a major effect on life.
    I always burn data discs at the lowest speed and verify - takes longer, but less time than losing the data.
    If it's important, try DVD-RAMs as they are much better.

    I don't know if it's updated, but http://www.digitalfaq.com/media/dvdmedia.htm has a list of manufacturers and good brands (also bad ones).

    Peter.
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    If I remember right Verbatim (or was it Kodak) used to make CDs labelled specifically for holidays photo usage and said that they would last 10+ years...
    Woohoo now Assistant Manager!


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