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Old 16. Mar 2016, 02:39 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How long can data be stored safely in a DVD

If I use a DVD to save data (Personal Files, an ISO image, Movies or Music etc.), and store it in a safe place, without using that DVD again, how long can I expect to preserve it before data corruption occurs?
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Old 16. Mar 2016, 05:35 AM   #2 (permalink)
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years ago I'd put some software that i wanted to keep. onto disk,
& that disk was used for a while, before being filed away.

several years later, when the disk was taken out for use,
it was unreadable.

what had happened, was back when it was burnt. that sticky labels
were commonly applied to the disk.
- it was that glue that caused the disk's silver layer to fail
& that's were the data is placed, not on the clear plastic disk, itself.

so, to answer your question, modern disks, can be printed or written on,
and so their lifespan should be about ten years, or so.
as they would not fail, like that disk did.

beyond that ten years, you are really relying on the disk manufactures
say so & would you really trust them ?.

the same theory would also applied to any HDD - as well.
- trust or no trust.?.
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Old 16. Mar 2016, 05:41 AM   #3 (permalink)
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In areas with high humidity like where I live, the time scale will be way less than that stated by the manufacturer.
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Old 16. Mar 2016, 09:56 PM   #4 (permalink)
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It is usually not the media that is the problem. It is the device to read the media.

I have had to devise back up and storage for several large companies that have legal requirements to store data for up to 25 years.
I have got round the problem by requiring that part of the year end processing is to copy ALL the historic data to current media.
That at least both checks that the archived data can be read and makes sure that at most the media and the devices are only a year old.
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Old 18. Mar 2016, 09:48 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Apart from what has been mentioned by others, I would like to say that media like DVDs need to kept in such a way that they don't get scratched. Scratches can affect the data on the disc badly.

I have a question too. Do manufacturers provide a shelf life for the discs? If yes, where is this mentioned?
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Old 18. Mar 2016, 09:57 AM   #6 (permalink)
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According to this article, "the lifespan of CDs, DVDs and Blu-rays contain a range of testing measurements and can be conservatively estimated, with some compact discs tending to outlast DVD formats:

Unrecorded CD-R and CD-RW: 5-10 years
Recorded CD-R: 50-200 years
Recorded CD-RW: 20-100 years
Recorded DVD-R: 30-100 years
Recorded DVD-RW: up to 30 years
Recorded BD-R and BD-RE: 30-200 years"
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Old 18. Mar 2016, 10:56 AM   #7 (permalink)
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That site has a poor WOT reputation but no comments and having had a quick look through the various sections, I can't see anything wrong with it.
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Old 18. Mar 2016, 03:38 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Both VirusTotal (0/67) and URLVoid (0/26) have clean results though.

ScanURL.net shows the current WOT result has a "very low" weight, i.e., its rating is currently less reliable on this particular URL.
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Old 18. Mar 2016, 05:26 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I have a good quality CD on which I stored a few hundred .jpg colour images, 4 years ago. I stored the CD safely in an air tight bag. Couple of weeks ago, after checking that the images were in good condition, I copied them to a USB drive. After copying I checked and saw all images in the USB were fine, and deleted the images in the CD. One week later I opened the USB to see almost all (something like 99%) were corrupted. Some were fully black and others had different colours splashed all over them at random. The USB drive is fine, with everything else there in perfect condition except these images. What could have happened?
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Old 19. Mar 2016, 07:30 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Hard to say what happened without the original files to compare against. So always keep two copies of any file on different media. This is particularly important with removable/rewritable media.

If the files are important to me then I use file synchronization software that confirms the files are exactly the same on both media.

If you can, get a drive image before doing anything to repair the files.
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