Thinking of getting this to backup some important stuff, but I'm wondering what the longevity is for these gold archival discs. I've heard standard burning DVDs typically last 2-5 years (depending on quality) before "data rot" sets in. These gold archival ones supposedly last longer than that (estimated ~100 years before "data rot" sets in). From what I understand about burning data to discs though is that it's done through some sort of dying process that isn't nearly as effective or reliable as professional-grade stuff (official DVD movies/games, etc). If that's true, can these archival discs really retain data for as long as they advertise when used for burning things?
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The real answer of course is that, in truth, no one knows how long 'burnt' DVDs will last. As you suggest, they are unlikely to be any where near as reliable as 'pressed' (commercially produced) DVDs.
And at that price it would probably be cheaper and easier to archive to 2 separate HDDs... thus providing you with a 'backup of your backup', as it were (the chances of 2 HDDs failing at the same time are pretty remote....)
Data rot is very much overstated. Yes, DVD's and CD's do have organic dye that will eventually break down. But if you buy good quality media, burn at moderate speeds and store the discs correctly, the data will last much longer than 2-5 years. I have many DVD's from 2003 that are still perfectly readable. And I have CD's that are older. The gold archival discs make for good marketing, but I've not seen any studies that say they last longer. Verbatim is a good brand and has been for a long time now, but even with them you have to be careful not to drink the kool-aid.
Most commercial discs are made with an entirely different process than burning. Those commercial discs are pressed when manufactured.
If you are interested in optical media that is supposed to last a very long time, look into the M-disc technology. I have never used them, or tested them, so I'm still neutral about their claims.
Otherwise, if you simply want to use good quality discs I would suggest buying the regular Verbatim AZO discs (NOT their Life Series discs). Or buy Taiyo Yuden 8x +R discs, which have been a favorite for a decade now. Burn at 8x speed in an internal drive, or 4x in a laptop drive. Store in individual cases in a vertical position in an area not affected by excessive heat or humidity.
Last edited by Kerry56; 20th Jan 2015 at 13:59.
There is as much nonsense in the claim that these would last 100 years - who will be able to verify that - and the equal nonsense of the 'reviews'.
If one of the reviewers is burning to these and playing them as standard disks then he has not a clue what the word 'archive' means.
This is like saying that gold plated connectors on your cables are better than 'silver' plated ones.
Like with all items. you pays your money and you takes your choice. Whatever media you choose, it will degrade if you do not store it correctly so take the above advice. Just use quality standard media and create a couple of backups. Add to that if these are important to you, store them at separate locations so if one goes awol you still have the other.
Multiple carriers and distribution is your best strategy.
One M-DISK and one HDD all wrapped and sealed and at multiple locations would be a good start.
Last edited by newpball; 20th Jan 2015 at 14:42.
I have some allegedly important stuff duplicated on "archival" discs and good-quality "regular" discs, with the same data on hard drives stored offsite. I'm confident that something will be readable in my distant future. Redundant copies on different media, for even the best product can fail.
The quality of a burned disc can be determined by the quality of dye used on the disc, the quality of the burner, and a particular combination of the two (some burners do better with some dyes than others etc).
Dual layer discs are harder to burn at high quality, and they're slower, compared to single layer discs. I'd probably go with single layer unless you need the extra capacity in a single disc.
It's hard to test the quality of a burned disc without the right software and a burner that supports it. As a guide, you can copy the contents of the disc back to your hard drive after it's burned. If the copying continues at an even pace (generally it'll start off a little slowly and the speed will increase as it progresses) you at least know the drive's not having trouble reading the disc. If the copying speed keeps slowing and increasing, or you can hear the speed at which the disc is spinning doing the same) the drive's having more of a hard time reading the disc.
Some manufacturers use the "gold" label for marketing, but the discs are still crap. I bought some "TDK Gold" discs a while back (probably quite a while ago) and discovered the dye used was CMC MAG and the burn quality was pretty ordinary. The Verbatim discs you linked to use the good Azo dye so that's not an issue, but it's something to be aware of.
The idea behind the gold reflective layer is that it doesn't oxidise like aluminium can, but if a standard disc is burned and stored correctly that's probably not an issue.
Last edited by hello_hello; 21st Jan 2015 at 19:03.