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Archival CD-Rs

 
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I'm looking for reliable backups for my digital photos, something with the same longevity as slides and negatives. I've done some research and Mitsui Gold CDs seem to have the best prospect of still being readable in 30 years. They are unfortunately expensive and difficult to get. Does anyone have any alternatives or experience with this.
[ February 15, 2005: Message edited by: peter wooster ]
 
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I have wondered how they rate the shelf-life for storage media at some time span when the storage medium has not been around for that time span.

I think what I'd do is make multiple copies and then make backups of those copies every so many years. Of course, in doing that you still run the risk that the media reader/writer will not be around or available in so many years. Imagine people storing their wedding or family videos on VHS 10 years ago. Ten years from now will you be able to find a VCR?

Again I think the key is to make periodic backups in whatever is the current standard technology.
 
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I heard some gold CDs were "supposed" to last around 200 yrs!

Every photo I want to keep I copy to a spare hard drive which I disconnect from my PC when I'm done. In terms of physical storage space it's far less cumbersome than the equivalent in CDs and the price per GB compared to regular CDs is less than double (if you were to get, say, a 160GB HDD). Since CDs deteriorate, scratch, get lost, take up space etc, I figured I'd just not use them and do something like J Borderi says and copy to a newer technology when the time comes to upgrade.

I don't know what the downfalls of my system are, I'll let you know when it fails!
 
peter wooster
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Originally posted by Richard Hawkes:
I heard some gold CDs were "supposed" to last around 200 yrs!


The Mitsui Gold and the now out of production Kodak Gold are the disks that they make those claims about. The Kodak disks were made by Kodak under license from Mitsui, Kodak now outsources their production to CMC Magnetics in Taiwan, who have one of the worst quality reputations. The life expectancies are determined by using accelerated bio-degradation tests where they vary temperature and humidity and use exposure to bright light, among other things. The CMC disks get ratings of less than 5 years.


Every photo I want to keep I copy to a spare hard drive which I disconnect from my PC when I'm done. In terms of physical storage space it's far less cumbersome than the equivalent in CDs and the price per GB compared to regular CDs is less than double (if you were to get, say, a 160GB HDD). Since CDs deteriorate, scratch, get lost, take up space etc, I figured I'd just not use them and do something like J Borderi says and copy to a newer technology when the time comes to upgrade.

I don't know what the downfalls of my system are, I'll let you know when it fails!



A friend of mine does something like that, he has a Raid system with 3 200Gig swappable drives. He keeps 2 in the raid system and one swapped out. It seems like overkill to me, at present I'm just backing everything up every month and everthing new goes on CD every time I transfer it from the camera. These sort of schemes produce an indexing nightmare in relatively short order. I've also considered printing all the important stuff and maybe even shooting film of it.
 
Don't get me started about those stupid light bulbs.
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