Switch to DVD backup media from CD?

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

Hi

For about six years, I've been backing up computer data onto CD media.
Initially, I wasn't too careful with my backups, making no after-checks
and buying cheap media, although I've learnt from my mistakes in modern
times. As I'm not keen to lose the data I'm backing, I only buy
high-quality media these days and perform fairly through after-checks to
ensure that the data is burned correctly. However, my data is not
mission-critical or anything like that, so I have no reason to buy
massively expensive equipment to ensure it survives at all costs. In all
honestly, I've had very good reliability to date, even on the oldest CD's
and I'm not even sure that the problems I suffered where related to the
medium at all.

In recent times, the data I have to backup up has grown in size and I'm
considering a switch to DVD media. However, I'm not sure if DVD has yet
reached the same level of reliability as the more proven CD medium has and
the standards war has meant that I've been reluctant to change to DVD so
far. I would say that current and future readability, the ease of backup
operations and medium-time data retention are the most important factors
for me. In the latter case, I wouldn't worry about the data lasting longer
than a decade, I'm sure that in five years, I'll be looking to migrate all
the data onto a newer backup media. If I do decide to move to DVD backups,
I will transfer all my current CD backups onto DVD. I will then keep the
CD backups, but merely write all new backups to DVD alone.

Would any of you say that the DVD standard is now as mature as CD and as
safe a bet? Should I hang on to CD's a bit longer, or is it better to
migrate to DVD at this stage?

Thanks to anybody who responds to this thread. I'll be glad to hear any
critical views that people may hold.

Regards,

Pan
111 answers Last reply
More about switch backup media
  1. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    Previously Pan <noaddress@nodomain.com> wrote:
    > Hi

    > For about six years, I've been backing up computer data onto CD media.
    > Initially, I wasn't too careful with my backups, making no after-checks
    > and buying cheap media, although I've learnt from my mistakes in modern
    > times. As I'm not keen to lose the data I'm backing, I only buy
    > high-quality media these days and perform fairly through after-checks to
    > ensure that the data is burned correctly. However, my data is not
    > mission-critical or anything like that, so I have no reason to buy
    > massively expensive equipment to ensure it survives at all costs. In all
    > honestly, I've had very good reliability to date, even on the oldest CD's
    > and I'm not even sure that the problems I suffered where related to the
    > medium at all.

    > In recent times, the data I have to backup up has grown in size and I'm
    > considering a switch to DVD media. However, I'm not sure if DVD has yet
    > reached the same level of reliability as the more proven CD medium has and
    > the standards war has meant that I've been reluctant to change to DVD so
    > far. I would say that current and future readability, the ease of backup
    > operations and medium-time data retention are the most important factors
    > for me. In the latter case, I wouldn't worry about the data lasting longer
    > than a decade, I'm sure that in five years, I'll be looking to migrate all
    > the data onto a newer backup media. If I do decide to move to DVD backups,
    > I will transfer all my current CD backups onto DVD. I will then keep the
    > CD backups, but merely write all new backups to DVD alone.

    > Would any of you say that the DVD standard is now as mature as CD and as
    > safe a bet? Should I hang on to CD's a bit longer, or is it better to
    > migrate to DVD at this stage?

    From the regular tests of writable DVDs and writers in the german
    computer magazine c't, I would say that no, writable DVD (with the
    exception of DVD-RAM) is not there yet. There are still frequent
    tests where some quality medium and some DVD writers do not
    work well together and produce unreliable or failed burns.

    Arno
  2. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    Pan <noaddress@nodomain.com> wrote in message
    news:pan.2005.05.29.04.15.03.455177@nodomain.com...

    > For about six years, I've been backing up computer data onto CD media.
    > Initially, I wasn't too careful with my backups, making no after-checks
    > and buying cheap media, although I've learnt from my mistakes in modern
    > times. As I'm not keen to lose the data I'm backing, I only buy
    > high-quality media these days and perform fairly through after-checks to
    > ensure that the data is burned correctly. However, my data is not
    > mission-critical or anything like that, so I have no reason to buy
    > massively expensive equipment to ensure it survives at all costs. In all
    > honestly, I've had very good reliability to date, even on the oldest CD's
    > and I'm not even sure that the problems I suffered where related to the
    > medium at all.
    >
    > In recent times, the data I have to backup up has grown in size and I'm
    > considering a switch to DVD media. However, I'm not sure if DVD has yet
    > reached the same level of reliability as the more proven CD medium has and
    > the standards war has meant that I've been reluctant to change to DVD so
    > far. I would say that current and future readability, the ease of backup
    > operations and medium-time data retention are the most important factors
    > for me. In the latter case, I wouldn't worry about the data lasting longer
    > than a decade, I'm sure that in five years, I'll be looking to migrate all
    > the data onto a newer backup media. If I do decide to move to DVD backups,
    > I will transfer all my current CD backups onto DVD. I will then keep the
    > CD backups, but merely write all new backups to DVD alone.

    > Would any of you say that the DVD standard is now as mature as CD

    Nope.

    > and as safe a bet?

    Nope.

    > Should I hang on to CD's a bit longer, or is
    > it better to migrate to DVD at this stage?

    I've migrated to DVD and just continue with the level of protection I have
    always
    had with CDs when they were at the level of maturity that DVDs are now.

    That basically means not using the cheapest media, and not using just
    one brand and format of media and ensuring multiple copys at all times.

    I find that what I care about losing now fits fine on a single DVD
    and I keep that stuff on the hard drive at all times, and so the
    frequent new copy of everything I care about to a single DVD
    ensures that I have multiple copys of what matters at all times.

    I currently use DVD+RW format most of the time with an
    ocassional use of DVD-R media so that if it turns out that
    one of the formats doesnt last as long as I would like, I will
    become aware of that while I still have at least one other
    format that hasnt yet started to show any sign of degradation.

    I dont however generate a significant volume of stuff
    that I dont want to lose, particularly pictures and video.

    If I did, I would handle those the same way, multiple copys
    on multiple types of media and keep checking to ensure
    that none of the stuff on DVDs is degrading over time.

    I have also deliberately chosen a DVD burner that has
    a reputation for not being fussy about the media and
    for being able to write DVDs that can be read reliably
    in any DVD player I care to read them in. A Pioneer 109.

    > Thanks to anybody who responds to this thread.
    > I'll be glad to hear any critical views that people may hold.
  3. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    "Arno Wagner" <me@privacy.net> wrote in message
    news:3fu2buF9f6v5U4@individual.net...
    > Previously Pan <noaddress@nodomain.com> wrote:
    >> Hi
    >
    >> For about six years, I've been backing up computer data onto CD media.
    >> Initially, I wasn't too careful with my backups, making no after-checks
    >> and buying cheap media, although I've learnt from my mistakes in modern
    >> times. As I'm not keen to lose the data I'm backing, I only buy
    >> high-quality media these days and perform fairly through after-checks to
    >> ensure that the data is burned correctly. However, my data is not
    >> mission-critical or anything like that, so I have no reason to buy
    >> massively expensive equipment to ensure it survives at all costs. In all
    >> honestly, I've had very good reliability to date, even on the oldest CD's
    >> and I'm not even sure that the problems I suffered where related to the
    >> medium at all.
    >
    >> In recent times, the data I have to backup up has grown in size and I'm
    >> considering a switch to DVD media. However, I'm not sure if DVD has yet
    >> reached the same level of reliability as the more proven CD medium has and
    >> the standards war has meant that I've been reluctant to change to DVD so
    >> far. I would say that current and future readability, the ease of backup
    >> operations and medium-time data retention are the most important factors
    >> for me. In the latter case, I wouldn't worry about the data lasting longer
    >> than a decade, I'm sure that in five years, I'll be looking to migrate all
    >> the data onto a newer backup media. If I do decide to move to DVD backups,
    >> I will transfer all my current CD backups onto DVD. I will then keep the
    >> CD backups, but merely write all new backups to DVD alone.
    >
    >> Would any of you say that the DVD standard is now as mature as CD and as
    >> safe a bet? Should I hang on to CD's a bit longer, or is it better to
    >> migrate to DVD at this stage?
    >
    > From the regular tests of writable DVDs and writers in the german
    > computer magazine c't, I would say that no, writable DVD (with the
    > exception of DVD-RAM) is not there yet. There are still frequent
    > tests where some quality medium and some DVD writers do not
    > work well together and produce unreliable or failed burns.

    Makes more sense to choose a drive where that doesnt
    happen than it does to say stick with CDs for that reason.
  4. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    On Sun, 29 May 2005 15:32:51 +1000, "Rod Speed" <rod_speed@yahoo.com>
    wrote:

    >
    >Pan <noaddress@nodomain.com> wrote in message
    >news:pan.2005.05.29.04.15.03.455177@nodomain.com...
    >
    <snip>
    >> In recent times, the data I have to backup up has grown in size and I'm
    >> considering a switch to DVD media. However, I'm not sure if DVD has yet
    >> reached the same level of reliability as the more proven CD medium has and
    >> the standards war has meant that I've been reluctant to change to DVD so
    >> far. I would say that current and future readability, the ease of backup
    >> operations and medium-time data retention are the most important factors
    >> for me. In the latter case, I wouldn't worry about the data lasting longer
    >> than a decade, I'm sure that in five years, I'll be looking to migrate all
    >> the data onto a newer backup media. If I do decide to move to DVD backups,
    >> I will transfer all my current CD backups onto DVD. I will then keep the
    >> CD backups, but merely write all new backups to DVD alone.
    >
    >> Would any of you say that the DVD standard is now as mature as CD
    >
    >Nope.
    >
    >> and as safe a bet?
    >
    >Nope.
    >
    >> Should I hang on to CD's a bit longer, or is
    >> it better to migrate to DVD at this stage?
    >
    >I've migrated to DVD and just continue with the level of protection I have
    >always
    >had with CDs when they were at the level of maturity that DVDs are now.
    >
    >That basically means not using the cheapest media, and not using just
    >one brand and format of media and ensuring multiple copys at all times.
    >
    >I find that what I care about losing now fits fine on a single DVD
    >and I keep that stuff on the hard drive at all times, and so the
    >frequent new copy of everything I care about to a single DVD
    >ensures that I have multiple copys of what matters at all times.
    >
    >I currently use DVD+RW format most of the time with an
    >ocassional use of DVD-R media so that if it turns out that
    >one of the formats doesnt last as long as I would like, I will
    >become aware of that while I still have at least one other
    >format that hasnt yet started to show any sign of degradation.
    >
    >I dont however generate a significant volume of stuff
    >that I dont want to lose, particularly pictures and video.
    >
    >If I did, I would handle those the same way, multiple copys
    >on multiple types of media and keep checking to ensure
    >that none of the stuff on DVDs is degrading over time.
    >
    >I have also deliberately chosen a DVD burner that has
    >a reputation for not being fussy about the media and
    >for being able to write DVDs that can be read reliably
    >in any DVD player I care to read them in. A Pioneer 109.
    >
    >> Thanks to anybody who responds to this thread.
    >> I'll be glad to hear any critical views that people may hold.
    >

    I would agree with most of what Rod Speed has to say here, with the
    biggest exception being for the choice of DVD burner. Of the drives
    currently available here in the United States, I would rate the
    Pioneer 109 as being 5th on the list. My list, in order of
    preference,

    1) Benq 1620
    2) Nec 3520
    3) LG 4163
    4) Pioneer 108
    5) Pioneer 109

    I have owned all of the drives listed above (and others), and done
    many tests with different media.

    YMMV.
  5. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    On Sun, 29 May 2005 14:36:46 +0000, Arno Wagner wrote:


    >> Would any of you say that the DVD standard is now as mature as CD and
    >> as safe a bet? Should I hang on to CD's a bit longer, or is it better
    >> to migrate to DVD at this stage?
    >
    > From the regular tests of writable DVDs and writers in the german
    > computer magazine c't, I would say that no, writable DVD (with the
    > exception of DVD-RAM) is not there yet. There are still frequent tests
    > where some quality medium and some DVD writers do not work well together
    > and produce unreliable or failed burns.
    >
    >

    I do scan all written CD's with Nero CD Speed using both the Scandisc and
    CD quality tests so I hopefully should be able to pick up initially poorly
    written burns before I consign the DVD to storage. That's assuming that
    Nero CD-DVD does the same job as CD Speed of course.....

    My main worry in migrating to DVD's is the potential loss of data over a
    period of time, or finding that my collection of DVD backups is no
    longer compatible in another DVD drive. If newer standards are not
    compatible with the DVD's, that would be a big problem too, although I
    tend to think that is unlikely to occur.

    Regards,

    Pan
  6. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    On Sun, 29 May 2005 15:32:51 +1000, Rod Speed wrote:

    >> Should I hang on to CD's a bit longer, or is
    >> it better to migrate to DVD at this stage?
    >
    > I've migrated to DVD and just continue with the level of protection I have
    > always
    > had with CDs when they were at the level of maturity that DVDs are now.
    >
    > That basically means not using the cheapest media, and not using just
    > one brand and format of media and ensuring multiple copys at all times.

    I do intend to make at least two copies of every burn if I do decide to go
    with DVD. What brands do you alternate between? I use TDK for CD's,
    although I know they don't have a perfect name in CD creation. I do stick
    with the ones known to come from a proven factory though.

    >
    > I find that what I care about losing now fits fine on a single DVD
    > and I keep that stuff on the hard drive at all times, and so the
    > frequent new copy of everything I care about to a single DVD
    > ensures that I have multiple copys of what matters at all times.

    I've heard removable hard disks are a good alternative to using DVD's full
    stop. Apparently they are very reliable and probably likely to outlast
    DVD's completely. I don't really like the thought of using magnetic
    storage to keep all my data though, and the single-point of failure is
    obviously a concern. I suppose DVD's are still the best choice for the
    next backup stage.

    >
    > I currently use DVD+RW format most of the time with an
    > ocassional use of DVD-R media so that if it turns out that
    > one of the formats doesnt last as long as I would like, I will
    > become aware of that while I still have at least one other
    > format that hasnt yet started to show any sign of degradation.

    Good idea. I'll go with DVD-R and DVD+R to ensure I have some security
    against degradation. However, I find it unlikely that either +R or -R will
    become unsupported, most likely they'll both be supported under a new
    unified standard much like the old modem wars between K56Flex and X2.
    These two were unified under V90 of course.

    >
    > I dont however generate a significant volume of stuff
    > that I dont want to lose, particularly pictures and video.
    >
    > If I did, I would handle those the same way, multiple copys
    > on multiple types of media and keep checking to ensure
    > that none of the stuff on DVDs is degrading over time.
    >
    > I have also deliberately chosen a DVD burner that has
    > a reputation for not being fussy about the media and
    > for being able to write DVDs that can be read reliably
    > in any DVD player I care to read them in. A Pioneer 109.

    Thanks for the information. Are there any other DVD writers that can be
    recommended?

    I suppose it would be more than a bit stupid to look at dual-layer DVD's? :)

    Regards,

    Pan
  7. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    "Henry Nettles" <hnettles@hal-pc.org> wrote in message
    news:1m3n911cistape0dl9smnv49crt1psi8o0@4ax.com...
    > On Sun, 29 May 2005 15:32:51 +1000, "Rod Speed" <rod_speed@yahoo.com>
    > wrote:
    >
    >>
    >>Pan <noaddress@nodomain.com> wrote in message
    >>news:pan.2005.05.29.04.15.03.455177@nodomain.com...
    >>
    > <snip>
    >>> In recent times, the data I have to backup up has grown in size and I'm
    >>> considering a switch to DVD media. However, I'm not sure if DVD has yet
    >>> reached the same level of reliability as the more proven CD medium has and
    >>> the standards war has meant that I've been reluctant to change to DVD so
    >>> far. I would say that current and future readability, the ease of backup
    >>> operations and medium-time data retention are the most important factors
    >>> for me. In the latter case, I wouldn't worry about the data lasting longer
    >>> than a decade, I'm sure that in five years, I'll be looking to migrate all
    >>> the data onto a newer backup media. If I do decide to move to DVD backups,
    >>> I will transfer all my current CD backups onto DVD. I will then keep the
    >>> CD backups, but merely write all new backups to DVD alone.
    >>
    >>> Would any of you say that the DVD standard is now as mature as CD
    >>
    >>Nope.
    >>
    >>> and as safe a bet?
    >>
    >>Nope.
    >>
    >>> Should I hang on to CD's a bit longer, or is
    >>> it better to migrate to DVD at this stage?
    >>
    >>I've migrated to DVD and just continue with the level of protection I have
    >>always
    >>had with CDs when they were at the level of maturity that DVDs are now.
    >>
    >>That basically means not using the cheapest media, and not using just
    >>one brand and format of media and ensuring multiple copys at all times.
    >>
    >>I find that what I care about losing now fits fine on a single DVD
    >>and I keep that stuff on the hard drive at all times, and so the
    >>frequent new copy of everything I care about to a single DVD
    >>ensures that I have multiple copys of what matters at all times.
    >>
    >>I currently use DVD+RW format most of the time with an
    >>ocassional use of DVD-R media so that if it turns out that
    >>one of the formats doesnt last as long as I would like, I will
    >>become aware of that while I still have at least one other
    >>format that hasnt yet started to show any sign of degradation.
    >>
    >>I dont however generate a significant volume of stuff
    >>that I dont want to lose, particularly pictures and video.
    >>
    >>If I did, I would handle those the same way, multiple copys
    >>on multiple types of media and keep checking to ensure
    >>that none of the stuff on DVDs is degrading over time.
    >>
    >>I have also deliberately chosen a DVD burner that has
    >>a reputation for not being fussy about the media and
    >>for being able to write DVDs that can be read reliably
    >>in any DVD player I care to read them in. A Pioneer 109.
    >>
    >>> Thanks to anybody who responds to this thread.
    >>> I'll be glad to hear any critical views that people may hold.
    >>
    >
    > I would agree with most of what Rod Speed has to say here, with the
    > biggest exception being for the choice of DVD burner. Of the drives
    > currently available here in the United States, I would rate the
    > Pioneer 109 as being 5th on the list. My list, in order of
    > preference,
    >
    > 1) Benq 1620
    > 2) Nec 3520
    > 3) LG 4163
    > 4) Pioneer 108
    > 5) Pioneer 109

    > I have owned all of the drives listed above (and
    > others), and done many tests with different media.

    > YMMV.

    And so do the reviews that test the drives properly, with your list.
  8. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    On Tue, 31 May 2005 09:11:21 +1000, Rod Speed wrote:

    >>>
    >>
    >> I would agree with most of what Rod Speed has to say here, with the
    >> biggest exception being for the choice of DVD burner. Of the drives
    >> currently available here in the United States, I would rate the
    >> Pioneer 109 as being 5th on the list. My list, in order of
    >> preference,
    >>
    >> 1) Benq 1620
    >> 2) Nec 3520
    >> 3) LG 4163
    >> 4) Pioneer 108
    >> 5) Pioneer 109
    >
    >> I have owned all of the drives listed above (and
    >> others), and done many tests with different media.
    >
    >> YMMV.
    >
    > And so do the reviews that test the drives properly, with your list.

    Suffice to say, I'll look at a set of reviews myself before making any
    definite decisions. But your list will probably come in useful, thanks.

    Regards,

    Pan
  9. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    Pan <noaddress@nodomain.com> wrote in message
    news:pan.2005.05.31.00.39.33.423099@nodomain.com...
    > Rod Speed wrote

    >>> Should I hang on to CD's a bit longer, or is
    >>> it better to migrate to DVD at this stage?

    >> I've migrated to DVD and just continue with the level
    >> of protection I have always had with CDs when they
    >> were at the level of maturity that DVDs are now.

    >> That basically means not using the cheapest media, and not using just
    >> one brand and format of media and ensuring multiple copys at all times.

    > I do intend to make at least two copies of every burn if I do
    > decide to go with DVD. What brands do you alternate between?

    I dont bother doing it by brand anymore.
    Just avoid the supercheap media now.

    I did do it by brand with CDs at one time, but found that I
    didnt lose any over time as long as I avoided the absolute
    bottom of the market so gave up bothering about the brand.

    Then again, I deliberately chose a liteon burner
    that has a reputation for reliable burns.

    Just had the first dud for years and years, was getting
    low when a mate of mine was around, said that I was
    getting low and had him hand me a spindle of 50 from
    the lowest price operation in town to save me going
    out to get some. One of those was bad and the inner
    layer of the area burnt is noticeably poor, rather a
    wavy pattern in it, but only with some blanks.

    > I use TDK for CD's, although I know they don't have
    > a perfect name in CD creation. I do stick with the
    > ones known to come from a proven factory though.

    >> I find that what I care about losing now fits fine on a single DVD
    >> and I keep that stuff on the hard drive at all times, and so the
    >> frequent new copy of everything I care about to a single DVD
    >> ensures that I have multiple copys of what matters at all times.

    > I've heard removable hard disks are a
    > good alternative to using DVD's full stop.

    Yes, as long as you arent prone to dropping things.

    That is close to what I do separately to using CDs and
    DVDs too, basically write the critical stuff that I cant
    afford to lose to other drives on the local network of PCs.

    > Apparently they are very reliable

    Dunno, you'll find virtually all of the hard drive manufacturers
    except samsung will only warranty externals for 1 year.

    > and probably likely to outlast DVD's completely.

    Maybe, but I dont need that sort of long term
    reliability, essentially because I keep backing
    up everything that I care about at a decent rate.

    But I dont bother with photos or videos.

    > I don't really like the thought of using magnetic storage to keep all
    > my data though, and the single-point of failure is obviously a concern.

    Yes, I'd never have just one. I dont even do that at the software level.

    > I suppose DVD's are still the best choice for the next backup stage.

    Yeah, thats my feeling, hard drives and DVD combined.

    >> I currently use DVD+RW format most of the time with an
    >> ocassional use of DVD-R media so that if it turns out that
    >> one of the formats doesnt last as long as I would like, I will
    >> become aware of that while I still have at least one other
    >> format that hasnt yet started to show any sign of degradation.

    > Good idea. I'll go with DVD-R and DVD+R to ensure I have some
    > security against degradation. However, I find it unlikely that either +R
    > or -R will become unsupported, most likely they'll both be supported
    > under a new unified standard much like the old modem wars between
    > K56Flex and X2. These two were unified under V90 of course.

    I handle that differently, once a particular format is
    passing its useby date, I have always got the data
    that matters on more modern media. So I dont have
    anything on floppy now and dont usually bother to even
    install a floppy drive in a system I assemble anymore.

    >> I dont however generate a significant volume of stuff
    >> that I dont want to lose, particularly pictures and video.

    >> If I did, I would handle those the same way, multiple copys
    >> on multiple types of media and keep checking to ensure
    >> that none of the stuff on DVDs is degrading over time.

    >> I have also deliberately chosen a DVD burner that has
    >> a reputation for not being fussy about the media and
    >> for being able to write DVDs that can be read reliably
    >> in any DVD player I care to read them in. A Pioneer 109.

    > Thanks for the information. Are there any
    > other DVD writers that can be recommended?

    That list that Henry posted isnt bad.

    > I suppose it would be more than a bit
    > stupid to look at dual-layer DVD's? :)

    I dont use them just because of the price, and because
    I dont need the higher capacity except for more
    convenience with copying commercially made DVDs.

    But since I never bother to watch anything more
    than once, life is something I dont care about
    as long as the life is better than months.
  10. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    On Tue, 31 May 2005 11:30:25 +1000, Rod Speed wrote:


    >> I do intend to make at least two copies of every burn if I do decide to
    >> go with DVD. What brands do you alternate between?
    >
    > I dont bother doing it by brand anymore. Just avoid the supercheap media
    > now.
    >
    > I did do it by brand with CDs at one time, but found that I didnt lose
    > any over time as long as I avoided the absolute bottom of the market so
    > gave up bothering about the brand.
    >
    > Then again, I deliberately chose a liteon burner that has a reputation
    > for reliable burns.

    I must confess that my cheap quality CD's from five years ago seem to be
    holding up well. But like you, I also choose a good CD writer, one of the
    Ricoh's 7060 I believe. I guess the writer is the most important part of
    the equation.

    Thanks for the media information.


    > Just had the first dud for years and years, was getting low when a mate
    > of mine was around, said that I was getting low and had him hand me a
    > spindle of 50 from the lowest price operation in town to save me going
    > out to get some. One of those was bad and the inner layer of the area
    > burnt is noticeably poor, rather a wavy pattern in it, but only with
    > some blanks.

    I always scan every CD with a surface scanner before committing it to
    archive. If a burn looks even slightly dubious, I get rid of it and burn
    another. But that only rarely happens, most burns are nearly perfect. I do
    use only 4x writes though to keep problems to a minimum. I've heard higher
    speeds can result in lower quality burns as the disc vibrates more during
    writing.


    > Yes, as long as you arent prone to dropping things.

    Unfortunately my record isn't that good ;)


    > That is close to what I do separately to using CDs and DVDs too,
    > basically write the critical stuff that I cant afford to lose to other
    > drives on the local network of PCs.

    Yep, I do the same for stuff that is often updated, copy it across the
    network on a daily basis to another computer for safe-keeping. I wrote a
    quick script to automate the process.


    >> Apparently they are very reliable
    >
    > Dunno, you'll find virtually all of the hard drive manufacturers except
    > samsung will only warranty externals for 1 year.

    I don't know if this is true, but I heard that this was done simply to
    reduce the massive numbers of warranties that hard disk manufacturers have
    to get a tag on. Hard disks are apparently so reliable these days that you
    can realistically expect them to last for years. This could all be an
    excuse of course, but I must confess, I haven't had all that many failures
    myself. I brought my WD hard disk because it was backed by a three-year
    warranty though just to be sure.


    >> and probably likely to outlast DVD's completely.
    >
    > Maybe, but I dont need that sort of long term reliability, essentially
    > because I keep backing up everything that I care about at a decent rate.
    >
    > But I dont bother with photos or videos.

    I do have photos and videos. But the main point of why I'm considering
    DVD's now is that I'm becoming concerned about some of the lower quality
    discs I burned about five years ago. I'd prefer to be safe and burn newer
    copies of these discs to be sure. So I can either begin replacing older
    CD's on a 1 to 1 basis from the older ones I have, or I can replace the
    standard with DVD and do a copy of the entire collection. It's a renewal
    I'm looking at now and I'm wondering if I should go with DVD, or stick
    with CD for the foreseeable future.


    >>> I currently use DVD+RW format most of the time with an ocassional use
    >>> of DVD-R media so that if it turns out that one of the formats doesnt
    >>> last as long as I would like, I will become aware of that while I
    >>> still have at least one other format that hasnt yet started to show
    >>> any sign of degradation.
    >
    >> Good idea. I'll go with DVD-R and DVD+R to ensure I have some security
    >> against degradation. However, I find it unlikely that either +R or -R
    >> will become unsupported, most likely they'll both be supported under a
    >> new unified standard much like the old modem wars between K56Flex and
    >> X2. These two were unified under V90 of course.
    >
    > I handle that differently, once a particular format is passing its useby
    > date, I have always got the data that matters on more modern media. So I
    > dont have anything on floppy now and dont usually bother to even install
    > a floppy drive in a system I assemble anymore.

    Well, I have old floppy's, but I never use them anymore, they were pretty
    unreliable as a backup medium anyway. Pendrives seem most likely to
    replace them I think. However, I don't think I'd build a system without a
    floppy just yet, I like the keep the option of having the device
    available, and there are always annoying things that need a floppy to work
    or boot with (like Dell drivers for example). Although you can probably
    get around it, I think it's less hassle to keep it.


    >>> I dont however generate a significant volume of stuff that I dont want
    >>> to lose, particularly pictures and video.
    >
    >>> If I did, I would handle those the same way, multiple copys on
    >>> multiple types of media and keep checking to ensure that none of the
    >>> stuff on DVDs is degrading over time.
    >
    >>> I have also deliberately chosen a DVD burner that has a reputation for
    >>> not being fussy about the media and for being able to write DVDs that
    >>> can be read reliably in any DVD player I care to read them in. A
    >>> Pioneer 109.
    >
    >> Thanks for the information. Are there any other DVD writers that can be
    >> recommended?
    >
    > That list that Henry posted isnt bad.

    I'll definitely look into that.


    >> I suppose it would be more than a bit stupid to look at dual-layer
    >> DVD's? :)
    >
    > I dont use them just because of the price, and because I dont need the
    > higher capacity except for more convenience with copying commercially
    > made DVDs.
    >
    > But since I never bother to watch anything more than once, life is
    > something I dont care about as long as the life is better than months.

    I have no real interest in copying DVD's, so I would probably use the
    drive almost exclusively for backup purposes.

    I heard that there were "rotting" problems with commercial dual-layer
    DVD's, so it's probably tempting fate to buy a writing dual-layer drive at
    the moment :) The technology is too new to be considered reliable.

    Regards,

    Pan
  11. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    Pan <noaddress@nodomain.com> wrote in message
    news:pan.2005.06.01.14.45.59.647241@nodomain.com...
    > Rod Speed wrote

    >> Pan <noaddress@nodomain.com> wrote

    >>> I've heard removable hard disks are a
    >>> good alternative to using DVD's full stop.

    >> Yes, as long as you arent prone to dropping things.

    > Unfortunately my record isn't that good ;)

    Thats one big advantage with DVDs, they survive dropping much better.

    >> That is close to what I do separately to using CDs and
    >> DVDs too, basically write the critical stuff that I cant afford
    >> to lose to other drives on the local network of PCs.

    > Yep, I do the same for stuff that is often updated, copy it across
    > the network on a daily basis to another computer for safe-keeping.

    Yeah, by far the best for a high level of backup
    so you dont lose much if something does die.

    I do the highest activity stuff, code, a different way, manually
    backup at particular points in the code development, multiple
    times a day, so whatever happens you aint lost much. That
    is more for protection against user error than hardware failure,
    the situation where you do a substantial reorganisation of the
    code etc and then decide that there is a good reason for not
    doing it that way and you want to step back from that easily.

    > I wrote a quick script to automate the process.

    Yeah, I did too, tho its database based.

    >>> Apparently they are very reliable

    >> Dunno, you'll find virtually all of the hard drive manufacturers
    >> except samsung will only warranty externals for 1 year.

    > I don't know if this is true, but I heard that this was done
    > simply to reduce the massive numbers of warranties that
    > hard disk manufacturers have to get a tag on.

    The problem with that line is that some manufacturers
    have a different warranty for external drives and internal
    drives. Presumably they have noticed that they are
    getting a significantly higher return rate with the externals.

    > Hard disks are apparently so reliable these days
    > that you can realistically expect them to last for years.
    > This could all be an excuse of course, but I must
    > confess, I haven't had all that many failures myself.

    Yeah, I've only had one with IDE drives.

    > I brought my WD hard disk because it was backed
    > by a three-year warranty though just to be sure.

    Yeah, thats a real bonus with the samsungs, 3 years
    on everything, tho I buy them for their quietness.

    And I havent chosen to buy seagate lately, with their new
    5 year warrantys, essentially because they arent as quiet
    as the samsungs and get too hot for my taste too.

    I've come close tho, essentially because samsung is a tad
    slow with buyable drives over 160G and I've replaced the
    VCRs with a PC with multiple digital TV tuner cards and I
    have a real need for more drive space. So far I have decided
    to wait, essentially because the samsungs are much quieter.

    >>> and probably likely to outlast DVD's completely.

    >> Maybe, but I dont need that sort of long term reliability, essentially
    >> because I keep backing up everything that I care about at a decent rate.

    >> But I dont bother with photos or videos.

    > I do have photos and videos. But the main point of why I'm
    > considering DVD's now is that I'm becoming concerned about some
    > of the lower quality discs I burned about five years ago. I'd prefer
    > to be safe and burn newer copies of these discs to be sure.

    Yeah, I've always done that myself, that insurance is dirt cheap.

    > So I can either begin replacing older CD's on a 1 to 1 basis
    > from the older ones I have, or I can replace the standard
    > with DVD and do a copy of the entire collection. It's a
    > renewal I'm looking at now and I'm wondering if I should
    > go with DVD, or stick with CD for the foreseeable future.

    I'd change to DVD now if you arent getting any CD failures.

    Basically DVDs are now mature enough, tho in
    my opinion thats only quite recently become true.

    I basically waited till dual layer became available, even
    tho I dont plan to use them much for a while, due to the
    fact that the media is currently rather poor value.

    >>>> I currently use DVD+RW format most of the time with an
    >>>> ocassional use of DVD-R media so that if it turns out that
    >>>> one of the formats doesnt last as long as I would like, I will
    >>>> become aware of that while I still have at least one other
    >>>> format that hasnt yet started to show any sign of degradation.

    >>> Good idea. I'll go with DVD-R and DVD+R to ensure I have some
    >>> security against degradation. However, I find it unlikely that either
    >>> +R or -R will become unsupported, most likely they'll both be
    >>> supported under a new unified standard much like the old modem wars
    >>> between K56Flex and X2. These two were unified under V90 of course.

    >> I handle that differently, once a particular format is passing its useby
    >> date, I have always got the data that matters on more modern media.
    >> So I dont have anything on floppy now and dont usually bother to
    >> even install a floppy drive in a system I assemble anymore.

    > Well, I have old floppy's, but I never use them anymore,
    > they were pretty unreliable as a backup medium anyway.

    Yeah, thats the main reason I gave up on them. With
    my level of backup that was never more than a nuisance,
    but there isnt any point in bothering with that nuisance
    and there hasnt been any for a long time. Any system
    has to have a cdrom or dvd drive, so I dont bother
    with a floppy drive even tho they only cost peanuts.

    > Pendrives seem most likely to replace them I think.

    Dunno, I have basically replaced them with CDs.

    But I dont have any independant PCs, they're all networked.

    And when I want to give someone something thats too big
    for transfer over the web, CDs are more convenient than
    pen drives, just because they are so cheap that the cost
    of postage is trivial. I can send them for the letter rate.

    Thats mostly people stuck with dialup
    who need something like the XP SP2 etc.

    I also do it with stuff like TV series downloaded
    off the net written to DVD as avi files and played
    on a DVD player that can do that.

    > However, I don't think I'd build a system without a floppy just
    > yet, I like the keep the option of having the device available,
    > and there are always annoying things that need a floppy to
    > work or boot with (like Dell drivers for example). Although you
    > can probably get around it, I think it's less hassle to keep it.

    I do have a floppy drive that I can plug in if its ever needed.

    Havent needed to for a long time, essentially I use
    Bart PE etc to get a driver into the system over the
    lan instead. That works even when the new system
    needs an obscure NIC driver to connect to the lan.

    I need the lan connection to install the various misc stuff
    anyway and have a folder of shortcuts on the main system
    so its completely trivial to configure a newly assembled system.

    >>> I suppose it would be more than a bit
    >>> stupid to look at dual-layer DVD's? :)

    >> I dont use them just because of the price, and because
    >> I dont need the higher capacity except for more
    >> convenience with copying commercially made DVDs.

    >> But since I never bother to watch anything more than once, life is
    >> something I dont care about as long as the life is better than months.

    > I have no real interest in copying DVD's, so I would probably
    > use the drive almost exclusively for backup purposes.

    > I heard that there were "rotting" problems with commercial dual-layer
    > DVD's, so it's probably tempting fate to buy a writing dual-layer drive
    > at the moment :) The technology is too new to be considered reliable.

    I agree that the media isnt worth bothering with currently, even if you
    do copy commercial DVDs, two single layer DVDs makes more sense.

    But you get dual layer capable burners automatically now, I cant think
    of any of the DVD burners worth considering that doesnt have that now.
  12. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    On Thu, 02 Jun 2005 04:48:04 +1000, Rod Speed wrote:


    >>> Yes, as long as you arent prone to dropping things.
    >
    >> Unfortunately my record isn't that good ;)
    >
    > Thats one big advantage with DVDs, they survive dropping much better.

    Yes, dropped one a few days ago, but managed to trap it at the last minute
    between a desk and my hand. Fortunately it showed no signs of any damage
    at all. The fall wasn't that bad, but I wouldn't of been surprised to see
    a minor scratch or two.


    >>> That is close to what I do separately to using CDs and DVDs too,
    >>> basically write the critical stuff that I cant afford to lose to other
    >>> drives on the local network of PCs.
    >
    >> Yep, I do the same for stuff that is often updated, copy it across the
    >> network on a daily basis to another computer for safe-keeping.
    >
    > Yeah, by far the best for a high level of backup so you dont lose much
    > if something does die.

    The most convenient and fastest as well. I learnt years ago to do this
    when I unfortunately made a serious mistake and wiped the wrong hard disk
    clean...... :)


    >>>> Apparently they are very reliable
    >
    >>> Dunno, you'll find virtually all of the hard drive manufacturers
    >>> except samsung will only warranty externals for 1 year.
    >
    >> I don't know if this is true, but I heard that this was done simply to
    >> reduce the massive numbers of warranties that hard disk manufacturers
    >> have to get a tag on.
    >
    > The problem with that line is that some manufacturers have a different
    > warranty for external drives and internal drives. Presumably they have
    > noticed that they are getting a significantly higher return rate with
    > the externals.

    Ah, sorry, I missed the words "externals". However, it could be that the
    higher number of returns for these is caused by people hoping for
    replacements when they drop them :)


    >> Hard disks are apparently so reliable these days that you can
    >> realistically expect them to last for years. This could all be an
    >> excuse of course, but I must confess, I haven't had all that many
    >> failures myself.
    >
    > Yeah, I've only had one with IDE drives.

    I've had two fail. I suspect that both may of been my fault though, I
    didn't know anything about magnetic fields years ago and had the speaker
    on top of my tower case. After seven or eight months, the first drive
    starting developing random bad sectors all over the drive. It could very
    well be related. The second was during a period where one of my RAM chips
    blew and was corrupting all my data. I didn't know where the problem was
    at first, and spent quite a while unplugging and re-plugging the HD cables
    and power lead to ensure nothing was amiss there. After a bit of
    this, the drive just refused to power-up again.


    >> I brought my WD hard disk because it was backed by a three-year
    >> warranty though just to be sure.
    >
    > Yeah, thats a real bonus with the samsungs, 3 years on everything, tho I
    > buy them for their quietness.

    Although Samsung have been around for a while now, I did originally shy
    away from them because they were a relative newcomer to the field. I have
    tended to like to stick to the more established drive manufacturers who
    should have better support and drive construction technology in place.
    That's my theory anyway, not sure about the practise :)

    >
    > And I havent chosen to buy seagate lately, with their new 5 year
    > warrantys, essentially because they arent as quiet as the samsungs and
    > get too hot for my taste too.

    Yes, I've heard about the heat generated by the Seagate drives. That's put
    me off buying any of theirs so far, although the 5-year warranty sounds
    impressive. The noise has never really bothered me.

    >
    > I've come close tho, essentially because samsung is a tad slow with
    > buyable drives over 160G and I've replaced the VCRs with a PC with
    > multiple digital TV tuner cards and I have a real need for more drive
    > space. So far I have decided to wait, essentially because the samsungs
    > are much quieter.

    That's interesting. How have you gone about setting up a PC as a VCR
    recorder? Why have you gone for multiple cards? I've been wondering what
    to do about VCR's for a long time now VHS is on the way out and DVD
    recording isn't quite there yet.

    >
    >> So I can either begin replacing older CD's on a 1 to 1 basis from the
    >> older ones I have, or I can replace the standard with DVD and do a copy
    >> of the entire collection. It's a renewal I'm looking at now and I'm
    >> wondering if I should go with DVD, or stick with CD for the foreseeable
    >> future.
    >
    > I'd change to DVD now if you arent getting any CD failures.

    I'm leaning in that direction myself now after posting to this forum.

    >
    > Basically DVDs are now mature enough, tho in my opinion thats only quite
    > recently become true.
    >
    > I basically waited till dual layer became available, even tho I dont
    > plan to use them much for a while, due to the fact that the media is
    > currently rather poor value.

    Why did you think that the availability of dual layer drives resulted in
    DVD's reaching a more mature state?

    >
    >>>>> I currently use DVD+RW format most of the time with an ocassional
    >>>>> use of DVD-R media so that if it turns out that one of the formats
    >>>>> doesnt last as long as I would like, I will become aware of that
    >>>>> while I still have at least one other format that hasnt yet started
    >>>>> to show any sign of degradation.
    >
    >>>> Good idea. I'll go with DVD-R and DVD+R to ensure I have some
    >>>> security against degradation. However, I find it unlikely that either
    >>>> +R or -R will become unsupported, most likely they'll both be
    >>>> supported under a new unified standard much like the old modem wars
    >>>> between K56Flex and X2. These two were unified under V90 of course.
    >
    >>> I handle that differently, once a particular format is passing its
    >>> useby date, I have always got the data that matters on more modern
    >>> media. So I dont have anything on floppy now and dont usually bother
    >>> to even install a floppy drive in a system I assemble anymore.
    >
    >> Well, I have old floppy's, but I never use them anymore, they were
    >> pretty unreliable as a backup medium anyway.
    >
    > Yeah, thats the main reason I gave up on them. With my level of backup
    > that was never more than a nuisance, but there isnt any point in
    > bothering with that nuisance and there hasnt been any for a long time.
    > Any system has to have a cdrom or dvd drive, so I dont bother with a
    > floppy drive even tho they only cost peanuts.

    Agreed. Not only were they slow and inefficient, but they weren't very
    reliable at keeping their data either :)

    >
    >> Pendrives seem most likely to replace them I think.
    >
    > Dunno, I have basically replaced them with CDs.

    I think the slightly more inconvenient writing procedure for CD's
    (i.e, not random access) makes flash memory, i.e with pendrives a better
    replacement for the floppy. There is packet writing for CD's of course,
    but it never really took off in any big way, mainly I suspect because it
    proved unreliable when writing Packet CD's on more than one system.

    >
    > But I dont have any independant PCs, they're all networked.

    Same here, independent PC's are just a nuisance :)

    >
    > And when I want to give someone something thats too big for transfer
    > over the web, CDs are more convenient than pen drives, just because they
    > are so cheap that the cost of postage is trivial. I can send them for
    > the letter rate.

    Yep, I would agree that CD's are more convenient for this purpose.
    However, if you personally want to transfer files yourself from system to
    system, particularly if you don't control the system at one end, pendrives
    have always seemed the best alternative to me.

    >
    >> However, I don't think I'd build a system without a floppy just yet, I
    >> like the keep the option of having the device available, and there are
    >> always annoying things that need a floppy to work or boot with (like
    >> Dell drivers for example). Although you can probably get around it, I
    >> think it's less hassle to keep it.
    >
    > I do have a floppy drive that I can plug in if its ever needed.
    >
    > Havent needed to for a long time, essentially I use Bart PE etc to get a
    > driver into the system over the lan instead. That works even when the
    > new system needs an obscure NIC driver to connect to the lan.
    >
    > I need the lan connection to install the various misc stuff anyway and
    > have a folder of shortcuts on the main system so its completely trivial
    > to configure a newly assembled system.

    Sounds handy. I find that bootable CD's and CD-Bootable OS's like Knoppix
    have made new system administrator pretty simple these days.

    >
    >>>> I suppose it would be more than a bit stupid to look at dual-layer
    >>>> DVD's? :)
    >
    >>> I dont use them just because of the price, and because I dont need the
    >>> higher capacity except for more convenience with copying commercially
    >>> made DVDs.
    >
    >>> But since I never bother to watch anything more than once, life is
    >>> something I dont care about as long as the life is better than months.
    >
    >> I have no real interest in copying DVD's, so I would probably use the
    >> drive almost exclusively for backup purposes.
    >
    >> I heard that there were "rotting" problems with commercial dual-layer
    >> DVD's, so it's probably tempting fate to buy a writing dual-layer drive
    >> at the moment :) The technology is too new to be considered reliable.
    >
    > I agree that the media isnt worth bothering with currently, even if you
    > do copy commercial DVDs, two single layer DVDs makes more sense.
    >
    > But you get dual layer capable burners automatically now, I cant think
    > of any of the DVD burners worth considering that doesnt have that now.

    It's worth getting a dual layer capable burner as you say for
    future-compatibility. But for reliability reasons, I'm certainly sticking
    to single layer DVD's for now :)

    Regards,

    Pan
  13. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    On Thu, 02 Jun 2005 04:48:04 +1000, Rod Speed wrote:


    >>> Yes, as long as you arent prone to dropping things.
    >
    >> Unfortunately my record isn't that good ;)
    >
    > Thats one big advantage with DVDs, they survive dropping much better.

    Yes, dropped one a few days ago, but managed to trap it at the last minute
    between a desk and my hand. Fortunately it showed no signs of any damage
    at all. The fall wasn't that bad, but I wouldn't of been surprised to see
    a minor scratch or two.


    >>> That is close to what I do separately to using CDs and DVDs too,
    >>> basically write the critical stuff that I cant afford to lose to other
    >>> drives on the local network of PCs.
    >
    >> Yep, I do the same for stuff that is often updated, copy it across the
    >> network on a daily basis to another computer for safe-keeping.
    >
    > Yeah, by far the best for a high level of backup so you dont lose much
    > if something does die.

    The most convenient and fastest as well. I learnt years ago to do this
    when I unfortunately made a serious mistake and wiped the wrong hard disk
    clean...... :)


    >>>> Apparently they are very reliable
    >
    >>> Dunno, you'll find virtually all of the hard drive manufacturers
    >>> except samsung will only warranty externals for 1 year.
    >
    >> I don't know if this is true, but I heard that this was done simply to
    >> reduce the massive numbers of warranties that hard disk manufacturers
    >> have to get a tag on.
    >
    > The problem with that line is that some manufacturers have a different
    > warranty for external drives and internal drives. Presumably they have
    > noticed that they are getting a significantly higher return rate with
    > the externals.

    Ah, sorry, I missed the words "externals". However, it could be that the
    higher number of returns for these is caused by people hoping for
    replacements when they drop them :)


    >> Hard disks are apparently so reliable these days that you can
    >> realistically expect them to last for years. This could all be an
    >> excuse of course, but I must confess, I haven't had all that many
    >> failures myself.
    >
    > Yeah, I've only had one with IDE drives.

    I've had two fail. I suspect that both may of been my fault though, I
    didn't know anything about magnetic fields years ago and had the speaker
    on top of my tower case. After seven or eight months, the first drive
    starting developing random bad sectors all over the drive. It could very
    well be related. The second was during a period where one of my RAM chips
    blew and was corrupting all my data. I didn't know where the problem was
    at first, and spent quite a while unplugging and re-plugging the HD cables
    and power lead to ensure nothing was amiss there. After a bit of this, the
    drive just refused to power-up again.


    >> I brought my WD hard disk because it was backed by a three-year
    >> warranty though just to be sure.
    >
    > Yeah, thats a real bonus with the samsungs, 3 years on everything, tho I
    > buy them for their quietness.

    Although Samsung have been around for a while now, I did originally shy
    away from them because they were a relative newcomer to the field. I have
    tended to like to stick to the more established drive manufacturers who
    should have better support and drive construction technology in place.
    That's my theory anyway, not sure about the practise :)


    > And I havent chosen to buy seagate lately, with their new 5 year
    > warrantys, essentially because they arent as quiet as the samsungs and
    > get too hot for my taste too.

    Yes, I've heard about the heat generated by the Seagate drives. That's put
    me off buying any of theirs so far, although the 5-year warranty sounds
    impressive. The noise has never really bothered me.


    > I've come close tho, essentially because samsung is a tad slow with
    > buyable drives over 160G and I've replaced the VCRs with a PC with
    > multiple digital TV tuner cards and I have a real need for more drive
    > space. So far I have decided to wait, essentially because the samsungs
    > are much quieter.

    That's interesting. How have you gone about setting up a PC as a VCR
    recorder? Why have you gone for multiple cards? I've been wondering what
    to do about VCR's for a long time now VHS is on the way out and DVD
    recording isn't quite there yet.


    >> So I can either begin replacing older CD's on a 1 to 1 basis from the
    >> older ones I have, or I can replace the standard with DVD and do a copy
    >> of the entire collection. It's a renewal I'm looking at now and I'm
    >> wondering if I should go with DVD, or stick with CD for the foreseeable
    >> future.
    >
    > I'd change to DVD now if you arent getting any CD failures.

    I'm leaning in that direction myself now after posting to this forum.


    > Basically DVDs are now mature enough, tho in my opinion thats only quite
    > recently become true.
    >
    > I basically waited till dual layer became available, even tho I dont
    > plan to use them much for a while, due to the fact that the media is
    > currently rather poor value.

    Why did you think that the availability of dual layer drives resulted in
    DVD's reaching a more mature state?


    >>>>> I currently use DVD+RW format most of the time with an ocassional
    >>>>> use of DVD-R media so that if it turns out that one of the formats
    >>>>> doesnt last as long as I would like, I will become aware of that
    >>>>> while I still have at least one other format that hasnt yet started
    >>>>> to show any sign of degradation.
    >
    >>>> Good idea. I'll go with DVD-R and DVD+R to ensure I have some
    >>>> security against degradation. However, I find it unlikely that either
    >>>> +R or -R will become unsupported, most likely they'll both be
    >>>> supported under a new unified standard much like the old modem wars
    >>>> between K56Flex and X2. These two were unified under V90 of course.
    >
    >>> I handle that differently, once a particular format is passing its
    >>> useby date, I have always got the data that matters on more modern
    >>> media. So I dont have anything on floppy now and dont usually bother
    >>> to even install a floppy drive in a system I assemble anymore.
    >
    >> Well, I have old floppy's, but I never use them anymore, they were
    >> pretty unreliable as a backup medium anyway.
    >
    > Yeah, thats the main reason I gave up on them. With my level of backup
    > that was never more than a nuisance, but there isnt any point in
    > bothering with that nuisance and there hasnt been any for a long time.
    > Any system has to have a cdrom or dvd drive, so I dont bother with a
    > floppy drive even tho they only cost peanuts.

    Agreed. Not only were they slow and inefficient, but they weren't very
    reliable at keeping their data either :)


    >> Pendrives seem most likely to replace them I think.
    >
    > Dunno, I have basically replaced them with CDs.

    I think the slightly more inconvenient writing procedure for CD's (i.e,
    not random access) makes flash memory, i.e with pendrives a better
    replacement for the floppy. There is packet writing for CD's of course,
    but it never really took off in any big way, mainly I suspect because it
    proved unreliable when writing Packet CD's on more than one system.


    > But I dont have any independant PCs, they're all networked.

    Same here, independent PC's are just a nuisance :)


    > And when I want to give someone something thats too big for transfer
    > over the web, CDs are more convenient than pen drives, just because they
    > are so cheap that the cost of postage is trivial. I can send them for
    > the letter rate.

    Yep, I would agree that CD's are more convenient for this purpose.
    However, if you personally want to transfer files yourself from system to
    system, particularly if you don't control the system at one end, pendrives
    have always seemed the best alternative to me.


    >> However, I don't think I'd build a system without a floppy just yet, I
    >> like the keep the option of having the device available, and there are
    >> always annoying things that need a floppy to work or boot with (like
    >> Dell drivers for example). Although you can probably get around it, I
    >> think it's less hassle to keep it.
    >
    > I do have a floppy drive that I can plug in if its ever needed.
    >
    > Havent needed to for a long time, essentially I use Bart PE etc to get a
    > driver into the system over the lan instead. That works even when the
    > new system needs an obscure NIC driver to connect to the lan.
    >
    > I need the lan connection to install the various misc stuff anyway and
    > have a folder of shortcuts on the main system so its completely trivial
    > to configure a newly assembled system.

    Sounds handy. I find that bootable CD's and CD-Bootable OS's like Knoppix
    have made new system administrator pretty simple these days.


    >>>> I suppose it would be more than a bit stupid to look at dual-layer
    >>>> DVD's? :)
    >
    >>> I dont use them just because of the price, and because I dont need the
    >>> higher capacity except for more convenience with copying commercially
    >>> made DVDs.
    >
    >>> But since I never bother to watch anything more than once, life is
    >>> something I dont care about as long as the life is better than months.
    >
    >> I have no real interest in copying DVD's, so I would probably use the
    >> drive almost exclusively for backup purposes.
    >
    >> I heard that there were "rotting" problems with commercial dual-layer
    >> DVD's, so it's probably tempting fate to buy a writing dual-layer drive
    >> at the moment :) The technology is too new to be considered reliable.
    >
    > I agree that the media isnt worth bothering with currently, even if you
    > do copy commercial DVDs, two single layer DVDs makes more sense.
    >
    > But you get dual layer capable burners automatically now, I cant think
    > of any of the DVD burners worth considering that doesnt have that now.

    It would be worth getting a dual layer capable burner anyway for
    future-compatibility. But for reliability reasons, I'm certainly sticking
    to single layer DVD's for now :)

    Regards,

    Pan
  14. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    Pan <noaddress@nodomain.com> wrote in message
    news:pan.2005.06.02.02.37.50.873336@nodomain.com...
    > Rod Speed wrote

    >> I've come close tho, essentially because samsung is a tad slow
    >> with buyable drives over 160G and I've replaced the VCRs with
    >> a PC with multiple digital TV tuner cards and I have a real need
    >> for more drive space. So far I have decided to wait, essentially
    >> because the samsungs are much quieter.

    > That's interesting. How have you gone
    > about setting up a PC as a VCR recorder?

    Basically just an older PC that was once the
    main system, with multiple digital TV cards.

    XP Media Edition is another approach tho I dont use that personally.

    > Why have you gone for multiple cards?

    You basically need one for each channel recorded simultaneously.

    I watch almost nothing live now, much more convenient to watch
    it from the hard drive, so you can skip the ads, watch it when you
    choose to rather than when its broadcast, and phone calls etc
    are a complete yawn etc. I quite often am recording 3 channels
    at once, tho its usually more than 2 just because the broadcasts
    arent guaranteed to start and finish at the scheduled time etc.

    > I've been wondering what to do about VCR's
    > for a long time now VHS is on the way out

    Yeah, and with a bloody great widescreen TV, the visible
    defects with VCRs were getting to be a significant irritation.

    > and DVD recording isn't quite there yet.

    Yeah, none of those come with a digital tuner currently.

    I prefer to do my own than to buy one of the hard drive
    based recorders. Those are too limited as far as being
    able to move files around conveniently for me.

    >> Basically DVDs are now mature enough, tho in
    >> my opinion thats only quite recently become true.

    >> I basically waited till dual layer became available, even
    >> tho I dont plan to use them much for a while, due to the
    >> fact that the media is currently rather poor value.

    > Why did you think that the availability of dual layer
    > drives resulted in DVD's reaching a more mature state?

    I didnt mean to imply any link on that.

    It was more complete support for all formats and a reputation
    for being happy to burn any media that wasnt physically defective
    that happened coincidentally with dual layer capability.

    >>>>>> I currently use DVD+RW format most of the time with an
    >>>>>> ocassional use of DVD-R media so that if it turns out that
    >>>>>> one of the formats doesnt last as long as I would like, I will
    >>>>>> become aware of that while I still have at least one other
    >>>>>> format that hasnt yet started to show any sign of degradation.

    >>>>> Good idea. I'll go with DVD-R and DVD+R to ensure I have some
    >>>>> security against degradation. However, I find it unlikely that either
    >>>>> +R or -R will become unsupported, most likely they'll both be
    >>>>> supported under a new unified standard much like the old modem wars
    >>>>> between K56Flex and X2. These two were unified under V90 of course.

    >>>> I handle that differently, once a particular format is passing its
    >>>> useby date, I have always got the data that matters on more modern
    >>>> media. So I dont have anything on floppy now and dont usually bother
    >>>> to even install a floppy drive in a system I assemble anymore.

    >>> Well, I have old floppy's, but I never use them anymore,
    >>> they were pretty unreliable as a backup medium anyway.

    >> Yeah, thats the main reason I gave up on them. With my level of
    >> backup that was never more than a nuisance, but there isnt any
    >> point in bothering with that nuisance and there hasnt been any
    >> for a long time. Any system has to have a cdrom or dvd drive, so
    >> I dont bother with a floppy drive even tho they only cost peanuts.

    > Agreed. Not only were they slow and inefficient, but
    > they weren't very reliable at keeping their data either :)

    Yeah, I've never had a CD go bad, not even scratched
    enough by me to be unusuable. Lots of floppys went bad.

    >>> Pendrives seem most likely to replace them I think.

    >> Dunno, I have basically replaced them with CDs.

    > I think the slightly more inconvenient writing procedure
    > for CD's (i.e, not random access) makes flash memory,
    > i.e with pendrives a better replacement for the floppy.

    I dont do much of that sort of access with CDs. They're
    normally burnt from an iso, written using Creator Classic
    when its files to give to someone, or with backup.

    > There is packet writing for CD's of course, but it never really
    > took off in any big way, mainly I suspect because it proved
    > unreliable when writing Packet CD's on more than one system.

    Yeah, I did use it quite a bit at one time but normally use Creator Classic now.

    >> But I dont have any independant PCs, they're all networked.

    > Same here, independent PC's are just a nuisance :)

    Yeah, I normally network even foreign PCs that I'm
    working on, so much more convenient for file access etc.

    >> And when I want to give someone something thats too
    >> big for transfer over the web, CDs are more convenient
    >> than pen drives, just because they are so cheap that the
    >> cost of postage is trivial. I can send them for the letter rate.

    > Yep, I would agree that CD's are more convenient for this purpose.
    > However, if you personally want to transfer files yourself from
    > system to system, particularly if you don't control the system at
    > one end, pendrives have always seemed the best alternative to me.

    Dunno, I hardly ever move stuff small enough to fit on them now.

    Lately most stuff has been better on DVD than CD too.

    >>> However, I don't think I'd build a system without a floppy just
    >>> yet, I like the keep the option of having the device available,
    >>> and there are always annoying things that need a floppy to
    >>> work or boot with (like Dell drivers for example). Although you
    >>> can probably get around it, I think it's less hassle to keep it.

    >> I do have a floppy drive that I can plug in if its ever needed.

    >> Havent needed to for a long time, essentially I use Bart PE etc to
    >> get a driver into the system over the lan instead. That works even
    >> when the new system needs an obscure NIC driver to connect to the lan.

    >> I need the lan connection to install the various misc stuff
    >> anyway and have a folder of shortcuts on the main system
    >> so its completely trivial to configure a newly assembled system.

    > Sounds handy. I find that bootable CD's and CD-Bootable OS's like
    > Knoppix have made new system administrator pretty simple these days.

    Yeah, the only very minor blemish is that the boot from CD is a tad slow.

    More than made up for by the fact that all the tools you need are there
    once its booted. Its only the very usual stuff like drivers that arent.

    >>>>> I suppose it would be more than a bit
    >>>>> stupid to look at dual-layer DVD's? :)

    >>>> I dont use them just because of the price, and because
    >>>> I dont need the higher capacity except for more
    >>>> convenience with copying commercially made DVDs.

    >>>> But since I never bother to watch anything more than once, life is
    >>>> something I dont care about as long as the life is better than months.

    >>> I have no real interest in copying DVD's, so I would probably
    >>> use the drive almost exclusively for backup purposes.

    >>> I heard that there were "rotting" problems with commercial dual-layer
    >>> DVD's, so it's probably tempting fate to buy a writing dual-layer drive
    >>> at the moment :) The technology is too new to be considered reliable.

    >> I agree that the media isnt worth bothering with currently, even if you
    >> do copy commercial DVDs, two single layer DVDs makes more sense.

    >> But you get dual layer capable burners automatically now, I cant think
    >> of any of the DVD burners worth considering that doesnt have that now.

    > It's worth getting a dual layer capable burner as you
    > say for future-compatibility. But for reliability reasons,
    > I'm certainly sticking to single layer DVD's for now :)

    Yeah, me too, but thats mostly due to the poor value.
  15. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    On Thu, 02 Jun 2005 14:10:23 +1000, Rod Speed wrote:


    >> That's interesting. How have you gone about setting up a PC as a VCR
    >> recorder?
    >
    > Basically just an older PC that was once the main system, with multiple
    > digital TV cards.
    >
    > XP Media Edition is another approach tho I dont use that personally.

    What software/OS are you using for this? I might think about implementing
    something like this myself.


    > I watch almost nothing live now, much more convenient to watch it from
    > the hard drive, so you can skip the ads, watch it when you choose to
    > rather than when its broadcast, and phone calls etc are a complete yawn
    > etc. I quite often am recording 3 channels at once, tho its usually more
    > than 2 just because the broadcasts arent guaranteed to start and finish
    > at the scheduled time etc.

    Yes, it does sound like a good idea, and I suppose you always have the
    option to burn the TV movie files to a DVD for future viewing too.


    > I prefer to do my own than to buy one of the hard drive based recorders.
    > Those are too limited as far as being able to move files around
    > conveniently for me.

    I must admit that I know very little about hard disk recording. I had a
    look at a few today, but I couldn't work out if the Freeview ones would
    work with Sky. What I read seemed to suggest you need a Sky recorder for
    that, but as far as I can see, as long as you can get digital output, you
    can record it externally with whatever you like.


    >>> Basically DVDs are now mature enough, tho in my opinion thats only
    >>> quite recently become true.
    >
    >>> I basically waited till dual layer became available, even tho I dont
    >>> plan to use them much for a while, due to the fact that the media is
    >>> currently rather poor value.
    >
    >> Why did you think that the availability of dual layer drives resulted
    >> in DVD's reaching a more mature state?
    >
    > I didnt mean to imply any link on that.
    >
    > It was more complete support for all formats and a reputation for being
    > happy to burn any media that wasnt physically defective that happened
    > coincidentally with dual layer capability.

    Yes, the -R/RW and +R/RW standards seem to of become the main standards of
    late and are well supported. I'm not too sure about the future of DVD-RAM,
    but I guess it has enough support to last a decent time into the future.


    >>> Yeah, thats the main reason I gave up on them. With my level of backup
    >>> that was never more than a nuisance, but there isnt any point in
    >>> bothering with that nuisance and there hasnt been any for a long time.
    >>> Any system has to have a cdrom or dvd drive, so I dont bother with a
    >>> floppy drive even tho they only cost peanuts.
    >
    >> Agreed. Not only were they slow and inefficient, but they weren't very
    >> reliable at keeping their data either :)
    >
    > Yeah, I've never had a CD go bad, not even scratched enough by me to be
    > unusuable. Lots of floppys went bad.

    Yes, I got so tired of CRC errors, I brought a tape drive and starting
    using that instead :) They are apparently quite reliable, although I was
    concerned that the tape may snap one day. Then again, I've heard people
    say you can just stick it back together and it'll work fine.


    >> There is packet writing for CD's of course, but it never really took
    >> off in any big way, mainly I suspect because it proved unreliable when
    >> writing Packet CD's on more than one system.
    >
    > Yeah, I did use it quite a bit at one time but normally use Creator
    > Classic now.

    I used it for a while, but when I heard it was unreliable, I abandoned it.
    To be honest, I didn't find it very reliable myself so it wasn't a
    difficult decision.


    >>> And when I want to give someone something thats too big for transfer
    >>> over the web, CDs are more convenient than pen drives, just because
    >>> they are so cheap that the cost of postage is trivial. I can send them
    >>> for the letter rate.
    >
    >> Yep, I would agree that CD's are more convenient for this purpose.
    >> However, if you personally want to transfer files yourself from system
    >> to system, particularly if you don't control the system at one end,
    >> pendrives have always seemed the best alternative to me.
    >
    > Dunno, I hardly ever move stuff small enough to fit on them now.

    Perhaps that's true for the smaller ones, but flash memory is now nearing
    CD sizes at competitive prices.


    > Lately most stuff has been better on DVD than CD too.

    That rules out flash memory after all then ;)


    >> Sounds handy. I find that bootable CD's and CD-Bootable OS's like
    >> Knoppix have made new system administrator pretty simple these days.
    >
    > Yeah, the only very minor blemish is that the boot from CD is a tad
    > slow.
    >
    > More than made up for by the fact that all the tools you need are there
    > once its booted. Its only the very usual stuff like drivers that arent.

    I agree totally. There's nothing better as an emergency toolkit than CD
    bootable OS's. Drivers can be a problem when they get older, but most of
    the ones I use are updated regularly anyway.

    Regards,

    Pan
  16. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    Pan <noaddress@nodomain.com> wrote in message
    news:pan.2005.06.02.23.20.13.78904@nodomain.com...
    > Rod Speed wrote

    >>> That's interesting. How have you gone
    >>> about setting up a PC as a VCR recorder?

    >> Basically just an older PC that was once the
    >> main system, with multiple digital TV cards.

    >> XP Media Edition is another approach tho I dont use that personally.

    > What software/OS are you using for this?

    What came with the card, on XP. The software supports multiple cards.

    Looking at using webschedule, but havent started to yet.

    > I might think about implementing something like this myself.

    I've had no regrets at all.

    Only thing that I didnt think thru fully was the use of hard drive
    space, at 2-4G per hour, its quite hungry of hard drive space
    and while you can crunch that back to say 350MB avi files, the
    computing horsepower required to do that in a reasonable time
    isnt trivial. Currently I just watch it in the dvr-ms file format.

    >> I watch almost nothing live now, much more convenient to watch
    >> it from the hard drive, so you can skip the ads, watch it when you
    >> choose to rather than when its broadcast, and phone calls etc are
    >> a complete yawn etc. I quite often am recording 3 channels at once,
    >> tho its usually more than 2 just because the broadcasts arent
    >> guaranteed to start and finish at the scheduled time etc.

    > Yes, it does sound like a good idea, and I suppose you always have
    > the option to burn the TV movie files to a DVD for future viewing too.

    Yep. And I deliberately got a DVD player which can play mpeg files
    directly. It takes minimal computing power to turn a dvr-ms file into
    an mpeg, its really just stripping off the packet info in the dvr-ms file.

    >> I prefer to do my own than to buy one of the hard drive
    >> based recorders. Those are too limited as far as being
    >> able to move files around conveniently for me.

    > I must admit that I know very little about hard disk recording. I had a
    > look at a few today, but I couldn't work out if the Freeview ones would
    > work with Sky. What I read seemed to suggest you need a Sky recorder
    > for that, but as far as I can see, as long as you can get digital output,
    > you can record it externally with whatever you like.

    Yeah, thats basically correct.

    >>>> Basically DVDs are now mature enough, tho in
    >>>> my opinion thats only quite recently become true.

    >>>> I basically waited till dual layer became available, even
    >>>> tho I dont plan to use them much for a while, due to the
    >>>> fact that the media is currently rather poor value.

    >>> Why did you think that the availability of dual layer drives
    >>> resulted in DVD's reaching a more mature state?

    >> I didnt mean to imply any link on that.

    >> It was more complete support for all formats and a reputation
    >> for being happy to burn any media that wasnt physically
    >> defective that happened coincidentally with dual layer capability.

    > Yes, the -R/RW and +R/RW standards seem to of become
    > the main standards of late and are well supported.

    Yep, any decent burner supports them all now. Dual layer too.

    > I'm not too sure about the future of DVD-RAM, but I guess
    > it has enough support to last a decent time into the future.

    Yeah, tho if any are going to die early it will be that one.

    I didnt bother with it myself, mainly because the media is poor value.

    >>>> Yeah, thats the main reason I gave up on them. With my level of
    >>>> backup that was never more than a nuisance, but there isnt any
    >>>> point in bothering with that nuisance and there hasnt been any for
    >>>> a long time. Any system has to have a cdrom or dvd drive, so I
    >>>> dont bother with a floppy drive even tho they only cost peanuts.

    >>> Agreed. Not only were they slow and inefficient, but
    >>> they weren't very reliable at keeping their data either :)

    >> Yeah, I've never had a CD go bad, not even scratched
    >> enough by me to be unusuable. Lots of floppys went bad.

    > Yes, I got so tired of CRC errors, I brought a tape drive and
    > starting using that instead :) They are apparently quite reliable,

    I gave up on those before I gave up on floppys.

    > although I was concerned that the tape may snap one day.

    That isnt seen very often at all.

    > Then again, I've heard people say you can
    > just stick it back together and it'll work fine.

    >>>> And when I want to give someone something thats too big
    >>>> for transfer over the web, CDs are more convenient than
    >>>> pen drives, just because they are so cheap that the cost
    >>>> of postage is trivial. I can send them for the letter rate.

    >>> Yep, I would agree that CD's are more convenient for this purpose.
    >>> However, if you personally want to transfer files yourself from system
    >>> to system, particularly if you don't control the system at one end,
    >>> pendrives have always seemed the best alternative to me.

    >> Dunno, I hardly ever move stuff small enough to fit on them now.

    > Perhaps that's true for the smaller ones,
    > but flash memory is now nearing CD sizes

    Yes.

    > at competitive prices.

    Cant agree with that at all.

    >> Lately most stuff has been better on DVD than CD too.

    > That rules out flash memory after all then ;)

    Yep.
  17. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    On Fri, 03 Jun 2005 10:11:29 +1000, Rod Speed wrote:

    >
    > Pan <noaddress@nodomain.com> wrote in message
    > news:pan.2005.06.02.23.20.13.78904@nodomain.com...
    >> Rod Speed wrote
    >
    >>>> That's interesting. How have you gone
    >>>> about setting up a PC as a VCR recorder?
    >
    >>> Basically just an older PC that was once the
    >>> main system, with multiple digital TV cards.
    >
    >>> XP Media Edition is another approach tho I dont use that personally.
    >
    >> What software/OS are you using for this?
    >
    > What came with the card, on XP. The software supports multiple cards.

    Which TV cards do you use? How did you find them?

    >> I might think about implementing something like this myself.
    >
    > I've had no regrets at all.

    Sounds interesting for sure.

    >
    > Only thing that I didnt think thru fully was the use of hard drive
    > space, at 2-4G per hour, its quite hungry of hard drive space
    > and while you can crunch that back to say 350MB avi files, the
    > computing horsepower required to do that in a reasonable time
    > isnt trivial. Currently I just watch it in the dvr-ms file format.

    Yes, I'm not surprised about that, video is well known to consume a lot of
    hard disk space without processor intensive compression. But with a 160G
    hard disk, that still gives you a lot of recording :)

    >
    >> I'm not too sure about the future of DVD-RAM, but I guess
    >> it has enough support to last a decent time into the future.
    >
    > Yeah, tho if any are going to die early it will be that one.

    I agree with that, so that's the one I plan to avoid. I think it's quite
    likely that a new unified standard somewhere between -R and +R technology
    will be developed. At this stage, I'm not sure where DVD-RAM will fit in.

    >
    >>>>> Yeah, thats the main reason I gave up on them. With my level of
    >>>>> backup that was never more than a nuisance, but there isnt any
    >>>>> point in bothering with that nuisance and there hasnt been any for
    >>>>> a long time. Any system has to have a cdrom or dvd drive, so I
    >>>>> dont bother with a floppy drive even tho they only cost peanuts.
    >
    >>>> Agreed. Not only were they slow and inefficient, but
    >>>> they weren't very reliable at keeping their data either :)
    >
    >>> Yeah, I've never had a CD go bad, not even scratched
    >>> enough by me to be unusuable. Lots of floppys went bad.
    >
    >> Yes, I got so tired of CRC errors, I brought a tape drive and
    >> starting using that instead :) They are apparently quite reliable,
    >
    > I gave up on those before I gave up on floppys.

    Why? Although they are quite slow, I think it's infinitely preferable to
    floppy's surely?

    >
    >> Perhaps that's true for the smaller ones,
    >> but flash memory is now nearing CD sizes
    >
    > Yes.
    >
    >> at competitive prices.
    >
    > Cant agree with that at all.

    Well, a quick survey of an online shop I use establishes a 512 pendrive at
    £28 with an SD card at £18. This isn't as cheap as DVD media of
    course, but no drive is required and the drive has random read/write
    capability and is fully re-usable.

    I guess it comes down to what you want. I would prefer the convenience of
    a 512 pendrive for carting data about at the prices quoted, whereas you
    may prefer the raw savings provided by the use of CD media. Each to
    his/her own I suppose :)

    Just wanted to personally thank you in advance for all the help you've
    provided. Your advice has proven very useful in helping me to choose to
    switch to DVD media.

    My thanks also to everybody else who replied in this thread. Much
    appreciated.

    Regards,

    Pan
  18. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    Pan <noaddress@nodomain.com> wrote in message
    news:pan.2005.06.03.14.16.46.852134@nodomain.com...
    > Rod Speed wrote
    >> Pan <noaddress@nodomain.com> wrote
    >>> Rod Speed wrote

    >>>>> That's interesting. How have you gone
    >>>>> about setting up a PC as a VCR recorder?

    >>>> Basically just an older PC that was once the
    >>>> main system, with multiple digital TV cards.

    >>>> XP Media Edition is another approach tho I dont use that personally.

    >>> What software/OS are you using for this?

    >> What came with the card, on XP.
    >> The software supports multiple cards.

    > Which TV cards do you use?

    DNTV Live!

    > How did you find them?

    Not clear if you mean how did I discover them or how do I find
    them to use. No real complaints except that the software is a
    little less than perfect currently, not by much tho.

    >>> I might think about implementing something like this myself.

    >> I've had no regrets at all.

    > Sounds interesting for sure.

    Yeah, rather radically changes the way I do things with TV recording.

    You dont have to fart around finding big enough holes
    in the tapes for what you want to record, just ensure
    that the total space left on the hard drive is enough.

    The viewer I use keeps track of where I have got up to in each
    file, so thats in some ways even easier than with tapes too.

    >> Only thing that I didnt think thru fully was the use of hard drive
    >> space, at 2-4G per hour, its quite hungry of hard drive space
    >> and while you can crunch that back to say 350MB avi files, the
    >> computing horsepower required to do that in a reasonable time
    >> isnt trivial. Currently I just watch it in the dvr-ms file format.

    > Yes, I'm not surprised about that, video is well known to consume
    > a lot of hard disk space without processor intensive compression.
    > But with a 160G hard disk, that still gives you a lot of recording :)

    Yeah, but I do record quite a bit since I watch almost nothing live.

    >>> I'm not too sure about the future of DVD-RAM, but I guess
    >>> it has enough support to last a decent time into the future.

    >> Yeah, tho if any are going to die early it will be that one.

    > I agree with that, so that's the one I plan to avoid. I think it's quite
    > likely that a new unified standard somewhere between -R and +R technology
    > will be developed. At this stage, I'm not sure where DVD-RAM will fit in.

    I guess it mostly depends on how long its used in dedicated DVD recorders.

    My burner will read them, just wont burn them.

    >>>>>> Yeah, thats the main reason I gave up on them. With my level of
    >>>>>> backup that was never more than a nuisance, but there isnt any
    >>>>>> point in bothering with that nuisance and there hasnt been any for
    >>>>>> a long time. Any system has to have a cdrom or dvd drive, so I
    >>>>>> dont bother with a floppy drive even tho they only cost peanuts.

    >>>>> Agreed. Not only were they slow and inefficient, but
    >>>>> they weren't very reliable at keeping their data either :)

    >>>> Yeah, I've never had a CD go bad, not even scratched
    >>>> enough by me to be unusuable. Lots of floppys went bad.

    >>> Yes, I got so tired of CRC errors, I brought a tape drive and
    >>> starting using that instead :) They are apparently quite reliable,

    >> I gave up on those before I gave up on floppys.

    > Why?

    Too unreliable.

    > Although they are quite slow, I think it's
    > infinitely preferable to floppy's surely?

    Sure, but I had a CD burner by then.

    >>> Perhaps that's true for the smaller ones,
    >>> but flash memory is now nearing CD sizes

    >> Yes.

    >>> at competitive prices.

    >> Cant agree with that at all.

    > Well, a quick survey of an online shop I use establishes a 512 pendrive at
    > £28 with an SD card at £18. This isn't as cheap as DVD media of course,

    Thats what I meant by the prices not being competitive at all.

    > but no drive is required

    Sure, but I have one anyway for other reasons.

    > and the drive has random read/write capability and is fully re-usable.

    Sure, the technology is fine, its just poor value.

    > I guess it comes down to what you want. I would prefer the convenience
    > of a 512 pendrive for carting data about at the prices quoted,

    I use CD for that size. And had a CD burner
    well before the pen drives ever showed up.

    > whereas you may prefer the raw savings
    > provided by the use of CD media.

    Its not that so much as the fact that I move data around on the lan
    or the net the bulk of the time and with the bigger volumes where a
    CD makes sense, CDs are so cheap I dont care about the cost and
    they are much more convenient to post, since you dont need to waste
    any money on more than letter rate and dont need to get it back etc.

    > Each to his/her own I suppose :)

    Indeed. They are quite useful if you want a portable mp3
    player, but I dont bother with portable music at all, ever.

    > Just wanted to personally thank you in advance for all
    > the help you've provided. Your advice has proven very
    > useful in helping me to choose to switch to DVD media.

    No problem, thats what these tech groups are all about.

    > My thanks also to everybody else who
    > replied in this thread. Much appreciated.
  19. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    Previously Pan <noaddress@nodomain.com> wrote:
    > On Sun, 29 May 2005 14:36:46 +0000, Arno Wagner wrote:


    >>> Would any of you say that the DVD standard is now as mature as CD and
    >>> as safe a bet? Should I hang on to CD's a bit longer, or is it better
    >>> to migrate to DVD at this stage?
    >>
    >> From the regular tests of writable DVDs and writers in the german
    >> computer magazine c't, I would say that no, writable DVD (with the
    >> exception of DVD-RAM) is not there yet. There are still frequent tests
    >> where some quality medium and some DVD writers do not work well together
    >> and produce unreliable or failed burns.
    >>
    >>

    > I do scan all written CD's with Nero CD Speed using both the Scandisc and
    > CD quality tests so I hopefully should be able to pick up initially poorly
    > written burns before I consign the DVD to storage. That's assuming that
    > Nero CD-DVD does the same job as CD Speed of course.....

    > My main worry in migrating to DVD's is the potential loss of data over a
    > period of time,

    That would be my concern also. You need a significanlty better than
    "reads fine after burning" burn to accomodate ageing. c't does
    surface analysis with professional equipment after test burns and
    many combinations of writer/speed/medium are marginal or problematic.
    The problem is not that there are no good combinations, but that it
    is difficult to find them. In addition the manufacturers seem to
    change their media over time and a firmware-upgrade to a writer
    can make things better or worse so you cannot rely long-term on
    published test results.

    Arno
  20. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    On Sat, 04 Jun 2005 15:14:56 +0000, Arno Wagner wrote:


    >> My main worry in migrating to DVD's is the potential loss of data over
    >> a period of time,
    >
    > That would be my concern also. You need a significanlty better than
    > "reads fine after burning" burn to accomodate ageing. c't does surface
    > analysis with professional equipment after test burns and many
    > combinations of writer/speed/medium are marginal or problematic. The
    > problem is not that there are no good combinations, but that it is
    > difficult to find them. In addition the manufacturers seem to change
    > their media over time and a firmware-upgrade to a writer can make things
    > better or worse so you cannot rely long-term on published test results.
    >
    > Arno

    I agree with that. So the question really is, does two DVD burns on
    different media give a very good chance that at least one survives the
    next five/ten years? This is of course on single-layer media, certainly in
    the case of dual-layer, it would not be worth the risk.

    Regards,

    Pan
  21. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    On Sat, 04 Jun 2005 05:22:52 +1000, Rod Speed wrote:

    >
    >> Which TV cards do you use?
    >
    > DNTV Live!
    >
    >> How did you find them?
    >
    > Not clear if you mean how did I discover them or how do I find
    > them to use. No real complaints except that the software is a
    > little less than perfect currently, not by much tho.

    That was what I meant, thanks for the information.

    >
    >>>> I might think about implementing something like this myself.
    >
    >>> I've had no regrets at all.
    >
    >> Sounds interesting for sure.
    >
    > Yeah, rather radically changes the way I do things with TV recording.
    >
    > You dont have to fart around finding big enough holes
    > in the tapes for what you want to record, just ensure
    > that the total space left on the hard drive is enough.

    Yes, I've tired of doing that as well, and I've been thinking about an HD
    recorder for a while as a means of solving that problem. Never thought of
    using a PC to do it though :)

    >
    >>>> Yes, I got so tired of CRC errors, I brought a tape drive and
    >>>> starting using that instead :) They are apparently quite reliable,
    >
    >>> I gave up on those before I gave up on floppys.
    >
    >> Why?
    >
    > Too unreliable.

    Really? What problems did you have? I didn't lose a byte of data in the
    admittedly short time I used them.

    >
    >> Although they are quite slow, I think it's
    >> infinitely preferable to floppy's surely?
    >
    > Sure, but I had a CD burner by then.

    CD burners were very expensive in the time I switched to a tape drive. I
    couldn't afford the burner, so the tape was the next best thing I could
    get. At that time too, CD wasn't entirely proven for backup.

    >
    >>>> Perhaps that's true for the smaller ones,
    >>>> but flash memory is now nearing CD sizes
    >
    >>> Yes.
    >
    >>>> at competitive prices.
    >
    >>> Cant agree with that at all.
    >
    >> Well, a quick survey of an online shop I use establishes a 512 pendrive at
    >> £28 with an SD card at £18. This isn't as cheap as DVD media of course,
    >
    > Thats what I meant by the prices not being competitive at all.

    I can't really argue with that :)

    >
    >> I guess it comes down to what you want. I would prefer the convenience
    >> of a 512 pendrive for carting data about at the prices quoted,
    >
    > I use CD for that size. And had a CD burner
    > well before the pen drives ever showed up.
    >
    >> whereas you may prefer the raw savings
    >> provided by the use of CD media.
    >
    > Its not that so much as the fact that I move data around on the lan
    > or the net the bulk of the time and with the bigger volumes where a
    > CD makes sense, CDs are so cheap I dont care about the cost and
    > they are much more convenient to post, since you dont need to waste
    > any money on more than letter rate and dont need to get it back etc.

    Yeah, I can see why it might be useful in your situation. For sure, CD has
    it's uses even for me, but perhaps flash memory is more appropriate for my
    usage patterns.

    >
    >> Each to his/her own I suppose :)
    >
    > Indeed. They are quite useful if you want a portable mp3
    > player, but I dont bother with portable music at all, ever.

    I do have an mp3 flash memory device, but I actually brought a pendrive
    for data before that. So I have one each for both music and data.

    >
    >> Just wanted to personally thank you in advance for all
    >> the help you've provided. Your advice has proven very
    >> useful in helping me to choose to switch to DVD media.
    >
    > No problem, thats what these tech groups are all about.

    True, but I appreciate your advice all the same, particularly since you've
    answered far more than the original question. Much obliged for your help.

    >> My thanks also to everybody else who
    >> replied in this thread. Much appreciated.

    Regards,

    Pan
  22. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    Pan <noaddress@nodomain.com> wrote in message
    news:pan.2005.06.04.15.47.47.193874@nodomain.com...
    > Rod Speed wrote

    >>>>> Yes, I got so tired of CRC errors, I brought a tape drive and
    >>>>> starting using that instead :) They are apparently quite reliable,

    >>>> I gave up on those before I gave up on floppys.

    >>> Why?

    >> Too unreliable.

    > Really? What problems did you have?

    Forget the fine detail now, but one tape became
    unusable, even tho it was mechanically fine.

    I also had a hell of a problem with the tape hunting as
    it was written, essentially because the data couldnt be
    supplied fast enough and so it had to back up repeatedly.
    This was with those damned floppy interface tape drives.

    > I didn't lose a byte of data in the admittedly short time I used them.

    >>> Although they are quite slow, I think it's
    >>> infinitely preferable to floppy's surely?

    >> Sure, but I had a CD burner by then.

    > CD burners were very expensive in the time I switched to a tape drive.

    Sure, I certainly used the tape drives before the CD burner,
    but gave up on the tapes once the first CD burner was bought.

    > I couldn't afford the burner, so the tape was the next best thing
    > I could get. At that time too, CD wasn't entirely proven for backup.

    It turned out to be considerably more reliable for me.

    >>> I guess it comes down to what you want. I would prefer the convenience
    >>> of a 512 pendrive for carting data about at the prices quoted,

    >> I use CD for that size. And had a CD burner
    >> well before the pen drives ever showed up.

    >>> whereas you may prefer the raw savings
    >>> provided by the use of CD media.

    >> Its not that so much as the fact that I move data around on the lan
    >> or the net the bulk of the time and with the bigger volumes where a
    >> CD makes sense, CDs are so cheap I dont care about the cost and
    >> they are much more convenient to post, since you dont need to waste
    >> any money on more than letter rate and dont need to get it back etc.

    > Yeah, I can see why it might be useful in your situation.
    > For sure, CD has it's uses even for me, but perhaps flash
    > memory is more appropriate for my usage patterns.

    Yeah, I agree that mine are a bit atypical there, I dont move much
    stuff between physical machines that arent lan connected and I got
    into the habit of plugging even foreign machines being worked on
    into the lan effortlessly for easy movement of data between them.

    >>> Just wanted to personally thank you in advance for all
    >>> the help you've provided. Your advice has proven very
    >>> useful in helping me to choose to switch to DVD media.

    >> No problem, thats what these tech groups are all about.

    > True, but I appreciate your advice all the same, particularly since you've
    > answered far more than the original question. Much obliged for your help.

    No problem, happy to discuss almost anything except
    say knitting which I know bugger all about |-)
  23. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    Pan <noaddress@nodomain.com> wrote in message
    news:pan.2005.06.04.15.34.28.280538@nodomain.com...
    > Arno Wagner wrote

    >>> My main worry in migrating to DVD's is the
    >>> potential loss of data over a period of time,

    >> That would be my concern also. You need a significanlty better than
    >> "reads fine after burning" burn to accomodate ageing. c't does surface
    >> analysis with professional equipment after test burns and many
    >> combinations of writer/speed/medium are marginal or problematic. The
    >> problem is not that there are no good combinations, but that it is
    >> difficult to find them. In addition the manufacturers seem to change
    >> their media over time and a firmware-upgrade to a writer can make things
    >> better or worse so you cannot rely long-term on published test results.

    > I agree with that. So the question really is, does two DVD burns on
    > different media give a very good chance that at least one survives the
    > next five/ten years?

    Its not that prediction that matters so much as carefully checking
    the readability at a decent rate so that you can detect the situation
    where one has gone bad, before they have both gone bad and
    you can just make another copy to replace the one gone bad.

    While I did that with CDs when they were at the equivalent
    maturity, it turned out that none went bad, so it was just insurance.

    > This is of course on single-layer media, certainly in
    > the case of dual-layer, it would not be worth the risk.

    Yeah, and pointless given its price currently anyway.
  24. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    On Sun, 05 Jun 2005 04:24:47 +1000, Rod Speed wrote:

    >
    >> I agree with that. So the question really is, does two DVD burns on
    >> different media give a very good chance that at least one survives the
    >> next five/ten years?
    >
    > Its not that prediction that matters so much as carefully checking
    > the readability at a decent rate so that you can detect the situation
    > where one has gone bad, before they have both gone bad and
    > you can just make another copy to replace the one gone bad.

    That makes sense, but sounds like a lot of management in the long run. How
    do you schedule your checks on the media? Do you follow any patterns?

    Regards,

    Pan
  25. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    On Sun, 05 Jun 2005 04:21:11 +1000, Rod Speed wrote:

    >
    > Pan <noaddress@nodomain.com> wrote in message
    > news:pan.2005.06.04.15.47.47.193874@nodomain.com...
    >> Rod Speed wrote
    >
    >>>>>> Yes, I got so tired of CRC errors, I brought a tape drive and
    >>>>>> starting using that instead :) They are apparently quite reliable,
    >
    >>>>> I gave up on those before I gave up on floppys.
    >
    >>>> Why?
    >
    >>> Too unreliable.
    >
    >> Really? What problems did you have?
    >
    > Forget the fine detail now, but one tape became
    > unusable, even tho it was mechanically fine.

    That doesn't sound too good..... I might give a few of my tapes a whirl
    and see what condition they are in.

    >
    > I also had a hell of a problem with the tape hunting as
    > it was written, essentially because the data couldnt be
    > supplied fast enough and so it had to back up repeatedly.
    > This was with those damned floppy interface tape drives.

    Yes, those are likely to be very slow. I had a parallel port drive myself,
    but that was pretty slow as well. I think it was 4megs a minute.

    >
    >> I didn't lose a byte of data in the admittedly short time I used them.
    >
    >>>> Although they are quite slow, I think it's
    >>>> infinitely preferable to floppy's surely?
    >
    >>> Sure, but I had a CD burner by then.
    >
    >> CD burners were very expensive in the time I switched to a tape drive.
    >
    > Sure, I certainly used the tape drives before the CD burner,
    > but gave up on the tapes once the first CD burner was bought.

    Me too in that case. I brought the CD Writer with the expressed goal of
    using it as a primary backup means, although I remember having quite a few
    problems with it. At first I thought it was the drive because it was a
    cheap one. But years after, I discovered that my motherboard had a known
    IDE flaw with CD writers. As far as I remember, the problem was
    inconsistent writing reliability.

    >
    >> I couldn't afford the burner, so the tape was the next best thing
    >> I could get. At that time too, CD wasn't entirely proven for backup.
    >
    > It turned out to be considerably more reliable for me.

    Let's hope DVD does too :)

    >
    >>>> Just wanted to personally thank you in advance for all
    >>>> the help you've provided. Your advice has proven very
    >>>> useful in helping me to choose to switch to DVD media.
    >
    >>> No problem, thats what these tech groups are all about.
    >
    >> True, but I appreciate your advice all the same, particularly since you've
    >> answered far more than the original question. Much obliged for your help.
    >
    > No problem, happy to discuss almost anything except
    > say knitting which I know bugger all about |-)

    lol. I wouldn't ask me for advice on that subject either if I was you ;)

    Regards,

    Pan
  26. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    On Mon, 06 Jun 2005 00:26:20 +0100, Pan <noaddress@nodomain.com>
    wrote:

    >On Sun, 05 Jun 2005 04:24:47 +1000, Rod Speed wrote:
    >>
    >>> I agree with that. So the question really is, does two DVD burns on
    >>> different media give a very good chance that at least one survives the
    >>> next five/ten years?
    >>
    >> Its not that prediction that matters so much as carefully checking
    >> the readability at a decent rate so that you can detect the situation
    >> where one has gone bad, before they have both gone bad and
    >> you can just make another copy to replace the one gone bad.
    >
    >That makes sense, but sounds like a lot of management in the long run. How
    >do you schedule your checks on the media? Do you follow any patterns?

    I've got a good bit of data on CDR failure (based on hundreds of dead
    and dying CDRs from the last decade), but my DVDs haven't started
    failing yet. Other people's have. I'm running tests on them, but no
    solid results yet. Generally, I wouldn't trust any burned media over
    2 years. Lots of people (myself included) have burned discs much
    older than that, but when they fail, that's when it starts, IME.

    Here's what I've come up with.

    To ensure longest data life on burned media (CDR or DVD):

    - Test burn different brand media at full speed with verification and
    find what works most reliably on your burner(s). My NECs like
    RICOHJPN* media, with maybe 1 failure per 50 burns. I recently tried
    CMC 8X blanks (blech - ordered the wrong media!), and got 1 out of 4
    verification failures at 8x in 16 burns. All are fine at 4x,so I use
    them at 4x for short-term data storage.

    Remember that brand names are no indication of who actually made the
    disc, and this week's Memorex may be completely different than the
    ones you bought a month ago. The OEM media code is what counts, not
    what's stamped on the label.

    - Always burn important data below the rated max speed for the burner.
    I burn at 1/2 max rated speed, except on 4x burners, where you have to
    burn at 2.4x. I have lots of data showing that this dramatically
    extends burned media life on CDR. This and verification make the
    burns take a lot longer than they need to, but if data integrity is
    important, this is the no-shortcut route.

    - Always verify your burns. Even good quality media has bad discs
    sometimes.

    To help troubleshoot future problems:

    - Always write the date, burner model, speed burned, media code, and
    whether verified on the media.

    - Some readers are better at pulling data from failing discs than
    others. My LiteOn LTD163 DVD reader reads failing/dead CDRs that
    Plextors, Teacs, and NECs are unable to read at all. No data on
    failing DVDs, since I don't have any yet.

    To keep your data safe long-term:

    - Store it on a hard drive, and automatically back up that hard drive
    to another hard drive, ideally in a different physical location to
    protect from burglars and localized catastrophes. Be sure to verify
    the backups now and again to make sure no glitches are at work in your
    system.

    - Once every so often, burn your data (primary or backups; there are
    tradeoffs either way) to DVD. How often depends on how fast your data
    changes and how important it is. Store these somewhere cool and dry
    (I keep them in a big safe with other useful stuff).

    For my family photos and such, I burn them to DVD once a quarter,
    which means that my DVDs never (so far) have enough time to go bad
    before another generation is in place. Losing all my data would
    require the failure/loss of 2 hard drives and a stack of DVDs all at
    once. A major fire could do this, but that's acceptable per my risk
    management decisions. I could get around this by storing the backup
    DVDs offsite.

    Whatever you do, think through what can go wrong and what resources it
    takes to cover it. A super backup plan is no good if you won't
    actually pull it off, but every extra level of backup reduces the risk
    of total data loss dramatically.


    --
    Neil Maxwell - I don't speak for my employer
  27. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    Pan <noaddress@nodomain.com> wrote in message
    news:pan.2005.06.05.23.26.20.591126@nodomain.com...
    > Rod Speed wrote

    >>> I agree with that. So the question really is, does two
    >>> DVD burns on different media give a very good chance
    >>> that at least one survives the next five/ten years?

    >> Its not that prediction that matters so much as carefully checking
    >> the readability at a decent rate so that you can detect the situation
    >> where one has gone bad, before they have both gone bad and
    >> you can just make another copy to replace the one gone bad.

    > That makes sense, but sounds like a lot of management in the long run.
    > How do you schedule your checks on the media? Do you follow any patterns?

    Not really. Dont need to check much since I use them for other
    than backup anyway, so I will notice if some become unreadable.

    Just do a check every year or so until I decided that they
    werent going to die and checked less frequently than that.
  28. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    Rod Speed wrote:
    > Pan <noaddress@nodomain.com> wrote in message
    > news:pan.2005.06.05.23.26.20.591126@nodomain.com...
    >> Rod Speed wrote
    >
    >>>> I agree with that. So the question really is, does two
    >>>> DVD burns on different media give a very good chance
    >>>> that at least one survives the next five/ten years?
    >
    >>> Its not that prediction that matters so much as carefully checking
    >>> the readability at a decent rate so that you can detect the
    >>> situation where one has gone bad, before they have both gone bad and
    >>> you can just make another copy to replace the one gone bad.
    >
    >> That makes sense, but sounds like a lot of management in the long
    >> run. How do you schedule your checks on the media? Do you follow any
    >> patterns?
    >
    > Not really. Dont need to check much since I use them for other
    > than backup anyway, so I will notice if some become unreadable.
    >
    > Just do a check every year or so until I decided that they
    > werent going to die and checked less frequently than that.

    Its worth noting that the reflected layer is situated on the top surface
    (label side)
    of CDRs - any deep scratch here will destroy data - and this cannot be
    repaired.
    A scratch on the underside can be polished out, one on the label side can't.
    "Printable" CDRs are better protected for this (thicker label layer)

    The top surface is surprisingly thin (try using a penknife on a CD you don't
    care about)

    The reflective surface is in the middle of the disk with DVDs, so a surface
    scratch
    can't affect it..They are less tolerant of tiny everyday scratches and
    fingerprints due
    to the higher data density, though those can be polished out.

    --
    Mike
  29. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    Neil Maxwell wrote:

    > On Mon, 06 Jun 2005 00:26:20 +0100, Pan <noaddress@nodomain.com>
    > wrote:
    >
    >>On Sun, 05 Jun 2005 04:24:47 +1000, Rod Speed wrote:
    >>>
    >>>> I agree with that. So the question really is, does two DVD burns on
    >>>> different media give a very good chance that at least one survives the
    >>>> next five/ten years?
    >>>
    >>> Its not that prediction that matters so much as carefully checking
    >>> the readability at a decent rate so that you can detect the situation
    >>> where one has gone bad, before they have both gone bad and
    >>> you can just make another copy to replace the one gone bad.
    >>
    >>That makes sense, but sounds like a lot of management in the long run. How
    >>do you schedule your checks on the media? Do you follow any patterns?
    >
    > I've got a good bit of data on CDR failure (based on hundreds of dead
    > and dying CDRs from the last decade), but my DVDs haven't started
    > failing yet. Other people's have. I'm running tests on them, but no
    > solid results yet. Generally, I wouldn't trust any burned media over
    > 2 years. Lots of people (myself included) have burned discs much
    > older than that, but when they fail, that's when it starts, IME.

    Have you addressed the dye chemistry in your tests? Different dyes have
    different storage lives--some are only good for a few years, others are
    much more stable. Not only do different manufacturers use different dyes,
    but also some manufacturers make several lines of media with different dyes
    (the more durable dyes are also more expensive I understand, but that might
    just be marketing).

    > Here's what I've come up with.
    >
    > To ensure longest data life on burned media (CDR or DVD):
    >
    > - Test burn different brand media at full speed with verification and
    > find what works most reliably on your burner(s). My NECs like
    > RICOHJPN* media, with maybe 1 failure per 50 burns. I recently tried
    > CMC 8X blanks (blech - ordered the wrong media!), and got 1 out of 4
    > verification failures at 8x in 16 burns. All are fine at 4x,so I use
    > them at 4x for short-term data storage.
    >
    > Remember that brand names are no indication of who actually made the
    > disc, and this week's Memorex may be completely different than the
    > ones you bought a month ago. The OEM media code is what counts, not
    > what's stamped on the label.
    >
    > - Always burn important data below the rated max speed for the burner.
    > I burn at 1/2 max rated speed, except on 4x burners, where you have to
    > burn at 2.4x. I have lots of data showing that this dramatically
    > extends burned media life on CDR. This and verification make the
    > burns take a lot longer than they need to, but if data integrity is
    > important, this is the no-shortcut route.
    >
    > - Always verify your burns. Even good quality media has bad discs
    > sometimes.
    >
    > To help troubleshoot future problems:
    >
    > - Always write the date, burner model, speed burned, media code, and
    > whether verified on the media.
    >
    > - Some readers are better at pulling data from failing discs than
    > others. My LiteOn LTD163 DVD reader reads failing/dead CDRs that
    > Plextors, Teacs, and NECs are unable to read at all. No data on
    > failing DVDs, since I don't have any yet.
    >
    > To keep your data safe long-term:
    >
    > - Store it on a hard drive, and automatically back up that hard drive
    > to another hard drive, ideally in a different physical location to
    > protect from burglars and localized catastrophes. Be sure to verify
    > the backups now and again to make sure no glitches are at work in your
    > system.
    >
    > - Once every so often, burn your data (primary or backups; there are
    > tradeoffs either way) to DVD. How often depends on how fast your data
    > changes and how important it is. Store these somewhere cool and dry
    > (I keep them in a big safe with other useful stuff).
    >
    > For my family photos and such, I burn them to DVD once a quarter,
    > which means that my DVDs never (so far) have enough time to go bad
    > before another generation is in place. Losing all my data would
    > require the failure/loss of 2 hard drives and a stack of DVDs all at
    > once. A major fire could do this, but that's acceptable per my risk
    > management decisions. I could get around this by storing the backup
    > DVDs offsite.
    >
    > Whatever you do, think through what can go wrong and what resources it
    > takes to cover it. A super backup plan is no good if you won't
    > actually pull it off, but every extra level of backup reduces the risk
    > of total data loss dramatically.
    >
    >
    > --
    > Neil Maxwell - I don't speak for my employer

    --
    --John
    to email, dial "usenet" and validate
    (was jclarke at eye bee em dot net)
  30. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    Previously J. Clarke <jclarke.usenet@snet.net.invalid> wrote:
    > Neil Maxwell wrote:

    >> On Mon, 06 Jun 2005 00:26:20 +0100, Pan <noaddress@nodomain.com>
    >> wrote:
    >>
    >>>On Sun, 05 Jun 2005 04:24:47 +1000, Rod Speed wrote:
    >>>>
    >>>>> I agree with that. So the question really is, does two DVD burns on
    >>>>> different media give a very good chance that at least one survives the
    >>>>> next five/ten years?
    >>>>
    >>>> Its not that prediction that matters so much as carefully checking
    >>>> the readability at a decent rate so that you can detect the situation
    >>>> where one has gone bad, before they have both gone bad and
    >>>> you can just make another copy to replace the one gone bad.
    >>>
    >>>That makes sense, but sounds like a lot of management in the long run. How
    >>>do you schedule your checks on the media? Do you follow any patterns?
    >>
    >> I've got a good bit of data on CDR failure (based on hundreds of dead
    >> and dying CDRs from the last decade), but my DVDs haven't started
    >> failing yet. Other people's have. I'm running tests on them, but no
    >> solid results yet. Generally, I wouldn't trust any burned media over
    >> 2 years. Lots of people (myself included) have burned discs much
    >> older than that, but when they fail, that's when it starts, IME.

    > Have you addressed the dye chemistry in your tests? Different dyes have
    > different storage lives--some are only good for a few years, others are
    > much more stable. Not only do different manufacturers use different dyes,
    > but also some manufacturers make several lines of media with different dyes
    > (the more durable dyes are also more expensive I understand, but that might
    > just be marketing).

    I could imagine that longer life entails more precise manufacturing,
    and/or more difficult to process dyes. At least that would make sense.

    Still, the killer for CD/DVD as reliable storage medium is that
    it impossible to determine media lifetime with reasonable effort.
    If I need to spend many hours extra, I can afford something much
    better than this low-end mass-market storage nightmare.

    Arno
  31. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    Arno Wagner wrote:

    > Previously J. Clarke <jclarke.usenet@snet.net.invalid> wrote:
    >> Neil Maxwell wrote:
    >
    >>> On Mon, 06 Jun 2005 00:26:20 +0100, Pan <noaddress@nodomain.com>
    >>> wrote:
    >>>
    >>>>On Sun, 05 Jun 2005 04:24:47 +1000, Rod Speed wrote:
    >>>>>
    >>>>>> I agree with that. So the question really is, does two DVD burns on
    >>>>>> different media give a very good chance that at least one survives
    >>>>>> the next five/ten years?
    >>>>>
    >>>>> Its not that prediction that matters so much as carefully checking
    >>>>> the readability at a decent rate so that you can detect the situation
    >>>>> where one has gone bad, before they have both gone bad and
    >>>>> you can just make another copy to replace the one gone bad.
    >>>>
    >>>>That makes sense, but sounds like a lot of management in the long run.
    >>>>How do you schedule your checks on the media? Do you follow any
    >>>>patterns?
    >>>
    >>> I've got a good bit of data on CDR failure (based on hundreds of dead
    >>> and dying CDRs from the last decade), but my DVDs haven't started
    >>> failing yet. Other people's have. I'm running tests on them, but no
    >>> solid results yet. Generally, I wouldn't trust any burned media over
    >>> 2 years. Lots of people (myself included) have burned discs much
    >>> older than that, but when they fail, that's when it starts, IME.
    >
    >> Have you addressed the dye chemistry in your tests? Different dyes have
    >> different storage lives--some are only good for a few years, others are
    >> much more stable. Not only do different manufacturers use different
    >> dyes, but also some manufacturers make several lines of media with
    >> different dyes (the more durable dyes are also more expensive I
    >> understand, but that might just be marketing).
    >
    > I could imagine that longer life entails more precise manufacturing,
    > and/or more difficult to process dyes. At least that would make sense.

    No imagining required. Google "phthalocyanine".

    > Still, the killer for CD/DVD as reliable storage medium is that
    > it impossible to determine media lifetime with reasonable effort.

    Just buy archival-rated media.

    > If I need to spend many hours extra, I can afford something much
    > better than this low-end mass-market storage nightmare.
    >
    > Arno

    --
    --John
    to email, dial "usenet" and validate
    (was jclarke at eye bee em dot net)
  32. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    On Mon, 06 Jun 2005 10:14:53 -0700, Neil Maxwell wrote:

    >>
    >>That makes sense, but sounds like a lot of management in the long run. How
    >>do you schedule your checks on the media? Do you follow any patterns?
    >
    > I've got a good bit of data on CDR failure (based on hundreds of dead
    > and dying CDRs from the last decade), but my DVDs haven't started
    > failing yet. Other people's have. I'm running tests on them, but no
    > solid results yet. Generally, I wouldn't trust any burned media over
    > 2 years. Lots of people (myself included) have burned discs much
    > older than that, but when they fail, that's when it starts, IME.
    >
    > Here's what I've come up with.
    >
    > To ensure longest data life on burned media (CDR or DVD):
    >
    > - Test burn different brand media at full speed with verification and
    > find what works most reliably on your burner(s). My NECs like
    > RICOHJPN* media, with maybe 1 failure per 50 burns. I recently tried
    > CMC 8X blanks (blech - ordered the wrong media!), and got 1 out of 4
    > verification failures at 8x in 16 burns. All are fine at 4x,so I use
    > them at 4x for short-term data storage.

    I must admit that I don't test the compatibility of the media in the
    drive, but I test all burn at full speed. With the batch I've been using
    for the past year or so, I haven't seen a single bad burn.

    >
    > Remember that brand names are no indication of who actually made the
    > disc, and this week's Memorex may be completely different than the
    > ones you bought a month ago. The OEM media code is what counts, not
    > what's stamped on the label.

    Yep, too true. Buying these discs is like a minefield. I had to establish
    the background of the particular CD's I brought last time before
    purchasing them.

    >
    > - Always burn important data below the rated max speed for the burner.
    > I burn at 1/2 max rated speed, except on 4x burners, where you have to
    > burn at 2.4x. I have lots of data showing that this dramatically
    > extends burned media life on CDR. This and verification make the
    > burns take a lot longer than they need to, but if data integrity is
    > important, this is the no-shortcut route.

    With modern burners, I always burn data at 4x. Higher speeds
    apparently can increase vibration on the disk resulting in a less accurate
    burn. I use 4x because that's my drive has a number of methods of burning
    at higher speed. 4x is the maximum that can be extracted from the slowest,
    most effective method.

    >
    > - Always verify your burns. Even good quality media has bad discs
    > sometimes.

    That goes without saying :)

    >
    > To help troubleshoot future problems:
    >
    > - Always write the date, burner model, speed burned, media code, and
    > whether verified on the media.
    >
    > - Some readers are better at pulling data from failing discs than
    > others. My LiteOn LTD163 DVD reader reads failing/dead CDRs that
    > Plextors, Teacs, and NECs are unable to read at all. No data on
    > failing DVDs, since I don't have any yet.

    Yes, that makes sense. Fortunately I've never had to extract data from bad
    discs as of yet.

    >
    > To keep your data safe long-term:
    >
    > - Store it on a hard drive, and automatically back up that hard drive
    > to another hard drive, ideally in a different physical location to
    > protect from burglars and localized catastrophes. Be sure to verify
    > the backups now and again to make sure no glitches are at work in your
    > system.

    I do already as a matter of course for the fastest changing, most
    important data.

    >
    > - Once every so often, burn your data (primary or backups; there are
    > tradeoffs either way) to DVD. How often depends on how fast your data
    > changes and how important it is. Store these somewhere cool and dry
    > (I keep them in a big safe with other useful stuff).
    >
    > For my family photos and such, I burn them to DVD once a quarter,
    > which means that my DVDs never (so far) have enough time to go bad
    > before another generation is in place. Losing all my data would
    > require the failure/loss of 2 hard drives and a stack of DVDs all at
    > once. A major fire could do this, but that's acceptable per my risk
    > management decisions. I could get around this by storing the backup
    > DVDs offsite.

    Yes, I've been thinking about the latter too, but I'm not sure where I
    could store personal data offsite. I haven't quite figured out how I can
    get around that problem yet. I suppose I could use an online drive service
    and encrypt the files, but I still dislike trusting these firms to protect
    the data :)

    >
    > Whatever you do, think through what can go wrong and what resources it
    > takes to cover it. A super backup plan is no good if you won't
    > actually pull it off, but every extra level of backup reduces the risk
    > of total data loss dramatically.

    I totally agree with you. That's the main reason I posted this thread
    enquiring about the switch to DVD media. It's best to be safe than sorry :)

    I appreciate the advice you've given. Thanks

    Regards,

    Pan
  33. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    On Mon, 06 Jun 2005 11:58:19 +1000, Rod Speed wrote:

    >
    >> That makes sense, but sounds like a lot of management in the long run.
    >> How do you schedule your checks on the media? Do you follow any patterns?
    >
    > Not really. Dont need to check much since I use them for other
    > than backup anyway, so I will notice if some become unreadable.
    >
    > Just do a check every year or so until I decided that they
    > werent going to die and checked less frequently than that.

    Ah right, I thought you meant you do daily or weekly examinations of your
    discs. That was starting to sound a bit scary to me in terms of management!!! :)

    Regards,

    Pan
  34. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    On Mon, 06 Jun 2005 09:25:28 +0000, Mike Redrobe wrote:

    >
    > Its worth noting that the reflected layer is situated on the top surface
    > (label side)
    > of CDRs - any deep scratch here will destroy data - and this cannot be
    > repaired.
    > A scratch on the underside can be polished out, one on the label side can't.
    > "Printable" CDRs are better protected for this (thicker label layer)
    >
    > The top surface is surprisingly thin (try using a penknife on a CD you don't
    > care about)
    >
    > The reflective surface is in the middle of the disk with DVDs, so a surface
    > scratch
    > can't affect it..They are less tolerant of tiny everyday scratches and
    > fingerprints due
    > to the higher data density, though those can be polished out.

    Ah, this is interesting. I wasn't aware of any of this. Thanks for the
    information.

    I must confess that my belief in DVD's was severely shattered when I
    went to watch one of my DVD film discs and discovered that it wouldn't
    play. After examining the disc, I was shocked to find a number of very
    prominent small circles overlapping on the bottom-side of the disc, almost
    like the disc had been physically scratched over and over in perfect
    circles by UFO's!!! One other disc in the same collection had been
    similarly affected. At first, I thought it was a physical defect in one of
    the DVD drives, so I had to go through every other disc looking to see
    what else was damaged. However, I found nothing at all. A bit later on, I
    discovered that the damage was caused by DVD-rot and that the top surface
    of the disc had also misted up. I managed to get the collection replaced,
    but this was a real-wake-up when it came to DVD's.

    Anybody else suffer anything like this? I have pictures to prove it if
    anybody is interested.

    Regards,

    Pan
  35. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    Mike Redrobe <mike@redrobe.net> wrote in message
    news:cEUoe.46075$G8.21595@text.news.blueyonder.co.uk...
    > Rod Speed wrote
    >> Pan <noaddress@nodomain.com> wrote
    >>> Rod Speed wrote

    >>>>> I agree with that. So the question really is, does two
    >>>>> DVD burns on different media give a very good chance
    >>>>> that at least one survives the next five/ten years?

    >>>> Its not that prediction that matters so much as carefully checking
    >>>> the readability at a decent rate so that you can detect the
    >>>> situation where one has gone bad, before they have both gone bad and you
    >>>> can just make another copy to replace the one gone bad.

    >>> That makes sense, but sounds like a lot of management in the long run. How
    >>> do you schedule your checks on the media? Do you follow any patterns?

    >> Not really. Dont need to check much since I use them for other
    >> than backup anyway, so I will notice if some become unreadable.

    >> Just do a check every year or so until I decided that they
    >> werent going to die and checked less frequently than that.

    > Its worth noting that the reflected layer is situated on the top surface
    > (label side) of CDRs - any deep scratch here will destroy data - and this
    > cannot be repaired.

    Sure, but its easy enough to avoid scratching that and you have
    the media duplicated anyway even if the brown stuff hits the fan
    and you manage to damage it that badly. You should notice that
    sort of damage happening and can use the duplicate immediately
    so you have at least 2 good copys at all times.

    > A scratch on the underside can be polished out, one on the label side can't.
    > "Printable" CDRs are better protected for this (thicker label layer)

    > The top surface is surprisingly thin (try using a penknife on a CD you don't
    > care about)

    Sure, but the practical reality is that while kids particularly
    can manage to obscenely damage the clear side of the
    media, you dont see too many get badly enough damaged
    on the label side to not be usable anymore.

    > The reflective surface is in the middle of the disk with DVDs, so a surface
    > scratch can't affect it..They are less tolerant of tiny everyday scratches and
    > fingerprints due to the higher data density, though those can be polished out.

    Yes, but its also easy enough to avoid scratching
    them at all with backup media that you care about.
  36. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    On Tue, 07 Jun 2005 04:33:11 +1000, Rod Speed wrote:

    >> Its worth noting that the reflected layer is situated on the top
    >> surface (label side) of CDRs - any deep scratch here will destroy data
    >> - and this cannot be repaired.
    >
    > Sure, but its easy enough to avoid scratching that and you have the
    > media duplicated anyway even if the brown stuff hits the fan and you
    > manage to damage it that badly. You should notice that sort of damage
    > happening and can use the duplicate immediately so you have at least 2
    > good copys at all times.
    >
    >> A scratch on the underside can be polished out, one on the label side
    >> can't. "Printable" CDRs are better protected for this (thicker label
    >> layer)
    >
    >> The top surface is surprisingly thin (try using a penknife on a CD you
    >> don't care about)
    >
    > Sure, but the practical reality is that while kids particularly can
    > manage to obscenely damage the clear side of the media, you dont see too
    > many get badly enough damaged on the label side to not be usable
    > anymore.
    >
    >> The reflective surface is in the middle of the disk with DVDs, so a
    >> surface scratch can't affect it..They are less tolerant of tiny
    >> everyday scratches and fingerprints due to the higher data density,
    >> though those can be polished out.
    >
    > Yes, but its also easy enough to avoid scratching them at all with
    > backup media that you care about.

    I have to agree with what Rod has said. Although it may be easy to
    physically damage them, it is unlikely that anybody would place their
    important backup archive into a situation in which the discs could be
    damaged. Therefore, I don't really think that physical abuse is one of the
    things you need to be too careful of, although of course it should be kept
    in mind. Thanks for the information though, I learnt something :)

    Regards,

    Pan
  37. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    On Tue, 07 Jun 2005 01:58:09 +0100, Pan <noaddress@nodomain.com>
    wrote:

    >Yes, I've been thinking about the latter too, but I'm not sure where I
    >could store personal data offsite. I haven't quite figured out how I can
    >get around that problem yet. I suppose I could use an online drive service
    >and encrypt the files, but I still dislike trusting these firms to protect
    >the data :)

    I don't do this, but there are several options I've come up with.
    Mine is all personal data, so time and budget is more of an issue than
    corporate data. I also distrust online storage, and my data's big
    enough to not be very practical for that.

    - Good protection could be had by dropping off disc sets at a safe
    deposit box. This takes time and energy, and the data's not available
    nights and weekends, but it's secure, and you could leave the last 3-4
    backups there. You could do this with removable HDs in cushioned
    cases as well, and probably save yourself a ton of time feeding discs.
    A set of 4-5 HDs would provide lots of redundancy and wouldn't cost
    all that much.

    - An easier bet would be to package them up and mail them to a friend.
    This could be made very simple with fixed-price express mailers or
    knowing the postage cost; just load up discs, seal the package, and
    drop it at the post office or give to the mailman. If it's a good
    friend, it would be available when you need it. I wouldn't do this
    with HDs, due to the handling risks, but you could work up the
    packaging if you wanted. You'd need to worry about encryption if your
    data is sensitive.

    There are lots of other ways to deal with it, but this second is what
    I'd do if I were going to start, since my safe deposit boxes are about
    20 minutes away, and I don't think I'd be reliable at dropping them
    off.


    --
    Neil Maxwell - I don't speak for my employer
  38. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    On Mon, 06 Jun 2005 17:08:10 -0400, "J. Clarke"
    <jclarke.usenet@snet.net.invalid> wrote:

    >Have you addressed the dye chemistry in your tests? Different dyes have
    >different storage lives--some are only good for a few years, others are
    >much more stable. Not only do different manufacturers use different dyes,
    >but also some manufacturers make several lines of media with different dyes
    >(the more durable dyes are also more expensive I understand, but that might
    >just be marketing).

    Not specifically, except for tracking which is which, as I have
    nothing more sophisticated than a microscope for failed disc analysis
    (which is not very helpful). So far, the Taiyo Yuden Japanese CDRs,
    which are identified as cyanine (type 1) dye, are the only ones that
    haven't completely failed on me. I started using these around 1998,
    and most are still reading well, though some are starting to read
    slowly at the outer edges of the disc, which is a sign of impending
    failure.

    The discs considered archival back in the old days (Mitsui, Ricoh/KAO,
    Kodak Gold/Silver - Phthalocyanine (Type 5)) have all died or are very
    near dead. I mostly used these prior to 1998, when I switched over to
    the TYs almost exclusively due to failures. I also started recording
    at half max burner speed, so the post-98 data has different initial
    conditions than earlier data. Likewise, discs identified as cyanine
    (type 0) all failed early on, and include such bottom-feeder
    manufacturers as CMC, so I assume there's a big difference between
    cyanine types 0 and 1.

    It's made much more complicated by the fact that dye layers and
    reflective coatings are constantly being changed by the manufacturers,
    and even if my 2000 TY discs are still fine, it doesn't mean that TY
    discs I burn today will be good in 5 years. Accelerated testing
    results are useless here, IMO.

    I just assume all CDRs and DVDs I burn will fail somewhere between 2
    and 5 years out, and it saves me quite a lot of worry.


    --
    Neil Maxwell - I don't speak for my employer
  39. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    "Pan" <noaddress@nodomain.com> wrote in message
    news:pan.2005.06.07.00.58.05.62721@nodomain.com...
    > On Mon, 06 Jun 2005 10:14:53 -0700, Neil Maxwell wrote:
    >
    >>>
    >>>That makes sense, but sounds like a lot of management in the long run. How
    >>>do you schedule your checks on the media? Do you follow any patterns?
    >>
    >> I've got a good bit of data on CDR failure (based on hundreds of dead
    >> and dying CDRs from the last decade), but my DVDs haven't started
    >> failing yet. Other people's have. I'm running tests on them, but no
    >> solid results yet. Generally, I wouldn't trust any burned media over
    >> 2 years. Lots of people (myself included) have burned discs much
    >> older than that, but when they fail, that's when it starts, IME.
    >>
    >> Here's what I've come up with.
    >>
    >> To ensure longest data life on burned media (CDR or DVD):
    >>
    >> - Test burn different brand media at full speed with verification and
    >> find what works most reliably on your burner(s). My NECs like
    >> RICOHJPN* media, with maybe 1 failure per 50 burns. I recently tried
    >> CMC 8X blanks (blech - ordered the wrong media!), and got 1 out of 4
    >> verification failures at 8x in 16 burns. All are fine at 4x,so I use
    >> them at 4x for short-term data storage.
    >
    > I must admit that I don't test the compatibility of the media in the
    > drive, but I test all burn at full speed. With the batch I've been using
    > for the past year or so, I haven't seen a single bad burn.
    >
    >>
    >> Remember that brand names are no indication of who actually made the
    >> disc, and this week's Memorex may be completely different than the
    >> ones you bought a month ago. The OEM media code is what counts, not
    >> what's stamped on the label.
    >
    > Yep, too true. Buying these discs is like a minefield. I had to establish
    > the background of the particular CD's I brought last time before
    > purchasing them.
    >
    >>
    >> - Always burn important data below the rated max speed for the burner.
    >> I burn at 1/2 max rated speed, except on 4x burners, where you have to
    >> burn at 2.4x. I have lots of data showing that this dramatically
    >> extends burned media life on CDR. This and verification make the
    >> burns take a lot longer than they need to, but if data integrity is
    >> important, this is the no-shortcut route.
    >
    > With modern burners, I always burn data at 4x. Higher speeds
    > apparently can increase vibration on the disk resulting in a less accurate
    > burn. I use 4x because that's my drive has a number of methods of burning
    > at higher speed. 4x is the maximum that can be extracted from the slowest,
    > most effective method.
    >
    >>
    >> - Always verify your burns. Even good quality media has bad discs
    >> sometimes.
    >
    > That goes without saying :)
    >
    >>
    >> To help troubleshoot future problems:
    >>
    >> - Always write the date, burner model, speed burned, media code, and
    >> whether verified on the media.
    >>
    >> - Some readers are better at pulling data from failing discs than
    >> others. My LiteOn LTD163 DVD reader reads failing/dead CDRs that
    >> Plextors, Teacs, and NECs are unable to read at all. No data on
    >> failing DVDs, since I don't have any yet.
    >
    > Yes, that makes sense. Fortunately I've never had to extract data from bad
    > discs as of yet.
    >
    >>
    >> To keep your data safe long-term:
    >>
    >> - Store it on a hard drive, and automatically back up that hard drive
    >> to another hard drive, ideally in a different physical location to
    >> protect from burglars and localized catastrophes. Be sure to verify
    >> the backups now and again to make sure no glitches are at work in your
    >> system.
    >
    > I do already as a matter of course for the fastest changing, most
    > important data.
    >
    >>
    >> - Once every so often, burn your data (primary or backups; there are
    >> tradeoffs either way) to DVD. How often depends on how fast your data
    >> changes and how important it is. Store these somewhere cool and dry
    >> (I keep them in a big safe with other useful stuff).
    >>
    >> For my family photos and such, I burn them to DVD once a quarter,
    >> which means that my DVDs never (so far) have enough time to go bad
    >> before another generation is in place. Losing all my data would
    >> require the failure/loss of 2 hard drives and a stack of DVDs all at
    >> once. A major fire could do this, but that's acceptable per my risk
    >> management decisions. I could get around this by storing the backup
    >> DVDs offsite.

    > Yes, I've been thinking about the latter too, but I'm not
    > sure where I could store personal data offsite. I haven't
    > quite figured out how I can get around that problem yet.

    Many keep the personal backups at
    work and the work backups at home.

    Not hard to find someone local who is prepared to swap
    backups either, providing offsite backups for both.

    > I suppose I could use an online drive service and encrypt the
    > files, but I still dislike trusting these firms to protect the data :)

    I dont care about the risk with strong encryption.

    >> Whatever you do, think through what can go wrong and what resources it
    >> takes to cover it. A super backup plan is no good if you won't
    >> actually pull it off, but every extra level of backup reduces the risk
    >> of total data loss dramatically.

    > I totally agree with you. That's the main reason I posted this thread
    > enquiring about the switch to DVD media. It's best to be safe than sorry :)
    >
    > I appreciate the advice you've given. Thanks
    >
    > Regards,
    >
    > Pan
    >
  40. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    Neil Maxwell wrote:

    > On Mon, 06 Jun 2005 17:08:10 -0400, "J. Clarke"
    > <jclarke.usenet@snet.net.invalid> wrote:
    >
    >>Have you addressed the dye chemistry in your tests? Different dyes have
    >>different storage lives--some are only good for a few years, others are
    >>much more stable. Not only do different manufacturers use different dyes,
    >>but also some manufacturers make several lines of media with different
    >>dyes (the more durable dyes are also more expensive I understand, but that
    >>might just be marketing).
    >
    > Not specifically, except for tracking which is which, as I have
    > nothing more sophisticated than a microscope for failed disc analysis
    > (which is not very helpful). So far, the Taiyo Yuden Japanese CDRs,
    > which are identified as cyanine (type 1) dye, are the only ones that
    > haven't completely failed on me. I started using these around 1998,
    > and most are still reading well, though some are starting to read
    > slowly at the outer edges of the disc, which is a sign of impending
    > failure.
    >
    > The discs considered archival back in the old days (Mitsui, Ricoh/KAO,
    > Kodak Gold/Silver - Phthalocyanine (Type 5)) have all died or are very
    > near dead.

    That could be a writer problem--pthalocyanine is a lot pickier about the
    burner than the other types.

    > I mostly used these prior to 1998, when I switched over to
    > the TYs almost exclusively due to failures. I also started recording
    > at half max burner speed, so the post-98 data has different initial
    > conditions than earlier data. Likewise, discs identified as cyanine
    > (type 0) all failed early on, and include such bottom-feeder
    > manufacturers as CMC, so I assume there's a big difference between
    > cyanine types 0 and 1.

    Do you have any azos in the mix?
    >
    > It's made much more complicated by the fact that dye layers and
    > reflective coatings are constantly being changed by the manufacturers,
    > and even if my 2000 TY discs are still fine, it doesn't mean that TY
    > discs I burn today will be good in 5 years. Accelerated testing
    > results are useless here, IMO.
    >
    > I just assume all CDRs and DVDs I burn will fail somewhere between 2
    > and 5 years out, and it saves me quite a lot of worry.
    >
    >
    > --
    > Neil Maxwell - I don't speak for my employer

    --
    --John
    to email, dial "usenet" and validate
    (was jclarke at eye bee em dot net)
  41. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    Previously Neil Maxwell <neil.maxwell@intel.com> wrote:
    > On Tue, 07 Jun 2005 01:58:09 +0100, Pan <noaddress@nodomain.com>
    > wrote:

    >>Yes, I've been thinking about the latter too, but I'm not sure where I
    >>could store personal data offsite. I haven't quite figured out how I can
    >>get around that problem yet. I suppose I could use an online drive service
    >>and encrypt the files, but I still dislike trusting these firms to protect
    >>the data :)

    > I don't do this, but there are several options I've come up with.
    > Mine is all personal data, so time and budget is more of an issue than
    > corporate data. I also distrust online storage, and my data's big
    > enough to not be very practical for that.

    > - Good protection could be had by dropping off disc sets at a safe
    > deposit box. This takes time and energy, and the data's not available
    > nights and weekends, but it's secure, and you could leave the last 3-4
    > backups there. You could do this with removable HDs in cushioned
    > cases as well, and probably save yourself a ton of time feeding discs.
    > A set of 4-5 HDs would provide lots of redundancy and wouldn't cost
    > all that much.

    I did that for about 2 years with MODs. The small standard boxes
    (at least in Germany) are not high enough for cushioned 3.5" disks
    but should work fine for notebook disks. Effort was reasonably low
    and the box was very cheap, since they offerd them as additional
    service and not to make money. There were some dire warnings about
    the consequences of loosing the keys though.

    I have stopped this now, since my home Internet connection is fast
    enough to copy stuff to my computer at work (which micht not be
    possible in every company, but with the place I work for it is fine).

    > - An easier bet would be to package them up and mail them to a friend.
    > This could be made very simple with fixed-price express mailers or
    > knowing the postage cost; just load up discs, seal the package, and
    > drop it at the post office or give to the mailman. If it's a good
    > friend, it would be available when you need it. I wouldn't do this
    > with HDs, due to the handling risks, but you could work up the
    > packaging if you wanted. You'd need to worry about encryption if your
    > data is sensitive.

    Should also work with notebook HDDs, cince they are much more shock
    resistant and lighter. Maybe in a nice external USB case.

    Arno
  42. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    On Tue, 07 Jun 2005 11:12:10 -0700, Neil Maxwell wrote:

    >>Yes, I've been thinking about the latter too, but I'm not sure where I
    >>could store personal data offsite. I haven't quite figured out how I can
    >>get around that problem yet. I suppose I could use an online drive
    >>service and encrypt the files, but I still dislike trusting these firms
    >>to protect the data :)
    >
    > I don't do this, but there are several options I've come up with. Mine
    > is all personal data, so time and budget is more of an issue than
    > corporate data. I also distrust online storage, and my data's big
    > enough to not be very practical for that.

    Yes, it seems that we would have the same set of practical problems.


    > - Good protection could be had by dropping off disc sets at a safe
    > deposit box. This takes time and energy, and the data's not available
    > nights and weekends, but it's secure, and you could leave the last 3-4
    > backups there. You could do this with removable HDs in cushioned cases
    > as well, and probably save yourself a ton of time feeding discs. A set
    > of 4-5 HDs would provide lots of redundancy and wouldn't cost all that
    > much.

    Good idea, I never thought of using deposit boxes for that. It's great for
    long-term storage of data that you don't want to lose. As you say, it
    would be less effective for data that's updated frequently though.

    > - An easier bet would be to package them up and mail them to a friend.
    > This could be made very simple with fixed-price express mailers or
    > knowing the postage cost; just load up discs, seal the package, and drop
    > it at the post office or give to the mailman. If it's a good friend, it
    > would be available when you need it. I wouldn't do this with HDs, due
    > to the handling risks, but you could work up the packaging if you
    > wanted. You'd need to worry about encryption if your data is sensitive.

    Yep, I have thought of this idea, but just for small amounts of critical
    data to be transmitted over the Internet. Posting CD/DVD's over the
    postal service could be a good idea though for much larger backups and you
    could afford to do this quite frequently (although I only have a monthly
    schedule for large backups anyway). I would agree that posting HD's would
    be extremely unwise. Encryption would almost certainly be an issue for
    personal data and you'd need strong encryption, but normal backup
    information could go unencrypted.

    >
    > There are lots of other ways to deal with it, but this second is what
    > I'd do if I were going to start, since my safe deposit boxes are about
    > 20 minutes away, and I don't think I'd be reliable at dropping them off.

    Agreed. Thanks for the ideas, very interesting.

    Regards,

    Pan
  43. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    On Tue, 07 Jun 2005 12:23:28 +1000, Rod Speed wrote:

    >
    >> Yes, I've been thinking about the latter too, but I'm not
    >> sure where I could store personal data offsite. I haven't
    >> quite figured out how I can get around that problem yet.
    >
    > Many keep the personal backups at
    > work and the work backups at home.

    That's logical yeah.

    >
    > Not hard to find someone local who is prepared to swap
    > backups either, providing offsite backups for both.

    Yep, I've asked a couple of people previously if they might be interested
    in a mutual off-site backup. Didn't generate much interest surprisingly,
    but I'm sure somebody will eventually be interested :)

    Regards,

    Pan
  44. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    On Tue, 07 Jun 2005 11:34:46 -0700, Neil Maxwell wrote:

    >
    > Not specifically, except for tracking which is which, as I have
    > nothing more sophisticated than a microscope for failed disc analysis
    > (which is not very helpful). So far, the Taiyo Yuden Japanese CDRs,
    > which are identified as cyanine (type 1) dye, are the only ones that
    > haven't completely failed on me. I started using these around 1998,
    > and most are still reading well, though some are starting to read
    > slowly at the outer edges of the disc, which is a sign of impending
    > failure.

    Interestingly enough, all my earlier CD backups were placed on CD-RW
    discs, not CD-R. As far as I'm aware (I've suffered no reading problems so
    far), all the discs I burned, including those six years old are still in
    fully working order. I used some cheap discs then as well. I've heard that
    older CD-RW discs couldn't be constructed in the same low-quality way as
    CD-R discs. Anybody know if this is true? I seem to of had great
    reliability with these discs.

    Regards,

    Pan
  45. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    Neil Maxwell <neil.maxwell@intel.com> wrote in message
    news:5vnba11l5f932vkdp8mp2hhjhgvqbgou0d@4ax.com...
    > J. Clarke <jclarke.usenet@snet.net.invalid> wrote

    >> Have you addressed the dye chemistry in your tests?
    >> Different dyes have different storage lives--some are
    >> only good for a few years, others are much more stable.
    >> Not only do different manufacturers use different dyes,
    >> but also some manufacturers make several lines of media
    >> with different dyes (the more durable dyes are also more
    >> expensive I understand, but that might just be marketing).

    > Not specifically, except for tracking which is which, as I have
    > nothing more sophisticated than a microscope for failed disc
    > analysis (which is not very helpful). So far, the Taiyo Yuden
    > Japanese CDRs, which are identified as cyanine (type 1) dye,
    > are the only ones that haven't completely failed on me. I
    > started using these around 1998, and most are still reading
    > well, though some are starting to read slowly at the outer
    > edges of the disc, which is a sign of impending failure.

    > The discs considered archival back in the old days (Mitsui,
    > Ricoh/KAO, Kodak Gold/Silver - Phthalocyanine (Type 5)) have
    > all died or are very near dead. I mostly used these prior to 1998,

    I havent got anything like that result, no failures at all in fact
    over that time. That was with an HP 7200i burner initially.

    I mostly used Kodak Golds while they were still available
    and then used the purportedly archival qualify Kodaks after
    they stopped being available. And used some of the others too.

    What burner were you using at that time ?

    > when I switched over to the TYs almost exclusively due to failures.
    > I also started recording at half max burner speed, so the post-98
    > data has different initial conditions than earlier data. Likewise,
    > discs identified as cyanine (type 0) all failed early on, and include
    > such bottom-feeder manufacturers as CMC, so I assume there's
    > a big difference between cyanine types 0 and 1.

    > It's made much more complicated by the fact that dye layers
    > and reflective coatings are constantly being changed by the
    > manufacturers, and even if my 2000 TY discs are still fine,
    > it doesn't mean that TY discs I burn today will be good in
    > 5 years. Accelerated testing results are useless here, IMO.

    > I just assume all CDRs and DVDs I burn will fail somewhere
    > between 2 and 5 years out, and it saves me quite a lot of worry.

    I did use dupes for anything that mattered, and never lost any.
  46. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    On Wed, 8 Jun 2005 05:40:08 +1000, "Rod Speed" <rod_speed@yahoo.com>
    wrote:

    >
    >Neil Maxwell <neil.maxwell@intel.com> wrote in message
    >news:5vnba11l5f932vkdp8mp2hhjhgvqbgou0d@4ax.com...

    >> The discs considered archival back in the old days (Mitsui,
    >> Ricoh/KAO, Kodak Gold/Silver - Phthalocyanine (Type 5)) have
    >> all died or are very near dead. I mostly used these prior to 1998,
    >
    >I havent got anything like that result, no failures at all in fact
    >over that time. That was with an HP 7200i burner initially.
    >
    >I mostly used Kodak Golds while they were still available
    >and then used the purportedly archival qualify Kodaks after
    >they stopped being available. And used some of the others too.
    >
    >What burner were you using at that time ?

    I started out with the Smart And Friendly 2600+ 2x, which was a
    rebadged JVC, and was a competent, if unexceptional, burner, with the
    exception of the rail lube problem they developed later in life.

    I originally thought it was to blame for the early deaths, but I
    changed to various other drives as I upgraded to avoid the problems,
    including a SCSI Plextor (to try to avoid the cheap-drive syndrome),
    then an IDE Teac , an IDE Plextor, and so on. All were drives
    considered to be good in the marketplace according to the wisdom of
    the time, and all have been responsible for dead or dying CDRs, except
    the recent few year's worth of various Liteon CDR and NEC DVDR drives,
    when I've been using almost all TY discs and burning at much slower
    speeds.

    I live in the moderate climate of San Jose, CA, and the failed discs
    were stored in sleeves, out of sleeves, in jewel cases, with labels,
    without labels, in dark drawers with other CDs, in stacks, you name
    it. I've been able to find no correlations at all except for layer
    chemistry and burn speed.

    It's possible there's something in my specific climate or household
    that's contributing to making my problem worse than usual, but I have
    no control data for that. In any case, once I started looking around,
    I realized that CDR failure was much more common than most people
    thought.

    Even if my failures are unusually frequent, there's absolutely no
    doubt that burned CDRs fatigue and die, and their lifetimes are
    nowhere near the 20 to 200 years originally estimated from accelerated
    testing. I've seen far too many posts from people who can't read
    their burned DVDs and CDRs, and I try to help raise awareness when I
    can. Folks can do what they want with the information, as always.


    --
    Neil Maxwell - I don't speak for my employer
  47. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    Pan <noaddress@nodomain.com> wrote in message
    news:pan.2005.06.08.01.39.26.167862@nodomain.com...
    > Neil Maxwell wrote

    >> Not specifically, except for tracking which is which, as I have
    >> nothing more sophisticated than a microscope for failed disc analysis
    >> (which is not very helpful). So far, the Taiyo Yuden Japanese CDRs,
    >> which are identified as cyanine (type 1) dye, are the only ones that
    >> haven't completely failed on me. I started using these around 1998,
    >> and most are still reading well, though some are starting to read
    >> slowly at the outer edges of the disc, which is a sign of impending
    >> failure.
    >
    > Interestingly enough, all my earlier CD backups were placed on CD-RW
    > discs, not CD-R. As far as I'm aware (I've suffered no reading problems so
    > far), all the discs I burned, including those six years old are still in
    > fully working order. I used some cheap discs then as well. I've heard that
    > older CD-RW discs couldn't be constructed in the same low-quality way as
    > CD-R discs. Anybody know if this is true?

    The technology is potentially less reliable over the longer
    term, but I dont know if anyone has actually tested that
    carefully to see if the theory and the practice match up.

    I didnt use CDRW all that much myself,
    tho I use DVD RW almost excusively now.

    > I seem to of had great reliability with these discs.

    I did too with CDRs. I havent seen anyone with as bad a
    result as Neil reported, likely the burner was the problem.
  48. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    Pan <noaddress@nodomain.com> wrote in message
    news:pan.2005.06.08.01.34.24.340823@nodomain.com...
    > Rod Speed wrote

    >>> Yes, I've been thinking about the latter too, but I'm not
    >>> sure where I could store personal data offsite. I haven't
    >>> quite figured out how I can get around that problem yet.

    >> Many keep the personal backups at
    >> work and the work backups at home.

    > That's logical yeah.

    >> Not hard to find someone local who is prepared to swap
    >> backups either, providing offsite backups for both.

    > Yep, I've asked a couple of people previously if they might be interested
    > in a mutual off-site backup. Didn't generate much interest surprisingly,
    > but I'm sure somebody will eventually be interested :)

    I'm on the other side of the world, so that isnt very useful |-)

    Dont you have someone you can just post them to, one way ?
  49. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    Pan wrote:

    > On Mon, 06 Jun 2005 09:25:28 +0000, Mike Redrobe wrote:
    >
    >>
    >> Its worth noting that the reflected layer is situated on the top surface
    >> (label side)
    >> of CDRs - any deep scratch here will destroy data - and this cannot be
    >> repaired.
    >> A scratch on the underside can be polished out, one on the label side
    >> can't. "Printable" CDRs are better protected for this (thicker label
    >> layer)
    >>
    >> The top surface is surprisingly thin (try using a penknife on a CD you
    >> don't care about)
    >>
    >> The reflective surface is in the middle of the disk with DVDs, so a
    >> surface scratch
    >> can't affect it..They are less tolerant of tiny everyday scratches and
    >> fingerprints due
    >> to the higher data density, though those can be polished out.
    >
    > Ah, this is interesting. I wasn't aware of any of this. Thanks for the
    > information.
    >
    > I must confess that my belief in DVD's was severely shattered when I
    > went to watch one of my DVD film discs and discovered that it wouldn't
    > play. After examining the disc, I was shocked to find a number of very
    > prominent small circles overlapping on the bottom-side of the disc, almost
    > like the disc had been physically scratched over and over in perfect
    > circles by UFO's!!! One other disc in the same collection had been
    > similarly affected. At first, I thought it was a physical defect in one of
    > the DVD drives, so I had to go through every other disc looking to see
    > what else was damaged. However, I found nothing at all. A bit later on, I
    > discovered that the damage was caused by DVD-rot and that the top surface
    > of the disc had also misted up. I managed to get the collection replaced,
    > but this was a real-wake-up when it came to DVD's.

    DVD-rot is corrosion of the aluminum reflective layer on early disks. It
    doesn't cause "small circles overlapping the bottom-side of the disk".

    And rather than replacing the disk, just polish them out--that's why there's
    thick polycarbonate there.

    > Anybody else suffer anything like this? I have pictures to prove it if
    > anybody is interested.
    >
    > Regards,
    >
    > Pan

    --
    --John
    to email, dial "usenet" and validate
    (was jclarke at eye bee em dot net)
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