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General Hardware Discussion Hard drives, CD, DVD Monitors, All hardware questions not better served by our other Topics


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Old 23rd August, 2002, 11:58 AM
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CDR/RW, Lifespan & Burn-speed

Currently I backup my important data onto CDRW using Disk-at-Once as I don't trust packet writing. Once written, the data is checked using binary comparison so I know everything has been backed up successfully.

The reason I use CDRW is that the data can be overwritten and updated easily, without a mountain of CDR's building up. Using this method, important data can be backed up every few months on the same CDRW's.

Just a few questions:

1) What's the approx. storage lifespan of CDRW? Is it worse than CDR? I'm not bothered about the amount of times CDRW can be written to, just the expected storage lifespan. I don't want to rely on my CDRW backups only to find they've become corrupt!

2) Does burn speed effect storage lifespan? Currently I have a 4x burner so it's not an issue, but I've heard high-speed burners result in poorer quality and less reliable (in terms of lifespan) copies.

3) Bottom line - should I continue to rely on CDRW's for my primary back-ups, or should I use CDR's for long-term storage of important data?

Thanks for anyone’s help, much appreciated!
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Old 23rd August, 2002, 08:26 PM
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Re: CDR/RW, Lifespan & Burn-speed

Quote:
Originally posted by spirits247
Just a few questions:

1) What's the approx. storage lifespan of CDRW? Is it worse than CDR? I'm not bothered about the amount of times CDRW can be written to, just the expected storage lifespan. I don't want to rely on my CDRW backups only to find they've become corrupt!

2) Does burn speed effect storage lifespan? Currently I have a 4x burner so it's not an issue, but I've heard high-speed burners result in poorer quality and less reliable (in terms of lifespan) copies.

3) Bottom line - should I continue to rely on CDRW's for my primary back-ups, or should I use CDR's for long-term storage of important data?

Thanks for anyone’s help, much appreciated!
CDR media do not really have life epxectancies... but I imagine the materials that compose the cdr disc would degrade over time in "less than ideal" storage conditions (frequent heat/moisture fluctuations).

Data degradation of the type you're referring to is only prevalent in magnetic media (like floppies, harddrives, tape storage, and magneto optical discs -- like minidiscs).

Would I trust my data on a properly written cdr over a harddrive? You betcha
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Old 24th August, 2002, 07:03 AM
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i've heard of CDRWs being left in the car dieing suddenly or simply being scratched up beyond all recognition. i assume you're just rotating the CDRWs through, once you use them all you go back to the first. what you might do is like every full or half rotation make a CDR backup to keep.

okay did a quick bit of research
CDRs- expected lifespan = 100yr (for the gold kind at least, for the green kind i saw a few that said 10-30yr)
CDRW- lifespan at least 20yr
for CD-RWs at least they use an organic dye so they do rot
however they do it very slowly so if you were to burn it slow and store it well you may be able to read them past these dates (the only reason for a slower burn speed is to try and get a "cleaner" pattern on the disc, sort of like upping the voltage to get those few extra Mhz )

so the only way to keep your data for 1000s of years is to simply engrave the whole thing into stone

edit: ooh and if you're not doing the rotation thing, just use CDRs, theyre cheaper if youre not going to reburn them
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Last edited by drow_elf; 24th August, 2002 at 07:06 AM.
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Old 24th August, 2002, 09:47 AM
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Thanks for that info.

I did some reading around the net before posting, but couldn't find anything conclusive.

Overall it looks like CDRW is great for short term/frequent backups, while CDR's are the daddy for long term storage of important data.
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