Give up cd / dvd for hdd?

For backup purposes, should I completely give up CD/DVDs and go for portable / external hdd?

It seems to me that the CD degradation issue is more serious than I thought. After 6~8 years, about one third of my CD collections start showing damaged / bad sectors (they are from mixed brands, Sony, Maxell, Philips, TDK, … ). And, it is a tedious job to scan them one by one.

Nowadays the portable / external hdd is so cheap. Compared to DVDs, it is still about twice of the price for the same capacity, but it is much faster to write and read, rewritable, And it is very easy to check integrity for the entire drive. Life span probably does not make much difference since there is too much uncertainty in the manufacturer’s statement, so I see they are about the same (>5 years, < 30 years?)

One thing I don’t like about the external hard drives is the capacity is too large (say, 750G, 1T) for a price comparable to blank DVDs. If I drop one by accident, all is gone.

So, does it make sense to give up CD /DVDs? what else should I consider? Many thanks for your input!

Too bad even HDDs are not reliable forever. If some mechanical part of the disc becomes damaged, you’ll lose all data.

The best way to save data is redundancy. Make more copies of really important data and store them in different places.

The best option is to make a copy on an optical support and another copy on an external HDD. Moreover, you can create some parity data from each burned disc, and store these parity data in a separate place. If a CD/DVD shows a damaged/unreadable sector, the parity data will allow you to retrieve the disc contents so you can burn again in a new disc all data.

To create these parity data you can use a free software like DVDisaster.

Thank you geno888!
As you suggested in a previous post, I just downloaded dvdisater, and will take a look. For an extra safety line, I guess it is worth it to have some parity data stored at the cost of additional 15% storage space.

DVDisaster allows two methods: including the paruty data into the CD, or save the parity data on a separate place (a HDD, an USB pendrive, ect).

Saving separately the parity data allow to put more files on a disc, but if you have many parity data for many discs you must remember exactly where you put these data or recovering a damaged disc will become a PITA :doh:

Most hard drives fail in about 5 - 7 years so as geno888 says redundancy is necessary if you really require long term data security.

Very high quality cdrs are probably the best choice in addition to an external hard drive back-up since cdr technology is now mature and likely to perform significantly better than dvdrs in the medium to long term.

[QUOTE=geno888;2198096]
The best way to save data is redundancy. Make more copies of really important data and store them in different places.[/QUOTE]

This what I do. I also have all the important stuff backed up on a 1TB external HDD (paranoid, moi?) :slight_smile:

[QUOTE=Arachne;2198456]This what I do. I also have all the important stuff backed up on a 1TB external HDD (paranoid, moi?) :)[/QUOTE]

I also have important stuff on CD/DVD and an external hard drive, also a separate internal hard drive. But now the external hard drive starts having problems of getting started, I often have to power on several times to start it, and the CD/DVDs I burned long time ago start showing signs of degradation. I am getting more and more paranoid …

[QUOTE=bkfreak;2200074]I also have important stuff on CD/DVD and an external hard drive, also a separate internal hard drive. But now the external hard drive starts having problems of getting started, I often have to power on several times to start it, and the CD/DVDs I burned long time ago start showing signs of degradation. I am getting more and more paranoid …[/QUOTE]

This may seem like a real pain in the arse, but to start with I’d either reburn the discs to better media (if using CDR, I’d recommend Taiyo Yuden (“Made in Japan” on packaging or order online), if using DVD R I’d use Verbatim)…or purchase a new external HDD.

Personally, though it’d end up costing a fair bit, I’d do both if I were in your shoes.

Maybe just pick one option to start with, then you can do the second once you have at least one working backup of your stuff. :slight_smile: