How durable are DVDs

That's how long DVD, CD, hard drive and Co.

A hard drive with 360 TB that actually survives humanity and is supposed to withstand temperatures of up to 1000 degrees Celsius? Not a distant vision of the future, because US researchers are already working on it. But let's first take a look at the storage media commonly used today:

Maybe you used to, too photos shot and the images printed in albums or kept as a slide collection. If you look at the old photos today, you will find that the colors are slowly but surely fading - no matter how carefully and protected from light You kept your recordings. Same goes for Super 8 films, although the material used there has an almost legendary durability.

Here, too, the color fades over time and is completely lost at some point. By the way: If you have unexposed, analog films for later use, it is best to do so in the original packaging Freezer. This means that films can be used years after their expiration date. And sound recordings are also affected by the decay. So are Audio cassettes often no longer legible after a few years.

When stored in a warm car, a quick end is inevitable. The good old shellac platter is a little more durable, but like the stone slab it is not really contemporary Storage medium. It requires a relatively large amount of space and that Sound quality only a few contemporaries are enthusiastic VHS tapes Like their audiophile relatives, they do not last very long even if stored properly.

First digital media

Stopped with the pc digital storage media Moving into our households. Introduced in 1969 diskette was the first widespread, portable, digital data carrier with ample storage space between 80 Kbytes and 3.4 Mbytes at the time. Unlike the CD, for example, the floppy disk is not an optical one, but an optical one magnetic data carrier. Theoretically, the lifespan of this colloquially "Floppy"named storage media are between five and 30 years.

In practice, however, it usually looked very different. Not infrequently, the floppy disks were especially high capacity After a much shorter period of time it is no longer readable and the data is irretrievably lost. One reason for the rapid wear and tear is that Read / write headthat is different from, for example, Hard drives does not float just above the surface of the magnetic disk, but touches it as well as the diskette itself.

Magnetic fields, such as those generated by loudspeakers or monitors, can also destroy the data stored on a floppy disk.

Optical storage media

Modern, contemporary storage media such as CDs, DVDs or Blu-rayt are usually much more reliable - at least one would think. These media are by far the most widely used storage media for private households digital data be. No wonder, as they are very inexpensive, supposedly almost indestructible, compact and very easy to use. Blu-rays are better suited for data backup as CDs or DVDs. They have a much higher capacity and have a longer shelf life.

The one promised by the manufacturer lifespan between 80 and 100 years is easily enough for a human life. But can you really rely on this information? First of all, you have to take into account that this is by nature always optimal storage conditions presuppose. In the case of optical media such as CD, DVD and Blu-ray, this means in plain language: optimal temperatures, no light, no scratches, no stickers, no fingerprints.

Anyone who thinks that a written, scratch-free and sticker-free CD will last forever in a cardboard box in the bedroom closet is still wrong. The disc is safe there light and Scratches protected, but already with the right one temperature it will be difficult. The range required for long-term storage is between -5 ° to + 30 ° C, but the optimum service life is only achieved with exactly 25 ° C reached. Temperature fluctuations should also be avoided.

The optimal one for storage humidity is between 40 and 60 percent. If the humidity is too high, it can get into the Storage layer penetrate and cause it to corrode. Air that is too dry is also harmful and shortens the lifespan. Scratches are another mortal enemy of the silver. Even a small scratch can be enough to remove the Reflective layer permanently destroy. The disc is no longer readable and the data is lost.

Back up data regularly

In order to optimize the durability of optical media, you have to do a few basic things note. First of all, you should always touch the silver disc by the edge and avoid fingerprints, as sensitive playback devices may no longer be able to play the disc. A dirty CD or DVD should be wiped with a soft cloth and, in the case of stubborn dirt, with warm soapy water to be washed off.

The cloth should be inside out and not on the Data track be guided along. Silver pieces are stored much better in plastic boxes than in cardboard sleeves, as scratches can occur when pushing them in and out. The right temperature, humidity and storage as dark as possible were discussed above. However, the right one is just as important Storage strategy: Make several regularly Backups Of your most important data carrier! Blanks are inexpensive.

So take advantage of the opportunity to back up a lot of data for relatively little money and be strategic about it. First of all, it is best not to label the data carriers directly, but rather the Cardboard inserts. Make a note of the content there as well as that dateon which you made the backup. Burn Do not just buy a single disc, but rather two or even three and after the burn process it is essential to test whether all the data is available as desired and the disc can be read correctly.

Testing with Nero DiscSpeed

You can find the Nero DiscSpeed ​​tool on the Internet. Install and run the program, insert the CD or DVD with the backed up data, and click Check Disc. Nero DiscSpeed ​​now runs a detailed Surface scan by: Good sectors are marked in green, damaged sectors in yellow and faulty sectors in red.

Even if only a single sector is marked in yellow, it is advisable to make a copy of the target immediately! A single bad sector can already indicate damage to the storage layer, which can expand and destroy all data. Test your discs once a year and always make a new copy of the data.

Hard disk as data storage

external hard drives with USB or Firewire connection are ideal as long-term storage. They are now very inexpensive and save without any problems huge amounts of data with very little space required. In the vast majority of cases, hard drives only survive in operation for a few years than Backup medium, which rarely needs to be updated, a hard drive can, however, survive for ten or more years.

Here, too, care should be taken to ensure correct storage, and disk media and hard drives are in contrast to optical or Flash storage very susceptible to shocks. In the case of long-term storage, care should also be taken to ensure that the humidity is not too high, because the mechanical parts can simply rust. Also can Magnetic fieldsthat damage or even destroy data.

If you handle the plate carefully and store it well, there is little to say against long-term storage. The box tells you how you can easily connect older panels "Three solutions ..."on the left. But even if there are still adapters for old interfaces, the question remains: will they still be there in 50 years?

Flash memory for archiving

And how well are they USB memory sticks or SSDs as long-term storage? Basically very good. Flash memories are only threatened by the wear and tear that occurs directly when writing to the memory cells. However, the manufacturers guarantee 100,000 and more Write cycles - If you only want to use your USB stick or SSD as long-term storage and only write it again occasionally, you will never reach the limits of durability.

It is recommended, however, to ensure good quality when buying USB sticks. Don't buy any No-name storagebut take sticks from reputable suppliers.

The cloud as long-term storage

Data in the Cloud saving is also a way of securely archiving them for a long time. In order to prevent access from outside, the cloud provider should offer encrypted transmission and storage of the data. A data loss due to Hardware defects There is no threat from professional providers, as the data is redundantly backed up on different computers. In any case, you should opt for a well-known provider who will not quickly disappear from the scene.

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