Your CD and DVD backup disks won't last forever. Back them up before it’s too late
The digital age has transformed the way we
handle information. Never before could humankind record and store so much
information and in such diversity. While the amount of data has increased
exponentially, the predicted lifespan of the storage media hardly exceeds the
lifetime of a human. Your CDs and DVDs are plastic, but they may or may not
last forever. So how long do CDs, DVDs, and Blu-ray optimal discs last?
PrimeArray will help to
try and answer this question!
The Lifespan of Different Optical Discs?
Optical discs have been commercially
available since the 1980s. Since then, there have been advances in the actual
technologies and materials used in CDs, DVDs, and Blu-rays, meaning information
is much safer now than it ever was before.
While some estimates predict a huge
lifetime for optical discs, we don’t agree. Unless they are housed in a clean
room handled the gloves with the perfect temperature and light.
However, by being aware of the lifespan of
optical discs and what causes them to break, you can make choices to preserve survival
of your stored data.
To understand what limits the life span of
optical discs, we first need to look at how they are built-up.
All optical discs have three key layers in
layer that protects the reflective layer.
layer that reflects the laser.
disc layer that stores the data.
A label is applied above the coating layer
and re-writable discs contain a dye layer between the reflective and protective
layers. One factor that determines the maximum lifespan of an optical disc is
the type of reflective layer. Other factors include the overall quality of the
raw materials used and manufacturing.
Perhaps as you’re reading this article you
may have encountered an aged / damaged disc but been unaware. An age disc may
show signs of:
(1)oxidation or corrosion of the
(2)chemical reactions with
contaminants such as dirt grease from your fingertips
(4)breakdown of disc
materials/bonding a.k.a. top layer flaking
PrimeArray systems, the
experts in optical media agree and put a precise number that after 7-10 years, you should start to worry and do something about these discs to preserve
Not all cases are the same; some media may
last longer ,such as the type of media
that is commercially produced or M rated discs. The weakest type of
optical media we commonly see is discs that are burnt by the user, produced
with the standard optical burner.
Below is an example of a PrimeArray
customer’s disc, that was damaged by time via a “fingerprint” on the top of
disc. This disc was only handled once to be placed into a jacket via the
customer over the years that fingerprint eroded the data track destroying
(Again, the customer handled the disc once
only, touched the top of the disc one time with their finger!) Totally
invisible contaminants were transferred to the disc and in time destroyed it)
If you want your media to last decades it’s
possible but it’s up to you keep the media: clean. away from sunlight .away
from heat. And don’t believe just because you only handled the disc one or few
times that it’s perfectly fine in its jacket because there can be some invisible
enemies at work!
PrimeArray systems manufacturers easy to
use; CD DVD/optical media loaders servers towers Media Servers. These devices
can easily transform large collections of media back to file and folder state
back in your precious media up to modern high capacity storage devices while
indexing the media.
PrimeArray systems also offers migration
services where we can convert all your media back to file and folder state
easily and inexpensively quickly and accurately.