Have CDROMs a century?

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A DVD [disc] will begin to die in about 5 years. [...] I rely on information from the network about conditions and the maximum life expectancy, it may well be crap. But movies on DVDs [,] bought ~ 10 years ago [,] now do not start any of several tens.

From the discussion

Over the years, I have accumulated a significant collection of CD and DVD ROMs, released in mass editions, in addition, I periodically archive my files on disposable discs. Therefore, the statement given in the epigraph could not interest me.

Of the discs I recorded, the oldest in my collection were six CDs with a creation date of 10.24.2003 on noname discs. I copied all their contents to the hard drive without any problems. Now for writing and reading I use a fairly average DVD-RAM Recorder TSSTcorp CDDVDW SH-224DB; the device on which they were recorded is difficult to recall. I don’t even remember if it survived or I threw it away. I only remember that, by that time, it was also quite average. Without problems, I copied the contents of two DVD discs also on noname discs: I recorded one on 02/18/2005 and the other on 02/28/2005. Documents copied from disks open normally, and zip archives are unpacked. Naturally, he opened selectively. The discs were stored in the living room in plain paper disc bags. How many times have I read from them, I can’t say

In the discussion mentioned, it was suggested that purchased discs, mass-produced with information already recorded on them, are also short-lived. This looks especially surprising, since die-casting is used for their manufacture and there are no materials that could quickly degrade.

One of the oldest mass-produced discs in my collection was the Macintosh disc:

Apple Developer CD Series; MacOS 8.1 Feb, 1998,


Pacific HiTech: InfoMac VII; Jan 1996

I copied their contents without problems to the MacOS X virtual machine (a screenshot was used to splash this note). Files open normally. The only thing that fails is to start the application: when you try, a message appears that the classic Mac applications are no longer supported. But this is a question of apple policy (there are emulators of the classic hardware), and not the longevity of the CD.

I copied from PC disks:

1C: Toy Collection: Space Rangers, 2002,


1C: Toy Collection: Space Rangers 2, 2 CDs, 2004.

It was copied normally. Thus, the rumors about the allegedly short life of the CDs are clearly exaggerated. At the same time, it is quite possible that there were disks with films, which, as stated in the epigraph, after a few years did not start on anything. You never know whether there are products of completely unacceptable quality.

I read that the first CDs were written on gold-coated discs. The recording process was very moody and almost never succeeded on the first try. The recording was very slow. Since then, significant progress has been made in this area, and now it is usually possible to calmly and very quickly burn a disc. But although I write discs only for my own use and not very often, I have developed the necessary rules over the years of recording, which must be followed.

Rule 1After recording, verification is required. In the Nero program that I use, I need to check this.

Rule 2. The recording speed should not be higher than the ability of the device and the speed indicated on the disc. If verification was unsuccessful, then the speed should be reduced. In this case, a noticeable time gain can be obtained. For example, I had cases when at a speed of 16x verification took almost 40 minutes. and issued an error after 90% progress. And at a speed of 10x, verification was successful, in less than 20 minutes. While recording is faster than verification. In general, especially in the case of cheap discs, you do not need to believe everything that is written on them.

Rule 3As an additional check, the contents of each disk must be copied to the hard disk. It looks like a reinsurance, but this is not a labor-intensive operation for a person. While copying is in progress, you can, for example, play a game of chess with a computer.

In this technology, I am primarily attracted by reliability. Any device in which electronics and moving parts, like in an HDD, or only electronics, like in SSDs and flash cards, has an unpleasant property to burn out unexpectedly. And HDD is not recommended to drop. To disable a DVD, you need to try very hard, for example, put a hot kettle on it for a long timeiron. But even the loss of one DVD-ROM is not the loss of the entire collection, as it can be if the archive is stored on an external hard drive. Despite the fact that the price of a hard drive for archiving may be lower than the price of blanks of the same total capacity, the reliability of blanks pays for it.

It is believed that the Internet and cloud technologies will soon completely solve the problems of data storage. Unfortunately, while the speed of accessing data on the Internet is situational, but often, it is unexpectedly low, despite the good network connection settings. And using a local archive is often faster than re-downloading from a remote link. In addition, it is not possible to enter twice on the same Internet. For example, I posted publications and programs on the websites of some well-known companies. Then they were suddenly removed and, if I did not have copies, I would have lost them. Remembering this, I, as I see an interesting publication or program, I immediately download it, knowing from my own experience that tomorrow it may not be there. This explains the additional consumption of space on local drives.

An important advantage, in my opinion, is mobility. I have a computer in the room, and a TV in the kitchen. I can watch a movie on a computer from a disk, but I can through a TV and a cheap player. Here, of course, everyone has different preferences - many prefer to carry a laptop with them. In my opinion, a stationary desktop is more convenient for a home. New OS also prefer to download to DVD. The other day, for example, I downloaded the new version of Fedora Live CD. If I find myself cut off from the Internet due to the fact that the OS is covered, then the Live CD will help restore or reinstall the system. You can load / install the system from a flash drive, but a flash card is more expensive and, as already noted, less reliable. I’m used to dumping systems and drafts on DVD so that I don’t get confused on the hard drive, I just throw the discs out of date, but this is probably a matter of habit.

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