School me on DVD failure...

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by dEARlEADER, Oct 2, 2008.

  1. dEARlEADER

    dEARlEADER New Member

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    I've seen chatter from forum members (especially Bifucator) about the high failure rate when backing up images to DVD. I typically store my files on a main drive + external usb drive + plus at the end of the month burn images to DVD. All hard drives fail over time, but I thought I was protecting myself from this by doing the DVD thing. I have never tested the integrity of my DVDs other than the mini self test that is performed at the end of the burn.

    A quick google of "dvd failure rate" seems to bring up a lot of non scientific forum stuff. So, I was wondering about peoples experience and advice here.


    1. For the people intenstively using DVD's what is your rough percentage of failure rate?

    2. Is there anything you do to minimize failure, such as burn at a slower rate?

    3. Is the failure of the DVD instint? or can the DVD lose information over time? (when I mean failure over time, I am assuming stored in proper conditions and not being used)

    4. Is there any particular Drive or DVD brand you use for its integrity?

    5. Do you have any links pertaining to this issue that include scientific independant lab testing? or any other trusted independant source?

    6. What are the main reasons for the failure of burned DVD?

    7. I've had a lot of commercial DVDs for years and never experienced any failures so I assume there is something different in commercial processing. Does anyone use a commercial service to back up DVDs?

    Thanks... btw you don't have to answer all questions.. just the ones you are most experienced with...
     
  2. Slaphead

    Slaphead New Member

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    Ok I'll have a go, but all of this is in the "as far as I know" category.

    1. So far 0, but I'm not a heavy burner

    2. Slower rates can sometimes help the burn complete successfully and perhaps theoretically in terms of longevity.

    3. The DVD can degrade gradually over time but when the degradation hits a certain point the failure could appear suddenly.

    4. No IMO, DVD Drive and disk manufacturers change the specs all the time. The only thing that I can suggest here is to buy branded disks as opposed to bulk unbranded disks - costs more but IMO worth it

    5 Google "DVD longevity" - you'll get quite a few links from that

    6 IME bad media or bad drive and also sometimes software problems

    7 A commercial DVD is pressed in very thin metal (so thin you can actually see through it, which enables dual layer DVDs) and this produces the peaks and troughs which affect the laser reflections - these should in theory last a lifetime. Recordable DVDs use dye which is exposed after the laser burns through a layer covering the dye - This simulates the peaks on troughs. However the problem is that the dye can degrade over time.

    Added to this I would say that recordable CD's are probably more secure than recordable DVDs for storing info as the peaks and troughs are larger and therefore IMO would take longer to degrade.

    I have cd's that I recorded back in 1998 (albiet music) that still play without problem, but obviously I havent got a recorded DVD of that age to compare.

    HTH
     
  3. Dao

    Dao Well-Known Member

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  4. dEARlEADER

    dEARlEADER New Member

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  5. JerryPH

    JerryPH New Member

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    1. For the people intenstively using DVD's what is your rough percentage of failure rate?

    Zero to date. But interestingly, I have CDs that that I personally burned on retail burners that date back to the late 80s and they are readable on any of the 6 DVD burners I own today.

    2. Is there anything you do to minimize failure, such as burn at a slower rate?

    Yes, I try to use the best quality discs I can get my hands on. In the DVD world, that means DVD-R instead of +Rs. I never write on them, I never put stickers on them. They each have their own jacket that contains content info on them and they are placed in a lightproof case which is stored in a dark air-conditioned environment.

    3. Is the failure of the DVD instint? or can the DVD lose information over time? (when I mean failure over time, I am assuming stored in proper conditions and not being used)

    It degrades slowly over time from what I hear. You may lose a few bits in 20 years, or the whole media. There is no fixed rate of decay, it depends on many factors like media quality and environment.

    4. Is there any particular Drive or DVD brand you use for its integrity?

    TAIYOYUDEN or YUDEN, -R DVDs are the acknowledged best quality on the market and come with a 50 year guarantee (be aware of fakes).

    DVD drives... well early on, Sony and Pioneer were names to have. Nowadays, since standards are what they are, even the $50 DVD burners will be ok. The thing is that they are *all* mechanical devices with moving parts. Over time the tolerances loosen and the alignment of the tracking goes off. This could mean that a DVD written on your old burner will not be readable on any other unit BUT this one.


    5. Do you have any links pertaining to this issue that include scientific independant lab testing? or any other trusted independant source?

    Nope, but if you google, maybe you will find something?

    6. What are the main reasons for the failure of burned DVD?

    Physical degradation of the materials between the plastic layers of the media for the most part.

    7. I've had a lot of commercial DVDs for years and never experienced any failures so I assume there is something different in commercial processing. Does anyone use a commercial service to back up DVDs?

    Nope, they use the same materials (or sometimes even lower quality) anyways. I love my system of having them on my local computer (for a short time), on my 18TB SAN and on DVD-R's. I had not found a local affordable source for TAIYOYUDEN DVD-Rs previously, and by the time I did, I'd had already purchased 300 -R DVDs (sitting on my desk as I type this). My next purchases will be several hundred TAIYOYUDEN DVD-R's in a couple of months, enough to last me a year or two. I am a heavy DVD burner for many reasons, photography aside. My movie collection exceeds 5,000 DVDs alone and I am not even going to say how many TBs in MP3s I legally own.

    I kinda feel lucky that I've not had a single medie (CD or DVD) go bad on me yet, but never say "never"... becuase it has happened to a lot of people in the past, and can easily happen to anyone.
     
  6. dEARlEADER

    dEARlEADER New Member

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    Interesting.... thanks for your time....considering your usage, I now feel better about the loss risk...

    guess I'll now focus on purchasing quality media.... I was mistakenly under the impression they were all relatively the same in quality, and the off brand names and brand names essentially are produced off the same press...

    Anyone out there with DVD disaster stories??....
     
  7. JerryPH

    JerryPH New Member

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  8. dEARlEADER

    dEARlEADER New Member

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  9. Dweller

    Dweller Inconspicuous Supporter

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    I have experienced "disk rot" first hand but it was on a spindle of generic CD-R from the late 90s. Based on your questions I did some digging and found this:

    From here Care and Handling of CDs and DVDs: A Guide for Librarians and Archivists
     
  10. Bifurcator

    Bifurcator New Member

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    dEARlEADER wrote:

    I've seen chatter from forum members (especially Bifucator) about the high failure rate when backing up images to DVD. I typically store my files on a main drive + external usb drive + plus at the end of the month burn images to DVD. All hard drives fail over time, but I thought I was protecting myself from this by doing the DVD thing. I have never tested the integrity of my DVDs other than the mini self test that is performed at the end of the burn.

    A quick google of "dvd failure rate" seems to bring up a lot of non scientific forum stuff. So, I was wondering about peoples experience and advice here.



    1. For the people intenstively using DVD's what is your rough percentage of failure rate?

    5% (aprox)


    2. Is there anything you do to minimize failure, such as burn at a slower rate?

    Yes, I usually burn at one speed slower than the media claims. But I buy the VERY cheapest media there is: 100 DVDs for $15.00 ~ $18.00 typically.


    3. Is the failure of the DVD instint? or can the DVD lose information over time? (when I mean failure over time, I am assuming stored in proper conditions and not being used)

    Both. If I do a verify when writing there are usually about 5 or 6 disks that don't verify correctly and hit the trash pile. I wasn't including those in my 5% estimate above.


    4. Is there any particular Drive or DVD brand you use for its integrity?

    Yes. System engineers very commonly recommend Pioneer drives for the best results. I forget what the recommended media is cuz it's over a dollar per disk. :( Also the combination of media and drive matters quite allot but there are just too many combinations to think about without reading and absorbing massive databases of information. Here's a link on media: http://www.best-dvd-burning-software-reviews.com/best-blank-dvd-media.asp


    5. Do you have any links pertaining to this issue that include scientific independant lab testing? or any other trusted independant source?

    http://www.best-dvd-burning-software-reviews.com/best-blank-dvd-media.asp
    and the others that people have posted.


    6. What are the main reasons for the failure of burned DVD?

    No idea. Oxidation? Ambient radiation? Sun Spots? Non-uniform (low grade) media substrate, scratches, dirt while writing, Gremlins? :D


    7. I've had a lot of commercial DVDs for years and never experienced any failures so I assume there is something different in commercial processing. Does anyone use a commercial service to back up DVDs?

    Commercially pressed DVDs are formed by a completely different process and have a MUCH more uniform failure rate. I think it's like 80 or 100 years or something. Certainly most "burned" DVDs are not going to last 80 years. I think there are ratings that most companies spout and I think the longest rating on readily available disks is something like 30 or 40 years.

    Then again, my collection of 6 thousand floppies are rated at 10 years or something and I've had most of them for 30 years at least. The last I tried them (4 or 5 years ago) all the ones I tried worked just fine. <shrug>


    Thanks... btw you don't have to answer all questions.. just the ones you are most experienced with...

    NP. I'm certainly not a DVD scientist or anything but this is the info and experience I have - from where ever.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2008
  11. dEARlEADER

    dEARlEADER New Member

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    What?!?!.... so all this time you were over emphasizing the failure rate? geesh... i gotta stop being so gullible...
     
  12. Bifurcator

    Bifurcator New Member

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    Why? What is it I said?

    I don't remember saying anything like 1/2 go bad or anything. It is true however that EVENTUALLY all of them will go bad. :D

    I get about 5 or so out of 100 that die within months and 5 or so that die while burning. If it's something I want to keep (family shots) I back it up 2 to 4 times.
     
  13. _SnapShot_

    _SnapShot_ New Member

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    I have had many failures when burning that don't pass verification and I had to burn them over again. New computer with a new burner and I haven't had one. Some DVD burners are not very reliable.

    I have not had a failure of a stored DVD after a good burn.

    I use DVD-R for data that I want to keep and DVD+R for movies that I don't care about.

    If you crack the center ring on any DVD it will become a coaster. The cases that movies use with the clasp in the center can ruin a DVD be careful.
     

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