Help, my CD-Rs are ROTTING!


I went to see some old cds I burned a long time ago, and to my surprise almost all of them on a cd case are beginning to rot! Half of them were unreadable, and I lost a lot of files I didn’t even watched it.

I took a picture of it, does someone knows what is happenning to my cds?

Here is one of these problem cases:

Edit: images removed for the poor people on dial-up.

All of the cds on this case have a yellow border on them, and about 30% of them have problems reading the last file on the cd.
Only this and 2 more cd cases have this problem, on the other cases (a lot), there’s not a single cd with this problem, even on a identical case like the one at the picture!

Here are some cds that were into this case:

Edited, images removed

As you can see, some are somewhat worse then others, the ones near the start/end of the case were always worse, like the first cd on the thread.

Here’s where I stored my cds:

edited: images removed

All my cds are on a cd case, there’s no sunlight going into it (the window is left of it), and they aren’t messed too much as I only grab a cd when I’ll watch it.

One thing that made me think is that someone asked if my cds were above the computer, well yes, is there a problem with it? You can see this on the following pictures:

edited: images removed

Does this present a problem to the storage?

This next photo is a 120-cd case which doesn’t have any problem cd in it, but it is located on the same place where the problem one was, this one is big!

edited: images removed

I like my collection so I am copying all the problem cds to dvds, but I don’t want it to happen to the other cases, as you saw there’s a lot of them!

Does someone knows if I did something wrong?


DAMN dude!!! That’s A LOT of CDs!!!

I have never heard of CDs having a problem when stored above the comp. I did notice, that a lot of the CDs that you said are bad, are all the same brand. The ones in the top of your “no-problem” case are different brands.

Are ALL the ones that are having problems the same brand CD??

Does someone knows if I did something wrong?

I removed all the images, as they are way too large (file size) for posting, and they really aren’t needed to make your point.

You did several things wrong:

  1. used cheap media
  2. stored CDRs in a wallet long term
  3. Possiby stored in a warm place.

Can’t say if moving them to jewel cases will save them, as they are pretty cheap discs anyway, but that would be the first thing to do.

Originally posted by rdgrimes
I removed all the images, as they are way too large (file size) for posting, and they really aren’t needed to make your point.

Images not removed in my browser… Looong load time.

Maybe it´s just my Mozilla… :smiley:

Originally posted by pinto2
[B]Images not removed in my browser… Looong load time.

Maybe it´s just my Mozilla… :smiley: [/B]

There’s still close to 500KB of image file, you should have seen it before! I’ll whack off another one or 2.

sorry HitnrunCF, maybe you can lower the resolution on your images and re-post one or 2.

I thought they looked like cheap media. I have been out of the CD world for a while so I wasnt sure.

@rdgrimes…what does storing CDs in a wallet do to a CD??

Just wondering cuz I have quite a few CDs in a wallet.

We see a range of problems reported with wallets, especially plastic sleeves. Usually on cheap media, but not always. Problems range from peeling of the back layer to various other issues like this one. Wallets are OK for short term storage, but you should never have any thing in conctact with the CD surface, especially plastics, for long term. Chemical gremlins seem to be to blame. Spindles are fine, cause the CD’s don’t contact each other, jewel cases are best.

Thanks for the responses!

The images really were very big, if someone wants to see them go to:

Images Link

I have this problem with other media too, not only platinum. I have some Philips and Ricoh media with the same problem, are these cheapo too?

The problem was on all the cds on the same case, no matter what brand it was, 3 cases got this problem but the others were perfect.

As for storing on jewel cases, it’s impossible, were would I put 1800 jewel cases? :bigsmile:
Isn’t there any other good place to store cds?

If 3 cases had this problem, then the other ones probably will have the same fate in the future?

Now I started storing my data in dvds (Pink Samsung 2x), does dvds exibith the same problem?

If 3 cases had this problem, then the other ones probably will have the same fate in the future?
Now I started storing my data in dvds (Pink Samsung 2x), does dvds exibith the same problem?

Probably, and probably.

What about spindles? If you can find storage sleeves that are paper only, you might get by, but I wouldn’t bet my movie collection on it.


I’ve been looking carefully at your pictures. I must say that i’m no lab researcher on media discs, I’m more on media communication :slight_smile:

I’ll formulate my thought based in my collector experience, storing any different types of stuff: books, VHS, cds, dvds, stamps, box cigars, etc.

From the hosting site where you placed the pics i infered that your from Brazil. A country I really love i’m Portuguese :slight_smile:

And so, Brazil is known as to having high temperatures mixed with very high humidity.

So when i look at your cds what I’m seeing is the typically air dust that was stored with the cds and this dust mixed with humidity and hot temperatures glued on the disk. With the passage of time this provokes some chemical reactions, et voila, disks damaged and looking like rotting.


For my storage I normally use A4 sheets with the back made in a tissue mid cloth mid paper, and the front is in plastic with some little relief. The tissue and the little relief avoid the plastic to stick on the cds. In some years I had no problems.

I had some problems when I used sheets made entirely of flat plastic, the plastic glued on the cds and then the cds come damaged.

In case of HitnrunCF, he needs to find i place in his house aware of the humidity for the storage at long term

ive said it before. pthalocyanine cdrs suck. ive had sooo many with rot spots on them.

ricoh (not so bad, best durability of any pthalos ive used)
Kodak GOLD ultima (yep worst plthalos ive ever used rotted like anything!)
those r the ones off the top of my head.

all my cyanine and azo discs are like 5 yrs old and still working beautifully. still have low c1 counts and no c2. sorry, but cyanine/azo are just the best cdrs imo.

Kodak GOLD ultima (yep worst plthalos ive ever used rotted like anything!)

Ermm…My Kodak Gold CD-Rs from 1997 have never let me down, and I mean NEVER. I still have all of them with me, and they still scan with low C1s and NO C2s.

Oh, by the way, CMC cyanine sucks so hard it’s not funny. You can’t even burn them at 4x without C2s popping up everywhere!

Welll now… after stumbling onto this topic I am somewhat concerned about my collection. I use binders and have never thought twice on the matter. I could not imagine having 300+ Cd’s in jewel cases though. I would not have any place to store that many…

I have been thinking of backing up my stuff onto DVD’s anway. Perhaps now would be a good time!

Thanks for the responses, they are helping a lot!


Yes, I’m from brazil, and we have some extreme temperature changes, now it’s about 30 C, but last week was about 9 C!

Oh my, my house isn’t a company, I don’t have a “cool” place to put my cds, maybe behind the refrigerator! :bigsmile:


Hmm, the problem here is storage size, imagine where I would put 1800 cds in spindles… it would need to be a big place!

Well, looks like when they created the CD-R they didn’t thought of someone having this amount of cds in a house :rolleyes:


I don’t think spindles or paper sleeves would solve your problem. Your problem is tied with climacteric conditions.

So you have some solutions,

For the very important data redo backups regularly. It’s the only way, I say once per year, maximum 2 years.

The others, store them inside plastic boxes the most well closed possible (could be regular good Tupperware). This will protect them from any humidity risings. You can even still use the same wallet system you have now, but instead of ranging them in the shelf, put the wallets with cds inside that plastic boxes.

If you choose to do that, I advise to change all your wallets, because they must be full of fungus and other types of invisible organisms created by humidity. Or if you don’t want to buy new ones, you must at least wash them at high temperatures more than 60º in order to kill them all.

My experience with humidity comes from the fact that I live now for 7 years in a city by the sea and full of water canals, tourists even call it the little Venice. :slight_smile:

Please don’t take this the wrong way, but do you have A/C in Brazil?

It’s very humid and hot here in Louisiana and I’m certain that were it not for A/C nothing could survive here. I have 30+ year old open reel tapes, 20 yr old VHS cassettes, analog cassettes and some 7 year old DAT tapes that play like they’re newly recorded. Grant it I have no error indicator for my DAT deck but I hear no dropouts on DAT’s I recorded in December '96. Of all of the technologies, I would have expected DAT’s do die far more quickly.

But I do have A/C which I am sure has allowed my media to stay alive.


Could you translate, please?

A/C is short for air conditioning. It (freon types anyway) actually helps reduce humidity in an area where it’s used.

I get it before I read your answer. :slight_smile:
My problem identifying the meaning is because you asked:
“do you have A/C in Brazil?”
What do you mean with this? You can have A/C everywhere in the globe you only need electricity to feed it.

I’m not really an A/C fan. For 2 reasons

First the harm these machines do to the air we’re breathing, principally if you have someone in your house suffering of asthma.

Second, the electricity waste and bill :slight_smile:

What I use here is electric dehumidifiers; they can take out between 10 to 15 litres of water per day. And these are human friendly being allergy savers.

Just throwing in my 2 cents;

I’ve been burning cds since 1994 (I had to buy a non-thermally calibrating SCSI harddrive to burn from!) and so have many cds from that period and (more and more) onwards.

I did a quick count and located #number removed, embarrassing :slight_smile: # cds in my computerroom alone. All backups of personal and business data of course.

I have been fortunate and have not seen visible rotting, but sure a few cds have become unreadable, mostly the predictable no-brand cheap crap.

80% of the lot has been stored in (high-quality Case-Logic) wallets for a good deal of the TEN (!) years of their life, containing 64 up to 264 cds a piece. This is not cheap storage, a 200+ wallet costs around 50 euros, so well over $60 US. The smaller ones (64 to 128) are roughly 25 euros. Unless I get screwed over.

My climate is pretty temperate, on the cool side (Holland) and not overly humid.

These Case-Logic wallets in my opinion are better than jewel-cases for the following reasons:

-no difference in failing cds with jewelcases
-take little space
-carry around hundreds of cds easily
-stylish black look :wink:
-no paper inlay that attracts moist!
-high-tech dust-repelling fabric: no more tiny dust on back of cds, no scratches either, like you get with cheap wallets
-basically their own microclimate, it takes a while for the inside of a big wallet to cool/get humid/warm up etc

The plastic that is touching the cds on the frontside… well, I trust it. I don’t believe it’s just plain luck that my cds are preserved with the same degree of (non-)failure in wallets as they are in my jewel-cases.

Ideally, you’d have a cd-humidor-like room with controlled temperature and humidity…