Long term archive of digi-files .. suggestion

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Bruce Wilson, Aug 18, 2004.

  1. Bruce Wilson

    Bruce Wilson Guest

    I have been burning CDs to keep most of my image files. Is there any diff
    between the major brands Imation, Maxel, Memorex, etc, etc ?? or is it one
    of those things that one company makes most CD's and multiple companies put
    their name on them.

    What is the best for long term image archive CD's, other media ?? and if
    CD's any recommendations ?? Also, is there image quality loss during the
    transfer/burning process ??

    I did "google" first and didn't any major discussion. Apologize if this is
    rehashing an old issue.
    Bruce Wilson, Aug 18, 2004
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  2. Bruce Wilson

    Bill Hilton Guest

    From: "Bruce Wilson"
    Different coatings mean different estimated life-span. The old Kodak Ultima
    Gold ones were the best but have been phased out. Here's some info on CD
    longevity ... the cheaper 15 cent ones probably won't last a year, and CD-RW's
    are not long-lasting either.

    No, it either burns right or it doesn't.
    After accumulating a couple hundred CD-R's I figured there had to be a better
    way ... one problem with CD-R's is you never know if they're bad until you
    really need them a couple years later unless you periodically read them.

    I switched to external hard drives for back-up, now that the price has dropped
    so low. I saw a 160 GB IOGear model for $99 today at Fry's for example. This
    is equivalent in storage to about 250 standard CD's but far more flexible (and
    smaller). We keep all our archived RAW files on three of these, with the same
    files on every one and one of them is stored off-site for extra safety. We
    rotate the off-site disk in every time we finish a project and update it.
    These connect via USB 2 or Firewire (or both) and are pretty fast. I know
    they'll go bad sooner or later (all disks do) but so long as you have multiple
    copies of the files you're OK, especially with one stored elsewhere.

    DVD-R's are another solution but have the same long term problems as CD-Rs
    except you need fewer of them.

    Bill Hilton, Aug 18, 2004
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  3. Bruce Wilson

    Tim Smith Guest

    There are some companies that make CDs that are specifically meant for
    archiving. They supposedly will last much longer. You should be able to
    find them with Google.
    There is no image quality loss. The CD is an exact copy of the file from
    your computer.

    The most important thing when archiving any important data is to not rely on
    a single archival copy. Make sure that each image is archived onto at least
    two different CDs. For extra safety, keep one of the CDs in a separate
    location (it doesn't do any good to have two copies if they both get burned
    up in the same fire!) (And speaking of fire, note that most "fireproof"
    safes will *not* protect CDs. What they mean by "fireproof" is that in a
    fire of the intensity and duration the safe is rated to withstand, it won't
    get hot enough inside to burn paper. Unfortunately, the temperature at
    which paper ignites is much higher than the temperature at which CDs are

    It's a good idea to periodically rearchive things. When a given archive
    disc gets to be a few years or so old, read it onto the computer, and burn a
    new one.
    Tim Smith, Aug 18, 2004
  4. Bruce Wilson

    Big Bill Guest

    Personal opinion:
    It's been my experience that the burner plays a much larger role in
    this than the brand of CD you buy.
    A good burner will burn just abut anything you throw at it; the $59.94
    special burner is much more particular.
    I've had a bunch of dofferent burners, starting with a SCSI 2X burner.
    My current burner is a SONY DRU-510A; it will burn the cheapest CD-Rs
    I can find, and they last. Friends with the Fry's cut-rate specials
    are faster, if they use the expensive disks. If not, they get a lot of

    Bill Funk
    Change "g" to "a"
    Big Bill, Aug 18, 2004
  5. Bruce Wilson

    eawckyegcy Guest

    What the heck for? CD's (even DVD's) do not have enough capacity for
    even modest collections of images (mine is 30GB; I expect to be at 80
    or 100 by the end of the year -- the thought of doing that in CD's or
    DVD's scares me).

    Be sensible and get a portable HD unit. You'll be so glad you did.

    And yes, this is a rehashed rehashed rehash of a rehashed question.
    google-groups: group:rec.photo.digital archive portable disk (and
    other variations)
    eawckyegcy, Aug 18, 2004
  6. Bruce Wilson

    RSD99 Guest

    RSD99, Aug 19, 2004
  7. Good luck trying to read a CD-R in 50 years.
    =?ISO-8859-1?Q?BenOne=A9?=, Aug 19, 2004
  8. Bruce Wilson

    chris French Guest

    Your definition of modest is rather more generous than mine.....

    For me DVD is OK at the moment. My images are on two HDD, and on
    multiple DVD's one copy in a remote location.. Yes, DVD suffers the same
    potential problems as CD, but I assume that within 5 years I will have
    transferred to another format.
    chris French, Aug 19, 2004
  9. Bruce Wilson

    Ryadia Guest

    TDK make a CD they call "Archive quality" and claim data burned to it
    will last 70 years. I know for sure my oldest CDs are Mitsumi gold and
    still OK. Some of my newest CDs have needed a recovery session to get
    back the images. 1997 is the earliest CD I've burned. The Gold ones are
    OK, the blanks... Well they are blank again! I also have some brand
    name, spindle CDs with no image left on them. I'd recommend the TDKs or
    some branded "thats".

    Ryadia, Aug 19, 2004
  10. Bruce Wilson

    Tim Smith Guest

    100 GB is only about 24 DVDs (single layer). That's not very scary,
    especially considering that it would only be 7 discs now, and then the rest
    would be spread out as your collection grows.
    That's sensible for backup, but the OP was asking about archiving, where you
    probably really want to keep two copies of everything. I'd be reluctant to
    use HD's for archiving, because there are too many things that can fail.
    E.g., if the drive electronics die, you lose all the data (or have to cough
    up a lot of money for a data recovery service). With CD or DVD, all you are
    relying on is the media, as opposed to the media *and* a complicated
    electromechanical system.

    I'd rather go for 48 DVDs than two portable HDs for archiving 100 GB. (And
    it is also a lot cheaper).
    Tim Smith, Aug 22, 2004
  11. Bruce Wilson

    Tom Nelson Guest

    The really high-volume shooters use 120 GB hard drives. You can get 120
    GB for about $160, so it's cost-effective on a per-GB basis. You can
    write to a hard drive a lot faster than you can burn CDs or DVDs. When
    you fill the drive, unplug it and store it...and install a new hard
    Tom Nelson
    Tom Nelson Photography
    Tom Nelson, Aug 24, 2004
  12. Bruce Wilson

    grim Guest

    I feel a lot safer with a DVD or CD medium, than a hard drive medium.
    Magnets, drops, etc. just cause too many problems for hard drives. Plus,
    CDs/DVDs are a lot more compact and portable than an external hard drive.
    grim, Aug 24, 2004
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