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Old Nov 20, 2004, 3:38 AM   #11
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Alan T's Avatar
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JamesDFarrow wrote:
CD-Rs - How long Will They Last?...They could be little more use than coasters after just two years.
This issue comes around here every few months. It's worth searching the archive for previous discussions.

It's certainly necessary to try out your oldest disks now & again. The oldest CD-R I still have that I wrote myself is dated May 1998, and it's fine, and I've had no trouble with any subsequent ones. The blanks came from many sources, including quitea number of bucket shop off-the-back-of-a-lorry computer fair cheapos. They're still fine.

So don't be too alarmed, but keep an eye on them. I have been getting write errors from my 18-month-old drive recently, so make sure you *do* verify the data after you've written them. If you didn't, you don't know whether it's old-age deterioration or an error when you wrote it years ago.

Good Luck!
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Old Nov 21, 2004, 2:24 AM   #12
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I'd also look at archives of http://www.cdrlabs.com/phpBB/index.phpand http://club.cdfreaks.com/index.php?s= which deal mostly with CD/DVD issues/hardware/software
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Old Nov 21, 2004, 7:27 AM   #13
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I've been looking at some of the newer multi-formatDVD drives lately (16x DVD+-RW, Double Layer, DVD-RAM, etc.).

Most of the popular drives are now under $100.00, and you can store a lot more data on DVD (especially with the new Double Layer drives).

Many of the reviews on these models also have media compatibility/reliability testing, and it's interesting to see the differences in media quality when used in different drives(not counting effects of long term storage -- just how reliable the media is when initially burning).

Also, many of the drives are designed to write faster than the media is rated (which probably increases your chances of errors down the road). Media compatibility seems to vary between drives, too(what works fine in one drive, may not work as well in another and vice-versa).

I don't know the technical reasons behind it, but one seemingly knowledge reviewer of these drives has switched to DVD-RAM for his own personal use (citing greater reliability). So, I'll probably make sure to buy a drive that supports this format, too (even though it may not be as popular). Some of the newer drives support all popular formats now.

I'm still learning the pros and cons of different DVD Drive and Media types. But, the biggest thing that stands out from my reading of reviews, is to make sure you buy media that works well in the drive that you use (and just because one "batch" worked well, doesn't mean that the next one will of the same brand).

Of course, then we get into the differences in claims between manufacturers (mydisk with Phthalocyanine dye or AZO dyeand gold will last much longer than your disk, since my dye doesn't break down as fast and gold never oxidizes, etc.).

I'm still "sorting through" the drive and media types. Hopefully, I'll find a good DVD solution soon that I'm comfortable with.

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