Newbie needs help to burn pics onto DVD


I have about 17,000 pictures from a year round the world trip I just came back from. These photos are very precious to me. I have been a photographer for years, but recently just switched to digital. All the technical information I have been reading on this site about digital storage is over my head and very overwhelming.

This is the first time I have been informed about how the quality of your DVD burn can be affected. I just thought you burn something, it either burns properly or it doesn’t. I was unaware the quality could be compromised and possibly make the DVD unreadable in the future.

If anyone has the time to give me some guidance, it would be greatly appreciated. I just bought the new Pioneer 112D burner. A computer store installed the burner for me while I was getting some other work done. They have given me Nero burning software.

I have read about all these tests people do, making sure you are using the right firmware, burning at the correct speed, etc. It all seems so complicated. I just bought a 100 size pack of Taiyo Yuden DVD+R 8X DVD after reading many reviews, they seemed a good choice.

Are there any simple things I can do to ensure I am saving my pictures in the best way possible. I hope I have provided enough information for someone to be of assistance.

Thank you.

P.S. Probably a really dumb question, but I have never seen DVD likes this before. The TY ones I just bought… are they double sided? Both sides look like they could be burnt on?

Welcome to the forum :slight_smile:

The better way to be sure that you will not lost data is redundancy, i.e. to make more than one copy for each disc.

Another very important thing is to buy excellent quality discs, i.e. Taiyo Yuden.

Another thing that could help to make your data more protected is to use a software like DVDisaster or PAR2, so if a sector on the disc become damaged, parity files still allows to recover data from the disc.

Finally, also storing discs in “paranoic” way can be useful, i.e. away from sunlight in single jewel cases and periodically testing discs for readability.

If you bought these discs online, can you post a link? In this way it’s easier to answer to your question :slight_smile:

Hello geno888, thank you very much for your information. I will definately make more than one copy onto DVD. I have done some reading that CD might be preferable in some ways for archiving data. What is your opinion on this? Should I put the pics onto some quality CD’s for an extra safeguard? I can’t seem to get the link to work for the Plus DVD’s I bought, but here is a link for the exact same ones in the minus form.

As I stated in my original post, they look like you could burn on both sides of them?

Thank you

no they are single sided, single layered DVD’s. there are double layer recordable DVD’s with two layer one beneath the other on the same side of the discs. two sided recordable
dont exist i think. you can find two sided disk only on original pressed DVDs.

Thank you for your help:)

I don’t know actually if CDs allows a higher security level, but certainly you need much more discs to store all your data. A single DVD can contain around 6 CDs, so I’m not sure that using CDs instead of DVDs is the right solution.

Another alternative could be to store all your data on a dedicated HDD, but even if you use this drive only rarely, this is not a guarantee of a longer duration because mechanical parts can degrade anyway.

If you can afford it, however, an external hard disc is a further level of security, because it allows to have a third copy of your data other than the two copies stored on DVDs :slight_smile:

I have read quite abit about this subject. I suggest either making two copies (1 on taiyo yuden, and 1 on verbatim), and then scan the copies every 6 months or so to make sure they have not degraded. If they start to degrade, just make a new copy.

Personally, I back up all my photos/video to external hd’s. I have one of those where you can remove/replace hd’s. I have been picking up 160gb - 200gb hd’s for around $29.00 each (watching sales). I store the hd’s in my gun safe. I make 2 backups of everything.

There are some opinions about CD being better than DVD for photo archive purposes, and some brands do offer “Photo archive quality CDs” - I can recall Fuji, Kodak and BASF, but you may find others.
The reason seems to be a longer expected time for these CDs, and they charge more than the usual price.
Is it true? Difficult to get a definitive answer, as tests are done with artificially conditions to simulate time effects.
As it is referred above, a DVD takes larger loads of files, but you could use CDs just for a selection of pictures you value above the average.
About HDD - disk space became cheap and you can work faster and spare space. But HDDs also can cause problems, have moving parts and use a magnetic support that can be ruined. I wander why, but all disk maintenance/rescue software starts with a question asking you if your HDD it is more than 3 years old.
And if you loose info by the hundreds of GB it can be a prob.
No matter you use DVD and/or CD, avoid RW discs.
But there are new supports coming to the market (HD DVD and Blue-ray being just 2) and you have to consider that sooner or later you will transfer your files to a newer support, and this can also influence your present choices.