View Full Version : CD & DVD Storage
08-30-2004, 08:11 PM
Is it just me or are there many others who are seriously worried about storing vital information on CD's or DVD's for long term storage. I am talking of valuable photos and video's, let alone business files etc. The reason I ask is that I recently found 4 out of a set of 5 Kodak cd's I made a couple of years back had separated and had large air bubbles under the burning material. They are of course totally unplayable and non repairable. No, they didn't see any sunlight having always been stored in a case, inside, in a cool place. I contacted Kodak and to date haven't had the courtesy of a reply. Now I am storing photos and slide shows to DVD's I notice how ridiculously susceptible they are to scratching. I mean, I am handling very carefully and some are even lightly marked when unpacking them new. I have had DVD's that get to a point and won't read any further and to date have not come across a product that can successfully mend them. Now if they are so fragile, how can companies claim they will store data for 100 years or so and what happens if in 2-5 years time the lining separates from them as well and all my photos data etc are lost. Will anyone compensate me for the loss? I know the old magnetic tapes were susceptible to tracking problems and such, but they seemed to fill me with more certainty than the current CD's and DVD's. So what is the best Long term storage solution?
Hmmmm maybe a separate external hard drive would be better?
08-30-2004, 10:36 PM
Yes I guess that is one solution but who knows what will have transpired between now and when our grandchildren are grown up enough to want to view our photos. Call me crazy but I am beginning to fear that film printed photos are still the best guarantee so far, that will last the test of time. Will we all be rueing the day we digitized everthing, only to find it needing upgrading to whatever format things have changed to every 5-10 years or become so obsolete as to become totally unavailable to future viewers. With the amount of digital photography happening I believe this is far too serious an issue to just say, well try this or try that, I odn't know about you but I want some sort of certainty, that oll our hard work will not be lost.
The only thing that is certain in this world is death. You can take all the measures there are to try and protect your photos, including film, and there will still be a chance that you could lose them all. Personally I don't feel the different formats for photos are going to become obsolete any time soon, and I'm not going to worry over something that may never happen. Sure the equipment will change, they are machines and over time machines wear out and need upgrading, but we would still upgrade whether we had photos on them or not.
Save your photos to as many types of media as you can and try to stop worry so much, or one other thing may become certain, an ulcer. :-)
08-30-2004, 11:37 PM
Yes "Dr. Heidi"!! :-)
But in all honesty why should we have to go to the expence of saving to various media's " to be sure , to be sure", when a decent product in the first place could avoid all that. How many have hired and or bought a movie dvd only to find it gets to the crucial part and diew, boots you cak to the begining and you end up never knowing "who done it?" I am not really stressing Heidi, but I think this is an area that could use looking into before it becomes a runaway issue, that "if only we had done something earlier" become the catch cry of the day.
LOL ok, I won't lecture you about your possible ulcer. :mrgreen:
I agree though, products should do as they claim, but (I really hate that word) corners get cut and you wind up with crap (oops my favorite word). :-)
08-31-2004, 05:56 AM
mmm, Interesting topic Ralph and Heidi.
My oldest Digital Photo CD backup is from 1996 when I had a Casio Digital Camera. I have lost all those photos now since every computer that I have tried can't read the CD.
Photos are memories...
My favorite movie is "Blade Runner" 1982, Ridley Scott Director, Harrison Ford is the lead actor. Forum - http://www.bladezone.com/phpBB2/index.php
Harrison Ford says in the movie “Memories, you’re talking about memories”
That’s what photos are to me.
In the conclusion Roy Batty, replicant, says
"I've seen things you people wouldn't believe.
Attack ships on fire on off the shoulder of Orion.
I watched C-Beams glitter in the dark near the Tanhauser Gate.
All those… moments will be lost… in time
Like tears… in the rain”
I think our digital memories (digital photos) will go the same way, irrespective of what we do.
In the past, old photos meant something, they were rare and faded , but at least they were there. In 300 years there will be a gap in human history, beginning at the end of analogue photography in the late 20th century, and ending who knows where.
I have no doubt that my digital photos will be lost “like tears in the rain”, but so will be my memories…. So in the meantime I back them up to
c. A mass storage remote device
d. another HDD
e. My Son’s X box HDD (surely that will be around in 100 years !!)
and as new technology come available I copy them there as well.
Will a ‘computer’ in the future be able to read a storage device formatted under Windows XP ?
Remember the movie “The Time Machine” – in 800,000 years time they found disks that recorded human history – all they had to do was spin them on a table and they talked.’
Anyway, I still have all my floppy disk backups attached to my computer with a big magnet for safekeeping !!
06-28-2005, 06:37 PM
I have recently become aware of the pitfalls of CD storage for photos through a friend who has suffered a similar fate to yours. I was of the impression that CD storage was bulletproof (within reason of course) and that it would last for years. I am now in the dilemma (no ulcers yet Heidi!) of working out alternative storage for my pictures. From what I have read the consensus of opinion seems to be "print it or risk losing it" which does end up a tad expensive and I have been dodging this - maybe to my peril? I have considered copying CD's on a semi-regular basis (every 6-12months) which may help, though as my collection expands the task will become daunting. I will continue to search for answers but the philosophical one I guess is "Nothing is Forever"
I have had a thought and I'm sure this will sound crazy :bang: .
Maybe what we need is a device that will transfer our images we deem worthy back to film exactly as edited and stored on our computers.
Then we can go back to having shoe boxes full of negatives. :twak:
Or perhaps slides :-D
07-02-2005, 06:00 AM
I recently read a article in pc photo about long term storage on cd's. And they said the best cd's out there are the DELKIN eFilm Archival Gold CD-R.. They say they are "the 300 year Disc" I hope I live that long to find out if its true.... you can find them at www.Delkin.com.... I bought a 10 pack on ebay for $15.00 including shipping.
I use the highest quality DVD and CD's for my backups and I always make more than one~ they're more expensive, but I've noticed they dont' fall apart (at least so far!!)
I also check my disc's annually to make sure they'll still read and rewrite any that need it~
I also get prints of all my shots anyways lol
Guess I'm a bit paranoid too~ I certainly don't want to lose all my photo's in 10 years :? I had a seperate hard drive, but the sucker crashed :cry:
07-02-2005, 09:57 AM
Sounds like you have it all covered!
I lost a good 2 years worth of pictures :?
Now I'm somewhat neurotic about it lol
11-24-2005, 12:55 PM
Maybe not new, someone said it before in this topic, but i prefer storing my photos on a harddisk drive. it is not secure at all, harddisks crash, and mine did two in a row with many photos being lost.
But in the years which have been, the harddisk has proved to be a quite reliable way to store files. But you may not store the disk and do nothing with it. "Keep it warm", keeps the disk in shape...
But still a sometimes make a backup of the newest photo's to be "sure".
don't be neurotic, you suffer most from the fear you have :)
I recently purchased a USB external hard drive and proceeded to copy all my CD and DVD back-ups to it. Many of my older CD's are no longer readable. Those photos are gone for ever.......
11-24-2005, 06:23 PM
I guess we're all neurotic. I have my photos stored in the following ways:
-on DVD's in another house
-on a Computer at home
-on a Computer outside of my home
-on a Second hard drive on that computer
-on my parents computer
who notices the extra 20 gigs of stuff? Let's be honest here.
and then I try to print 1 of every 5 pictures I take. More if neccisary. less if they're just "artistic attempts".
but man, it's crazy.
11-25-2005, 12:22 AM
I still hear people that say they lost all their data in a hard disk crash. I ask them what they are doing for backup now, and even then, they admit that they don't really have a good backup strategy, or are following one. Yes, these people will create a 'hole' in their visual past.
But as a society as a whole, that's very doubtful. With the billions of dollars being spent on our archives by the news community, stock image agencies, government, and so on, its not going to happen. They have backup plans and migration strategies in place and follow them. And with corporate disaster plans, they cover their data security quite well, and that includes images. Especially when the value of their company also rides on the images they have copyright to. Newsweek spends hordes of money protecting the images they own, as do the rest of the new and editorial community. Its doubtful that those images will disappear because of the value inherient to the companies that own them.
But for us little guys? If you haven't sat down and really thought through how you will protect your images from becoming obsolete, unreadable, or lost in a house fire or such, well, its only a matter of time.
Backup strategy with a migration plan is the key!
No backup strategy, and they surely will loose data at some point in the future. A backup strategy without a migration strategy will also produce less then spectacular results over time. You need both!
A backup strategy is easy. Have multiple copies of your data stored on high quality media, and stored in an industry standard non-manufacturer specific format. For me, that means gold CD/DVD's, stored in the TIFF format, and I have a master and backup disk burned at the same time. I had dual DVD burners built into my computer so I could burn two identical disks at the same time. And they are stored in different locations. One set at my studio, and another in my home office. If both cities get nuked, well, my backup strategy would have failed, but I'd have bigger problems to worry about anyway :)
Migration strategy means keeping your data current regarding the technology and media. If you copied an image on a 3.5 inch floppy disk 20 years ago (I did :), and never copied it to a new file format or new media, sooner or later you will not be able to read that image. I have old 3.5" floppies with images in the .BMP format, typical of the age, and I can still read them today! The BMP format was a stable file format, and the floppy was a current media. The file format is still currently supported by most apps, but is somewhat dated. The storage media is still readily available, and ships with many new PCs. But that's not going to last much longer.
Now, If I took that 20 year old BMP file and copied it to my hard disk, converted it to a TIFF format, then burned two DVD's using high quality gold media, I would have successfully migrated the aging 20 year old image to current technology standards and given the image a new lease on life for the next 10 or 20 years. If in 10 years from now, I again converted the image to the then current format, put it on new media, I would have again updated that image to current technological standards. That is a successful migration strategy that will safeguard the images unless there is a total collapse of technology where computers just disappear from the face of the earth in a very short time. Much like having enlargers and chemicals just disappear overnight so that you can no longer develop film and make prints from negatives. Even with my 20 year old .BMP image on a floppy, I can still find machines around that will read it, and can move it to something current. That isn't going to change overnight and without warning.
For a migration strategy, I've adopted to storing all my images in the TIFF format since its manufacturer independent, stable, and an industry standard. It doesn't change with every new software release like a PSD file does, and is not dependent on proprietary formats like a RAW image. TIFF is todays stable format much like the .BMP file was decades ago.
The actual migration strategy consists of two copies (master & backup) of each CD/DVD being made and stored separately. They are also written on media from two different manufacturers to help avoid both the master and backup CD going bad since they were from the same manufacturers lot numbers that defects. They are stored in the TIFF format, but I usually include the .PSD with them. As long as the PSD file is readable, I'll use it. But I won't bother converting it in the future, and will only convert the TIFF file when needed. The discs will also be catalogued in a image database program for quick searching and reference.
Every 10 years or so, I will have another set of duplicates made of the CD/DVD's as a precaution, or move it on to the next proven media that replaces it. During that copying, I may also change from the TIFF format to another format if the TIFF format falls out of favor as a archival format and a new format takes its place. This 'refreshes' the archive every 10 years so that they will be using current technology, on current media, and in current file formats.
My migration strategy also has a twist to it, what I call forced editing. Basically, if you take a series of images of any subject, there will be a few that are your real keepers. The rest you want to hold on to, but you would probably not really look at considering you would be showing the keepers. A good analogy is a regular negative film strip. On each strip, there are usually images that you'll never print, enlarge, or care about if it was lost over time. But there are also a couple images that are keepers for you.
My forced editing comes from how I handle the archives and migration. Everything I shoot gets burned to a master/backup 'Camera Originals' CD set immediately after its loaded to the computer. Then I edit those images down to a set of keepers. These are the images that will be edited, printed, posted on the web, made into 4x6s for the family album, etc. These are the real value images to me, and are archived to a master/backup 'Image Archive' CD set right after editing. That leaves me with two separate archives, 'Camera Originals', and 'Image Archive'.
Here is the forced editing part. I only migrate the 'Image Archive', and not the 'Camera Originals'. Since I have all the keepers edited, archives, and migrate them I don't really need the 'Camera Originals' since it contains the same keepers, as well as all the 'outtakes' which have a limited shelf life. From the film analogy viewpoint, I've pulled all the keepers off the 'negative film strip', and don't mind if the rest of the negatives start to deteriorate over time since I've protected the important ones. I will have access to the out takes for quite some time, but as the media starts to fail, or the file formats are no longer supported, eventually they will be come unreadable. And do I care? Well, if I had no need to use them in say 15 to 20 years, then no! And if I did have need to pull off an image, it ended up in my 'Image Archive' anyway, and is now current and being migrated. This helps keep the archive manageable, easy to maintain, and not littered with images of limited value.
I've found this works very well for me. In the end, all I really recommend is that if you haven't sat down and really thought this through, then grab a pot of coffee, a note pad, and a couple hours and do so. The time spent now will save you much regret in the future.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.2.0 Copyright © 2013 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.