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Author Topic: What's your trusted DVD/CD Backup Media?  (Read 23846 times)
JessicaLuchesi
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« on: December 24, 2007, 08:14:13 AM »
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Hi everyone  While looking for reviews on Memorex media, avoiding EMTEC ( BASF ) media, having had trouble with Kodak media, I wondered for the best media and worse media people have used for longer term backups.

BASF/EMTEC with me, is trusty for 1 or two years. But, the verification or burning faults in 1 at every 10 disks or so. Throwing away 5 disks in a 50 pack is not something good, and not much reliable. Not that I ever lost data on any EMTEC disk, but my MacBook refuses to take the disk in a lot of times ( I guess Brazilian made EMTEC disks are slightly thicker than normal DVDs, giving problems on the macbook loading form ).

Kodak has faulted me in the same fashion, but also, disks that verified on burning, and faulted months later. Maybe I had a bad load of Kodak disks, but I'm trying to stay away.

I never had problems with Pleomax ( Samsung ) disks. They're my favorite storage media this far.

Now, Memorex I never tried.

I guess it would be interesting to share these reviews, since pro photographers have a particular need for long term storage bordering the paranoid
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2007, 10:28:30 AM »
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No real comment on brands.  Just beware that a lot of these companies source their disks from multiple sources.  Back when I used to buy a lot of CD-R's I'd go to a lot of trouble to find the Fuji Made in Japan disks (Taiyo Yuden disks) instead of their Made in Taiwan disks.  (Maybe CMC or Ritek.)  TDK and Memorex were even more of a pain to deal with.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2007, 10:28:49 AM by DarkPenguin » Logged
Johnny V
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« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2007, 06:41:42 PM »
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Taiyo Yuden (TY) and Verbatim are the top quality discs that you should be using. TY can be purchased online and Verbatim is sold in many office supply stores.

More than likely the Macbook's burner firmware just doesn't have the best burn strategy to produce a quality burnt disc for the brands of media that you are using. So the first step for reliable archival discs is to use either Taiyo Yuden (TY) and Verbatim media. You can stop there if you like....or read on....

Also many overlook the quality of the burner and focus on the media as the most important factor in archival quality discs. But the burner is at least equally important if not more so than the media. Im not saying the Macbooks burner is junk, its just very limited in the media it can burn reliably and Apple doesn't usually update the firmware of the burners they sell. And of course the burn speed in a Macbook is just so slow.

I'd recommend buying an external firewire burner. Not only will you get a quality burn (more on this later), but also DVDs can be burnt in about 6 minutes or less. But the trick is to chose the best burner....

I'll post more in a few days if you like...the holidays are upon us!

While you are waiting and if you have of couple hours and aspirins go to the cd freaks forum and read about burners, firmware and media.

http://club.cdfreaks.com/

Happy New Year everyone!

John
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Panopeeper
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« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2007, 07:11:12 PM »
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The following page contains the most detailed description of the backgrounds:

http://adterrasperaspera.com/blog/2006/10/...-archival-media

According to this page, one should use DVD+R and only from certain manufacturers. The matter is not simple: one has to know, who sells whose DVDs. For example Maxell do not manufacture their own DVDs, they are selling quite different ones (among others, Taiyo Yuden).

That's not enough: the same brand can mean different originators depending on the location.

The best is to read the The Taiyo Yuden FAQ site, which lists all related brand names (and much more): http://club.cdfreaks.com/f33/taiyo-yuden-faq-178622/

I have been using Fuji DVD+R and Maxell DVD-RPro, both from Taiyo Yuden, and Verbatim VideoGuard DVD+R, have onle error with the latter (noticed in the verification).

Absolute MUST: data verification after writing.
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Gabor
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« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2008, 11:35:06 AM »
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You might also find this useful-

http://www.itl.nist.gov/iad/894.05/docs/CD...ndlingGuide.pdf
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cottagehunter
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« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2008, 05:57:58 PM »
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What I don't understand about corrupted cds is that I have music cds that are 20+

 yrs. old and they still play.

Also just noticed that one of the DVDs that I ripped this yr has trunciated files on it and it is a TY disk # 851100GT
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luong
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« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2008, 02:16:40 AM »
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Aren't the gold-coated CDs the most archival ? They used to be made only by Mitsui, but now the more mainstream Delkin has them as well. I use them for registering my copyrights. Other than that, CDs are a waste of time :-)
« Last Edit: January 04, 2008, 02:17:38 AM by luong » Logged

Panopeeper
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« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2008, 01:12:46 PM »
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What I don't understand about corrupted cds is that I have music cds that are 20+
 yrs. old and they still play.

The technology of pressed CDs and DVDs is totally different from that used when writing in a computer. The pressed medium carries the data in physically imprinted form, like small dents in the plastic. Writing a CD or DVD in the computer is accomplished by changing the properties of a layer of "paint" (dye) on the surface, which is very scratch sensitive and not as stable as the physical imprint.

When reading these, the effect is the same: the surface of that particular layer reflects or transmits the laser beam, no matter how it has been created.
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Gabor
lumpidu
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« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2008, 04:37:21 PM »
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What seems to be often overlooked is the backup strategy on DVD-RAM. This format, although not very widely supported by drive manufacturers, is meant originally for archiving and doesn't share the shortcomings of DVD+-R which does have only a very poor error correction (e.g. in comparision to the CD-R) because it was always meant as a medium for Audio/Video where data corruption is not that big an issue (drop outs are tolerable and MPEG compression itself is a lossy compression format).

DVD-RAM can be rewritten upto 100.000 times and has a longevity of 40+ years. Bad sectors can be detected and marked as such. There is enough redundant data. The burner makes a verify of the data when writing etc.

Most of the Mac Computers can at least read DVD-RAM but unfortunately not write to it.

I use an external Plextor DL DVD RAM burner which can burn on 9,4 GB media upto 12x. Most of the media can only be used for 5x unfortunately so the speed in writing is not that super. But from a archival standpoint this is the media to go. Never use any DVD+-R's for archiving !
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Panopeeper
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« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2008, 03:07:59 PM »
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What seems to be often overlooked is the backup strategy on DVD-RAM. This format, although not very widely supported by drive manufacturers, is meant originally for archiving and doesn't share the shortcomings of DVD+-R which does have only a very poor error correction

DVD RAM appears to be the worse in quality, according to some in-depth explanation and to my experience. I used DVD RAMs extensively for backing up my files, and I had many errors, sometimes in the proof-reading (data verification), sometimes months later.

Although it is enticing to use a DVD like a slow hard disk, it is not reliable. Furthermore, as the price of blank DVDs (even of the best ones) is now down, there is not much point to use them, instead of DVD-R.

I liked to make backups simply by copying files in explorer, instead of using the often clumsy DVD creator programs, but all that does not help if I get data error when I need the file.
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Chris_Brown
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« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2008, 03:35:02 PM »
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I wondered for the best media and worse media people have used for longer term backups.[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
I use [a href=\"http://www.datamediastore.com/kodak-cd-r-29150.html]Kodak Preservation Gold CD Media[/url] and MAM-A Mitsui Gold Archive DVD media for all off-site archiving.

About five years ago I searched extensively for the truth about archival optical disks and could only find a white paper article from the Library of Congress stating that, at that time, no media was 100% archival because there had not been a verifiable testing method developed yet. I don't think much has changed.

I do know that using a Sharpie pen is destructive to any coating on optical media. Use only pens that are designed for writing on CD such as the Maxell Disk Writer pens. I've had many disks become unreadable due to the solvent in Sharpie brand pens etch and deteriorate the disk coating.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2008, 05:26:16 PM by Chris_Brown » Logged

~ CB
larryg
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« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2008, 03:51:40 PM »
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I am using E Film Archival Gold  DVD-R   "The 100 year Disc"

I guess they are not really gold coated, just the color gold.

Who can say.  I have had some fail (I tried to load off of one of these DVD's and it would not read).

I have been persuaded that redundancy is out best hope of not losing precious files.  (many backups along with Archival DVD and ?)
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sniper
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« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2008, 05:13:46 AM »
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Some recomend using two different makes of disk and ideally writing both twice from two different writers (4 disks total) it's also not recomended to write on the disk at all if possible, if you really have to write on the centre clear bit.
Don't overfill the disk, leave some space (don't know why this is recomended) and write with a slower speed rather than maximum, for longest life.   Wayne
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Farkled
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« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2008, 09:36:29 PM »
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I apologize if this is unhelpful.  I  do not consider any optical medium to be reliable in an archival function.  I keep all my images on a USB drive and back that up to 2 different USB drives with 2 different back up progams.
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David Sutton
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« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2008, 02:50:11 PM »
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I apologize if this is unhelpful.  I  do not consider any optical medium to be reliable in an archival function.  I keep all my images on a USB drive and back that up to 2 different USB drives with 2 different back up progams.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=168292\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Agreed. I found with dvds I averaged one image in 500 corrupted per year. David
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theophilus
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« Reply #15 on: January 20, 2008, 03:48:48 PM »
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theonlinephotographer.com has a really nice write-up on archival media.  You can buy authentic Tayo Yuden from supermediastore.com, which was recommended m theonlinephotographer.

http://supermediastore.com/taiyo-yuden-dvd-plus-r-media.html

As an aside, I have decided that I can't expect my family to manage the terabytes of data I will have produced by the time I die.  I am trying to make as many prints as possible using archival ink and paper.  I think at the end of the day if you are wanted your work kept for posterity then making prints is essential.  The digital data will be there if they want it, and I will try to make it as painless as possible for someone else to find the photos that they want.
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Chris_Brown
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« Reply #16 on: January 20, 2008, 07:37:39 PM »
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At this Library of Congress web page updated on Feb. 7, 2007 it states:

Quote
This program, which is expected to continue for at least a decade, will establish benchmarks of the current state of the collection first. It will then continue to monitor the condition of the discs in order to determine any optical and physical changes over a period of time. The data gathered will provide information about when the disc should be reformatted for preservation. It will also provide important data on the natural aging of CDs. The methodology for artificial aging, and monitoring of information loss during natural aging have yet to be developed and are an important component of this research effort.

Details of the original study, begun in 1996, are here and it pertains only to audio CD media, not anything current such as MAM Gold media.

If you has the time and inclination, you can search the American Standards Institute website, the American Institute of Conservators website, or the Society of American Archivists website.
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~ CB
Two23
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« Reply #17 on: February 17, 2008, 11:04:26 AM »
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As an aside, I have decided that I can't expect my family to manage the terabytes of data I will have produced by the time I die.  I am trying to make as many prints as possible using archival ink and paper.  I think at the end of the day if you are wanted your work kept for posterity then making prints is essential. 

This is my strategy, especially for family photos.  I don't trust hard drives AT ALL.  All will fail.  For digital storage I save each image to two gold CDs and an archival DVD.  For really important stuff I go ahead and make an archival print.


Kent in SD
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Ray
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« Reply #18 on: February 18, 2008, 05:04:41 PM »
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Since I seem to be one of the few people around who haven't lost any data from CDs and DVDs in the 9 years or so I've been recording data, it's a pity I can't offer any advice regarding choice of brands.

In the beginning I used Kodak Gold with Infoguard. I used to buy them in boxes of 30, each in their own jewelcase nicely wrapped in cellophane. I then progressed to buying spindles of 50 and 100 of all sorts of brands. Over the years I accumulated a pile of well over 100 failed recordings of both CD and DVD.

It's clear that a certain percentage of discs have damaged surfaces. It's therefore critical that data be verified before the disc is stored in your archives.

The problem is, that the burning process itself takes such a long time it's easy to skip the verfication process. This in my view is the cause of most later discoveries of failure. When some people discover, say 5 years down the track, that their DVD reader/burner can't read certain files, are such people absolutely certain that such files were ever readable?

Now I say I haven't lost any data from optical media, but that statement needs qualification. I haven't lost any data that I know was initially recorded properly, but I did lose some data once by failing to observe my own common-sense practice of immediately verifying the data before storing the disc.

It was my practice to transfer files to CD and DVD to create some space on an almost full hard drive before deframenting it. On one occasion, I was in a hurry packing for a trip, burned about a dozen CDs and DVDs without verifying or labelling them. Deleted the folders and defragmented the HD. When I returned to my studio about a week later, I set about labelling the small stack of burned discs and to do this I had to read what was on them.

One of the discs, a Ritek CD-R, had problems. It contained about 100 D60 RAW images, but the last 20 or so were unreadable. I did my best to recover the data using free programs downloadable from the net and succeeding in recovering 2 or 3 of the damaged files.

The reason I mention this is because, had I not been in such a hurry, I might have labelled that particular CD at the time it was burned and stored it away. 5 years later (and it was recorded 5-6 years ago) I might have tried to access the images for the first time and discovering that 20 or so were not readable, would now be complaining on Luminous Landscape that optical media is not reliable.

Just as a matter of interest, after reading this thread, I retrieved that particular faulty CD from its wallet to see if the good images were still readable. They are. Despite the fact the disc was faulty at the time of recording, it appears to be no more faulty 5 1/2 years later.

I downloaded a program called IsoBuster which claims to recover data from all types of optical media, including Blu-ray discs, and found that all the damaged files on this disc can be recovered if I instruct the program to ignore all errors. The number of errors range from 1 to about 20 but unfortunately the RAW files still cannot be opened in ACR. I get a message, "Not the right type of file".

There are one or two free programs that claim to repair Canon RAW files but I can't seem to get them to work.

Nero burning software has a utility feature that analyzes disc performance and scans its surface for damage. Green indicates the areas where the surface is good; yellow where there's damage and red where bad. Out of curiosity, I checked this faulty disc and sure enough, there were large areas of yellow. The disc next to it in the same wallet, recorded about the same time and from the same spindle, has a perfect surface, all green and no errors.
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Ray
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« Reply #19 on: February 19, 2008, 12:05:45 AM »
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Also many overlook the quality of the burner and focus on the media as the most important factor in archival quality discs. But the burner is at least equally important if not more so than the media. Im not saying the Macbooks burner is junk, its just very limited in the media it can burn reliably and Apple doesn't usually update the firmware of the burners they sell. And of course the burn speed in a Macbook is just so slow.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=164134\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Indeed! The burner is very much a factor as is the burning software. One thing that's not clear to me, because I've never come across an instance if this happening (maybe others have); is it possible for the burn to be successful and the verification using the burning software to be successful, yet the disc is still unable to be read properly on the same computer and burner?

My Dell laptop sports a Sony DW-Q58A DVD burner. On my recent photographic trip, I took with me two 24-disc wallets which I filled with blank DVDs. I used them all. I had 2 consecutive failures which I believed at the time were caused by attempting to burn at the maximum speed of 8x. They were 8x Maxell discs manufactured by Ritek. My laptop burner indicated it could burn them at 8x, and it did, but the verification was full of errors, so I switched to 4x after the second failure and never had any more problems.

However, I didn't throw away the faulty recordings. I was curious to see if they would be readable on my desktop computer with its Pioneer DVD-RW DVR-109 burner. One of them is perfectly readable; no problems at all. A scan of the disc surface with Nero Test Drive indicates there are no damaged areas, yet this disc is not fully readable on the burner that recorded it. The last folder on the disc cannot be read and causes Bridge to stop responding.

The second failed disc does not read on either the laptop or the desktop. A scan of the surface indicates there's a badly damaged area very early in the recording which appears to be preventing the disc being read at all. I assume that this disc would have failed even if I'd recorded at 4x.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2008, 12:09:49 AM by Ray » Logged
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