DVD-R Reliability

So it seemed simple buy a good DVD writer, high quality recommended media and everything should be fine, but now I’m not so sure. Even if I bought the DVD’s everyone says I should use with my Writer (i don’t have 1 BTW) it seems I should still expect coasters and lots of them according to some reviews I’ve read.

If that’s not worrying enough I recently read that even if I successfully burn and verify a DVD then try to read it 10 mins later it may not work?
The most worrying thing is the degradation of DVD-R’s the idea that if I burn a DVD today it may not be readable in 6 months is terrifying.

Is any of this true and if I have things I want to store permanently (I.e. holiday and wedding Videos) can I burn them to DVD with any sort of guarantee that if I store them carefully in 5 years time they’ll be fine?

well mine are fine and i burnt a lot of them over a year ago… just buy good quality media with long lasting coatings on them.

That’s encouraging but when people discuss quality are they including longevity as a factor or just how many Successful burns they get?

What about the Cheaper DVD’s, what exactly happens to make them unreadable? I know I must resist the temptation to buy 25 DVD-R’s for a fiver but it won’t be easy. :slight_smile:

Burnt optical media degrades because unlike a pressed DVD or CD, the alternating lands and grooves are created by heating (with the drive’s laser) chemical dyes to change their reflectivity to certain wavelengths of light. Pressed media uses a physically “bumpy” metallic layer to create these lands and grooves for the drive to read.

Going back to burnable discs, anything that can be changed by the heat of the laser can also eventually be changed by environmental factors (heat, direct sunlight, etc.) Heat of course doesn’t give a damn about your data and will ‘change’ random bits and bytes, corrupting your disc. This is why for archival stuff, people recommend storing it in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight.

All that being said, if you get good burns (as measurable by kprobe or something similar) on good media and are careful with your discs, your burnt discs should last a good while.

Check back with CDFreaks in 5 years to see if optical burning has gotten any more reliable then. :slight_smile: (Blu-RayFreaks perhaps?)

funny you should ask this because a lot of my original pc games have stopped working whereas their backups are still kicking. As already mentioned it’s how well you look after them that ultimately determines how long they last.