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News   News : CD-R....Is it the best storage medium for your backup needs?
   posted by _Steve_ on 2-Sep-2003 10:23:51 (3227 reads)
Keeping data CDs in the dark for two years isn't a good idea. According to the Dutch magazine PC Active some CD-Rs degrade in months, even at room temperature without sunlight.

PC Active tested data disks from 30 manufacturers that were recorded 20 months ago. Several data CDs developed serious errors, or became virtually unreadable.

A graphic shows what can happen when CD-Rs are left too long in the drawer. The colours of the CD-R on the right indicate the severity of the errors; white specifies that the disk can be read well, red that it can't be read.

Some manufacturers claim that their CDs are good for at least 10 years, if you keep them out of the sunlight. Some even say that their CDs will last up to a century; but the Dutch test seems to suggest that CD-R is the wrong medium to store photos, music or data files for posterity. It makes you wonder how the various DVD disk formats stack up.

PC Active believes that different dye systems used for CD-R disks are the root of the evil. Some dyes are more stable than others. The most stable dyes are used primarily in premium brands. A combination of heat and light and marginal drives also contributes to the deterioration. Higher recording speeds are not the issue.

PC Active tested 30 brands, some of them sold exclusively through a Dutch chemist chain. Unfortunately, the article seems to focus on white label CD-Rs, and doesn't mention any premium brands that performed well.

TheRegister
    

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PosterThread
Nybbler 
Re: CD-R....Is it the best storage medium for your backup ne
Posted on 3-Sep-2003 0:00:32
#21 ]
Member
Joined: 11-Mar-2003
Posts: 21
From: Hampshire, UK, but my heart's in Kernow

@Opi-Poi

Quote:
I work in a record, sorry, CD shop and know the perils of
that format.I did'nt help though when they advertised them
as indrustructable.A myth that customers still think is true!
By handling a disc you are exposing it to coruption (no, not
that kind!) but the containts of a diskette is kept away from grubby mitts.


That reminds me of when I was at a local hospital radio station (= shed in car park - I tried to DJ, I was crap, I stopped trying )

They'd bought an early CD player (well, not _that_ early because is was a 3 disc changer). Someone (a muppet) had heard the 'spread jam on a CD and it still plays' yarn, and had tried it out, without scraping the jam back off the disc first!

Needless to say it didn't play so good after that


_________________
Rob a Bob Bob
Pinta korev marpleg (see http://www.cornish-language.org/english/phrasebook.asp for a translation!)

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Darrin 
Re: CD-R....Is it the best storage medium for your backup ne
Posted on 3-Sep-2003 1:29:39
#22 ]
Team Member
Joined: 14-May-2003
Posts: 1941
From: Lake Charles, USA

Quote:
actually no security concious company would use your suggested method for a couple of reasons


Errr... wrong. The method I described is the textbook standard method of secure backup and is used by many companies around the world who really like to keep their data secure. I should also point out that each backup (Grandfather, Father, Son) should be kept in seperate locations and preferably in fireproof safes.

Also, the problem of the media degrading is not a problem either as the data should be verified as it is written/after it is written to ensure the data is intact. Any errors on the media should then result in the media being replaced.

Your suggestion that media shouldn't be resued is not practical as nobody is going to keep buying new backup media after each use. I hate to think how many times tapes are reused.

Trust me on this... I've seen it in action in several locations


_________________
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olegil 
Re: CD-R....Is it the best storage medium for your backup ne
Posted on 3-Sep-2003 16:37:55
#23 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 22-Aug-2003
Posts: 5888
From: Work

Is it possible to keep both feet on the ground here? I mean, how often do you back up your data, and how long do you _really_ when all is said and done, need to keep those backups?

I would imagine that if you've kept a CD locked away for a couple of years the data isn't all that important anymore

Most important principle of backup is to NOT trust an old version.
Take both full backups and incremental backups at least TWICE as often as you would like to. At least...
Don't bother keeping the older backups around either. If a document has been deleted last year and noone noticed it, it can't have been bloody important, I say.


_________________
This weeks pet peeve:
Using "voltage" instead of "potential", which leads to inventing new words like "amperage" instead of "current" (I, measured in A) or possible "charge" (amperehours, Ah or Coulomb, C). Sometimes I don't even know what people mean.

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Nybbler 
Re: CD-R....Is it the best storage medium for your backup ne
Posted on 3-Sep-2003 22:27:34
#24 ]
Member
Joined: 11-Mar-2003
Posts: 21
From: Hampshire, UK, but my heart's in Kernow

@olegil
Quote:
If a document has been deleted last year and noone noticed it, it can't have been bloody important, I say.


Unfortunately a bitter experience has changed my mind about that.

We we're porting our system from 68k to PA-RISC (on Stratus machines), and discovered one small set of fortran source files were missing .

Basically they had been deleted by mistake (by the client as it happens! ), which of course wouldn't have happened if the configuration control had been up to scratch . It turned out that the build process had been using the same object files compiled way back in the 80s, but because we'd always been working on 68k no-one ever noticed.

The painful bit was having to get many many boxes of code listings out of archive, and having to re-enter lots of fortran code

Lesson learnt!


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Pinta korev marpleg (see http://www.cornish-language.org/english/phrasebook.asp for a translation!)

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