Testing media by leaving it in the sun

I bought an LG BH14NS40, which is not the best burner for testing media, but I use Opti Drive Control 1.70 to do the scans.

I have left Verbatim BA5 and Ritek BR3 media in the summer sun, face up. So far, the BR3 has withstood about 6 days of 35C weather, and few cloudy days, whilst the BA5 has withstood less, because I put it out later.

My main problem is trying to decide WHEN they fail, because my BH14NS40 seems to be VERY temperature affected. If I attempt to measure maximum transfer rate (12X), then the drive has heated up so much by the end of the test, that the disc scan apparently fails. If I wait until the drive has cooled down at night, then the scan looks fine at 2x, if I only scan the end of the disc 20000-24000.

After about 4 full speed scan attempts, the drive is so hot, that good discs that have not been sun-burned will still make Windows lock up


Humidity is also an big impact in this case.

Humidity would be important for long term storage.

I have some results so far:

I put a Verbatim DVD+ MCC 004 in the summer sun, and that lasted… well… not long. It caught me by surprise, how bad it was. Perhaps 2-3 days before total collapse. And this is a media that I have been putting all my previous backups on. :eek:

By contrast, the BlurAy media is proving much better. The BR3 has done 6 really hot summer days, plus another 6 high UV cloudy days. It still scans at 12X, when I polish it up.

The Verbatim BA5 has been in the sun for 3 savage days, plus 4 milder days. I dropped it, and that put a chip on the edge. It is still scanning well, except for the last 1GB. There is usually a fatal 100MB at the end. However, this morning, I blinked and it scanned. I have no real idea if the chip on the edge caused the deterioration.

I have put a new BA5 in the sun, but I cannot control the weather.

I did a ‘test’ some years ago with a CD-R.
I never thought before that a disc could become that fast (within of some weeks) unreadable.

I have a result.

The BR3 (000) has failed after 38 days face-up. It reads at 2X, and has fatal faults near the edge.

The Verbatim BA5 is still going, and looks like the HTL substrate may be more resistant to heat and UV. Today was 42C, and the disc probably got to 78C. The chip on the edge is developing rather nicely; growing into the data 1mm.

I also tested another DVD+R, and that lasted 2.5 days again, reaching a max temp of 50C.

Verbatim 1 has been retired, due to the chips on the edge causing the plastic to peel off. Rain and dew progressively kills it.


Was retired after 67 days. It still reads OK, with maybe some initial registration problems.

Verbatim 2 is still looking good.

BTW, Verbatim 2 has been lying on white polystyrene the whole way. This gives even heat distribution, and maximum temps. I suspect that the first 2 discs were killed on the outer rim by lying on metal, which got rather hot.

There are 2 major factors which sun light provides. One is heat and the other is UV, either of which will kill a recordable disc by itself. But being that sunlight can impart both in varying quantities depending on location, time of year and even time of day, the variables might be too great to really judge the outcomes. But its still a given that either heat or UV can kill a disc in sufficient amounts.

Both the Ritek and Verbatim (1) were put out in the sun at roughly the same date. The Ritek is a slightly lighter color, and doesn’t get as hot (2.5C cooler). The DVD was very light; only got to 50C.

This test is a comparative test between two media, using my particular weather. A re-test from New Mexico/Arizona, would be much faster, but I think similar. So far, I’m confident that the Verbatim data layer is over twice as resistant to this type of abuse.

However, the caveat is that accelerated aging cannot simulate oxygen permeating into the data layer, through the plastic, nor estimate the length of time that the edge will seal.

We are all taking vague shots, when estimating how long any new media type will last, esp if we have no data. But if we have the choice of two media, and one dies rapidly in accelerated aging, it’s not a good sign. Having said that, the Ritek BR3 did not die rapidly, compared to a DVD. The HTL data substrate is so good that the final verdict will be in the cupboard, in 25 years.

Originally, when I started burning my first BluRay discs, I was afraid of their fragility, since they are storing 6x the data that a DVD is. However, I have found that they can take an astounding amount of short term abuse. However, all bets are off, if you drop one onto concrete and it bounces on the edge.

A final post.

Before going away on holiday, I rubbed the Verbatim on my shirt, and this possibly put a fine arc scratch across the disk. It was so shallow, that I was confident that I could eventually polish it out. I then left the disk, face up, and it weathered some more rain and dew for 12 days. However, the scratch acted as a conduit for water, and the whole area blistered up.

There are also some water intrusions along the edge, about 2mm deep. These possibly occurred by accidentally polishing the disk edge, as I was trying to remove various scratches and blobs on a daily basis.

My conclusion is that Verbatim BA5 is very resistant to UV, but is vulnerable to any scratch, or rubbing at the edges. The protective membrane on the front is very thin.

The data layer of DVDs is laminated between two 0.5mm chunks of plastic, so they are able to stand more significant abuse, without it being fatal. No matter how much you scratch a DVD, you could always get the data off it, after rubbing it with abrasive polish, like Wet and Dry sandpaper, and then Brasso.

Blu Ray HTL: not a good media for playing frisbee with the dog, or rental, but stands to be a good long term storage media, if treated delicately.

[QUOTE=jambuttons;2682724]Blu Ray HTL: not a good media for playing frisbee with the dog[/QUOTE] So what media do dogs prefer for playing frisbee?
Do they prefer the less scratchable DVDs or do they prefer old-school CDs because of their excellent hearing? :smiley:

Something interesting has happened. Interesting to you, but not me.

My entire written collection of Ritek BR3 has failed. It’s almost as if someone had a remote control button that was pushed, and they all went, simultaneously.

I thought that maybe my LG burner was failing, so I bought a Pioneer 208. This is not having much better luck, but it can read some things, when the LG drive can’t.

The Ritek discs have failed after about 20GB. It’s not consistent. Sometimes a few files after 20GB will read OK. Other discs will not even register in the LG.

One artifact I can see on the surface of the discs, under certain light, is that the CD carrier case may have etched its fluffy sleeve surface onto the discs. This doesn’t appear to have happened with the Verbatims. It’s not such a great defect, that I would expect it to result in fails.

I’m going through the discs, now, and working out whether I have deleted the stuff off my hard drives. I have about 30-40 discs to rescue.

I managed to scrape all the data off the Ritek discs, owing to some flukey behavior of the LG drive. Sometimes it would register the disc, and I could work through the directories and start a small copy. When it had prior given me the impression that nothing would read. Other files, I found lying around on various hard drives. If I got too ambitious with the read, it would crash, and I’d have to re-register the disc.

The extra Pioneer drive was a medium help. I don’t think it really read better than the LG, which had mastered the discs. But it did help, having 2 readers extract data at 8MB/s each.

One peculiar 3.5GB mkv file that I read, would stall 90MB before the end. I took the disc out and scrubbed it up, and then it stalled at 41MB, then 49MB. On the 4th try, when I was going to do a system reset, to stop Windows Explorer deleting it, it then read straight though, at full speed. Fa-shoom By a process that I don’t understand, Windows seem to know a bit more about the file each time. The reader seemed to learn, or reach some perfect temperature, or something.

Optical readers are DICEY. If you lose data, keep trying.

The Verbatims still seem to read fine, in both readers. The Pioneer speed-read a disc that I accidentally wrote at 12x.