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Old 12-04-2007, 09:03 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Optic and floppy drive question

When it comes to backing up data on CD's DVD's and Floppy's, which is more important the quality of the drive or the quality of the media it's writing to?

When I say "important" I am referring to storing data on a media, and coming back to that media a year later and having all the data still there and uncorrupted.

I notice most of my floppy disks don't work and half my CD-RW's contain a lot of corrupted data and I'm wondering if it is the result of cheap media or a cheap drive.

I really need to know this because I am shopping for a DVD/CD reader/writer and I don't know whether to go with a cheap one and use good media or go with a good drive and buy cheap media.
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Old 12-04-2007, 09:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Optic and floppy drive question

A good writer will result in less coasters. Whether you have a good or bad one, you'll want to make sure the backup was successful.

As far as having CD's that will still work a year from now, that's dependent on the media. I recommend Verbatim DVD+R's.
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Old 12-04-2007, 09:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Optic and floppy drive question

also you could invest in a relatively cheap external drive to put all your stuff on.
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Old 12-04-2007, 09:21 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Optic and floppy drive question

Also, if you're using floppy disks as backup... your backups must be small.

Maybe see if you can get away with a USB thumb drive. Those will last a very long time, can be pretty durable, and are very convenient.
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Old 12-04-2007, 10:12 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Optic and floppy drive question

but small so their easy to loose.

and yeah if you use diskettes they only hold 1.44mb so they won't hold much and it will take a ton of them if you wanna do any large amount of files.
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Old 12-04-2007, 10:22 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Optic and floppy drive question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter.Cort View Post
but small so their easy to loose.

and yeah if you use diskettes they only hold 1.44mb so they won't hold much and it will take a ton of them if you wanna do any large amount of files.
I wouldn't say they're any easier to lose than a floppy disc. Probably your best choice for smaller backups.

Another viable option for smaller backups would be FTP'ing them to another system. There is software that creates a drive on your computer that actually just uses Google E-Mail's storage to store your files. The major limit being that you can't have individual files bigger than 20MB.

Might be something to consider.

However, if you plan to backup several gigabytes, I also recommend an external hard drive. DVD's would be a good option too if you never need to change the backups.
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Old 12-04-2007, 10:44 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Optic and floppy drive question

Well my primary problem has been with the initial writing successful, but then months or years down the road the information will have errors. If you back up a couple of 300MB files to a cd, all it takes is a couple little errors to render each file unretrievable. So according to what aetherh4cker said, my problem is cheap CD's.

As for floppy disks: I use them only for things like Symantec Drive Scrubber, Fdisk, DOS, Win98se Startup disk, Winxp installation disks (for those of us who's BIOS will not allow booting from a CD drive), Partitioning tools, Multi-OS start disk, recovery disks, and so on.

As it is now I don't have any way of reading DVD's on my computer, and I want to be able to back up all sorts of crap I download via bit torrent that aren't high priority, but I'd hate to part with some of this stuff and never be able to get it back once all forms of file sharing are perminantly illegal and wiped out of existence.

As for online storage, I recommend Xdrive.com, 5 gigs free, no file size limit (up to 5 gigs of course) and on my cable modem downloading tends to average 600MBps
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Old 12-04-2007, 10:52 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Optic and floppy drive question

At present, stated CD-R lifetimes are estimates based on accelerated aging tests, as the technology has not been in existence long enough to verify the upper range. With proper care it is thought that CD-Rs should be readable one thousand times or more and have a shelf life of several hundred years. Unfortunately, some common practices can reduce shelf life to only one or two years. Therefore, it is important to handle and store CD-Rs properly if it is necessary to read them more than a year or so later.

Real-life (not accelerated aging) tests have revealed that some CD-Rs degrade quickly even if stored normally. The quality of a CD-R disc has a large and direct influence on longevity -- cheap discs shouldn't be expected to last very long. Unfortunately, branding isn't a terribly good guide to quality, because many brands (major as well as no name) do not actually manufacture their own discs. Instead they are sourced from different manufacturers of varying quality. For best results, verify the actual manufacturer and material components of each batch of discs.

Burned CD-Rs suffer from material degradation, just like most writable media. CD-R media have an internal layer of dye used to store data. In a CD-RW disc, the recording layer is made of an alloy of silver and other metals — indium, antimony, and tellurium. In CD-R media, the dye itself can degrade causing data to become unreadable.

As well as degradation of the dye, failure of a CD-R can be due to the reflective surface. While silver is less expensive and more widely used, it is more prone to oxidation resulting in a non-reflecting surface. Gold on the other hand, although more expensive and no longer widely used, is an inactive material and so, gold-based CD-Rs do not suffer from this problem.

Permanent markers are commonly used to mark the label side of CD-Rs and DVDs. This practice has been discouraged because it is believed xylene and toluene, common substances in permanent marker ink, can cause surface deterioration. Additionally, volatile organic compounds may be released which will remain inside the enclosed atmosphere of a CD-R's storage box, causing harm.

Quality of writing matters: better recorders are capable of producing better burned discs with a better lifespan (and vice versa), and writing at lower speeds tends to produce burned discs with better lifespan than writing at higher speeds.

One last factor that affects the quality of a CD-R and influences its lifespan is the lacquer that is used to seal the CD-R and protect the dye and the reflective material from the influence of external materials such as air, water and alcohol.
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