I am sorry to post a presumably very common question, but searching the forums, I have not found any precise answer and the F.A.Q. for PC DVD-Writers explicitly encourages to post this question here, as it states that there is no best DVD Writer as there are several different use cases - without listing decent Writers for the different use cases.
- Could you please recommend a decent external DVD Writer (i.e. external DVD-Writer OR a decent internal-DVD-Writer + External case/controller combination) for data backups / archival purposes?
Further specifications of the question (why I did not find a satisfying answer):
- I do not require scientific data about what "the best" DVD writer is. I merely would like to know which one is decent (not crappy) for archival data longevity purposes.
- I would like to burn data for backup / archival reasons. I would like to burn a cheap daily backup cd or dvd of my data (TY CD-R or something like that) and every few weeks an "archival copy" of my data (redundant copies on several different possibly expensive media (Verbatim DVD-R Archival Grade, DVD-Ram, etc)). There should be the highest possible chance that each and every version (i.e. every snapshot of my data) is readable after 5 (better even 10) years without me having to copy or scan the media every few months.
- I would like to burn the data on: Taiyo Yuden CD-R, Verbatim DataLife Plus, Taiyo Yuden DVD-R, Verbatim Archival Grade DVD-R, Verbatim 3x DVD-RAM, Panasonic 3x DVD-RAM, TDK 3x DVD-RAM.
- These media are all (with the possible exception of the Verbatim DataLife Plus) fairly decent for data longevity purposes?
- The Writer should produce decent (not best, nor super-duper premium) results on every of those media. I.e. there should be a really high chance that the data is readable without an error after 5 years and a fairly high chance that the data is readable without an error after 10 years if stored standing vertically in jewel cases or slim cases in a dark cabinet or with CD-sleeves in a CD suitcase, without extreme humidity nor heat levels nor much dust and without being touched, moved or scanned in those years.
- The writer should produce optical media which can be read on almost every CD or DVD Reader after 5 or 10 years.
- The writer should be able able to perform media tests with Nero CD-DVD Speed or something similar and provide meaningful (i.e. trustworthy) results so I can have some kind of insurance from a scan performed directly after the burning process that the data loss risk is low.
- I do not care about Audio or Video Ripping, copy protection, Audio or Video writing or compatibility with non-pc audio-cd or video-DVD-Players.
- I do not want necessarily "the best" writer, but it should be good enough for the described task (at the moment, I have a Samsung SH183A which does not provide an easy accessible scanning feature and is reported in these forums to produce bad results on DVD-R, which I would like to use as the Verbatim Archival Grade DVD-R has a very good reputation).
- I cannot buy an internal drive, as my computer case is extremely small (ÂµATX) (the reason why I bought the very short Samsung SH183A drive).
- As I would like to get an external drive, this would have to be a readily assembled DVD-Writer or an IDE/SATA-Writer and an external case combination. I am not much interested in separate IDE/SATA -Writer or external casing recommendations, as the combination of those also seems to produce different results. I am not a CD/DVD tinkerer, but merely would like to write some data which I will be able to read reliably in 5 or 10 years.
- The recommendation of such a "decent drive" should have a fairly high consensus in this forum, i.e. there should not be many people around here who would regard the recommended drive as total crap for the described data longevity backup/archival task.
Since I did not find satisfying solutions to this rather simple, common and generic task, I have become skeptical: Is this possible at all? Is there a drive which can burn data reliably on different media for almost all drives to read and on most/all decent media (e.g. the ones listed above) if there is no extreme media abuse in those years?
Or is CD/DVD-Burning backup/archival purposes on optical media a rather esoteric topic since there are no drives/media which are good enough for this task?
I would guess that this task is rather common and not very extreme?
Thank you very much for any information!