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CD-Recordable discs unreadable in less than two years
CDFreaks.com (by way of SlashDot) ^ | 19 August 2003 | Dennis

Posted on 08/24/2003 7:12:45 AM PDT by Eala

The Dutch PC-Active magazine has done an extensive CD-R quality test. For the test the magazine has taken a look at the readability of discs, thirty different CD-R brands, that were recorded twenty months ago. The results were quite shocking as a lot of the discs simply couldn't be read anymore:

Roughly translated from Dutch:

The tests showed that a number of CD-Rs had become completely unreadable while others could only be read back partially. Data that was recorded 20 months ago had become unreadable. These included discs of well known and lesser known manufacturers.

It is presumed that CD-Rs are good for at least 10 years. Some manufacturers even claim that their CD-Rs will last up to a century. From our tests it's concluded however that there is a lot of junk on the market. We came across CD-Rs that should never have been released to the market. It's completely unacceptable that CD-Rs become unusable in less than two years.

On the image you can see the exact same CD-R. On the left you see the outcome of our tests done in 2001. On the right you see the same CD-R in 2003. The colours indicate the severeness of the errors in the following order; white, green, yellow and red whereas white indicates that the disc can be read well and red indicates that it cannot be read.

For those of you who are interested, the original Dutch article can be found here and in the September issue of PC-Active. Please discuss this subject in our Media Forum.

(Excerpt) Read more at cdfreaks.com ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Technical
KEYWORDS: cd; cdr; cdrom; cdroms; cdrs; cds; quality; techindex; unreadable
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(Excerpting note: Text is here but they don't seem to be serving the image...)
1 posted on 08/24/2003 7:12:45 AM PDT by Eala
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To: Eala
Bad news Bump.
2 posted on 08/24/2003 7:19:38 AM PDT by secret garden (now what?)
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To: Eala
To be honest this is quite stunning. The amount of valuable information lost is staggering, this will compound the problem. People assumed (as did I) that CD-ROMs were a viable backup alternative to tape.

I seen a show that stated that this would be the only period in history without a written record. I am beginning to wonder? Harddrives crash, cd-roms unreadable, tape backup systems falling in disrepair, massive viruses, the data lost (great works of art) is mind boggling.
3 posted on 08/24/2003 7:20:36 AM PDT by BushCountry (To the last, I will grapple with Democrats. For hate's sake, I spit my last breath at Liberals.)
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To: Eala
I haven't had any problems...
4 posted on 08/24/2003 7:23:04 AM PDT by Mr Rogers
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To: Eala
Oh this is wonderful news, especially for people who store their digital photographs on CD. I'll have to ask Mom about her CDRs. She's had her CDR-W for over two years.
5 posted on 08/24/2003 7:28:19 AM PDT by cake_crumb (UN Resolutions = Very Expensive, Very SCRATCHY Toilet Paper)
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To: Mr Rogers
I haven't had any reading CD-Rs either, but all mine are much newer. OTOH had a devil of a time writing some yesterday -- two different machines had problems writing some TDK CD-Rs from a batch from which I had no problems writing some a few months ago. I have a nice pile of them in the wastebasket next to me. *\:-(
6 posted on 08/24/2003 7:30:31 AM PDT by Eala (When politicians speak of children, count the spoons. - National Review Editors)
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To: BushCountry
This is no great surprise, or shouldn't be.

There have been extensive discussions in the last few years arguing that the only reliable archival medium is acid-free paper.

Think about it. How many reading this can read 5-1/4 inch floppies? Anyone?
Technology "advances", and all prior means of accessing archived data disappears, with no means or even thought of recovering the trillions bits of data sitting in warehouses rotting.

I remember clearly that most if not all of the data related to the space studies and research of the 50s and 60s already is gone forever.

What is remarkable is that little or no solution has been proposed to this very real problem.

It will be a profound irony when we find ourselves able to view photos from the 1900s more readily than digital images being "archived" today.

7 posted on 08/24/2003 7:31:15 AM PDT by Publius6961 (californians are as dumb as a sack of rocks.)
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To: BushCountry
Already we have ceased to leave an impact from a civic engineering example.

Nothing we have will last more than a century without regular upkeep.
8 posted on 08/24/2003 7:33:05 AM PDT by Maelstrom (To prevent misinterpretation or abuse of the Constitution:The Bill of Rights limits government power)
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To: Publius6961
BUMP!
9 posted on 08/24/2003 7:33:25 AM PDT by Publius6961 (californians are as dumb as a sack of rocks.)
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To: Eala
Sounds overblown to me. I've been storing stuff with a CD burner for over five years now, and never lost a byte of it. My oldest burned CDs (data or audio) are easily readable.

I don't ever buy no-name CD blanks, which may help.
10 posted on 08/24/2003 7:33:44 AM PDT by Joe Bonforte
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To: BushCountry
Harddrives crash

I had thought to get away from my practice of multiple backups; each machine has backups of data from several others on the network (including historical archives of machines retired years ago). But now...

11 posted on 08/24/2003 7:33:47 AM PDT by Eala (When politicians speak of children, count the spoons. - National Review Editors)
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To: Publius6961
>>5-1/4 inch floppies? Anyone?

5-1/4 inch floppies? How about 9-track tapes!
12 posted on 08/24/2003 7:34:41 AM PDT by FreedomPoster (this space intentionally blank)
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To: Eala
Where are the lawyers on this? If a company claim 10, 20 years, or even a century, and the disc only remains readable for 20 months or less, that would be fraud....
13 posted on 08/24/2003 7:34:52 AM PDT by TheBattman
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To: Publius6961
Think about it. How many reading this can read 5-1/4 inch floppies? Anyone?

I can. :-)

I can even read 8" floppies and teletype punch tape still. :-)

14 posted on 08/24/2003 7:35:28 AM PDT by RadioAstronomer
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To: Eala
I remember reading likewise bad news about VHS tapes. They were supposed to start loosing data around the two year mark. This has not been the case. Pre-recorded and recorded are both still working great 10 years later.
15 posted on 08/24/2003 7:35:52 AM PDT by moehoward
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To: FreedomPoster
Ummm... 9 track tape too! LOLOLOL!
16 posted on 08/24/2003 7:36:02 AM PDT by RadioAstronomer
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To: Joe Bonforte
It really isn't overblown, how valuable will your CDs be 25 years from now when CD-ROM Drives don't exist?
17 posted on 08/24/2003 7:36:59 AM PDT by BushCountry (To the last, I will grapple with Democrats. For hate's sake, I spit my last breath at Liberals.)
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To: Maelstrom
Already we have ceased to leave an impact from a civic engineering example.

Doesn't surprise me one bit with our education system disintegrating before our very eyes.
18 posted on 08/24/2003 7:37:42 AM PDT by demkicker ((I wanna kick some commie butt))
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To: moehoward
I remember reading likewise bad news about VHS tapes. They were supposed to start loosing data around the two year mark. This has not been the case. Pre-recorded and recorded are both still working great 10 years later.

I still have my very first VHS tape I ever recored back in 1981. It still reads fine 22 years later. :-)

BTW, I have a core stack also. I bet I can read the data off of it 20 years from now. :-)

19 posted on 08/24/2003 7:37:51 AM PDT by RadioAstronomer
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To: Eala
WONDERFUL!

Fortunately hard drives are dirt cheap so keep yours cool (install a fan) and buy an extra HD for duplication (backup) and storage. Fan should be blowing on and cooling the underside of the HD. The electronics. This is the point of failure, not the spinning disks inside
20 posted on 08/24/2003 7:39:26 AM PDT by dennisw (G_d is at war with Amalek for all generations)
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To: Publius6961
How many reading this can read 5-1/4 inch floppies? Anyone?

Sure..I've got a 3 1/2 - 5 1/4 combo floppy drive on one of my machines here just for that purpose. Gotta love all those VisiCalc spreadsheets and WordStar docs.

21 posted on 08/24/2003 7:40:13 AM PDT by Leroy S. Mort
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To: Publius6961
There have been extensive discussions in the last few years arguing that the only reliable archival medium is acid-free paper.

I am for micro-etching print (data) using lasers on metal or a hard plastic that will last for a million years.

22 posted on 08/24/2003 7:40:22 AM PDT by BushCountry (To the last, I will grapple with Democrats. For hate's sake, I spit my last breath at Liberals.)
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To: BushCountry
It really isn't overblown, how valuable will your CDs be 25 years from now when CD-ROM Drives don't exist?

There is a huge problem with outdated media storage. Lots of extremely valuable data will be lost due to the changing technology. We just don't have the time, money, or resources to transfer all archived data from one media type to the next as technology advances.

23 posted on 08/24/2003 7:40:23 AM PDT by RadioAstronomer
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To: RadioAstronomer
You're the modern equivalent of a monk in a monestary.

;-)
24 posted on 08/24/2003 7:42:07 AM PDT by FreedomPoster (this space intentionally blank)
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To: moehoward
I remember reading likewise bad news about VHS tapes. They were supposed to start loosing data around the two year mark. This has not been the case. Pre-recorded and recorded are both still working great 10 years later.

You are succumbing to the "copernican syndrome": that the universe and history start when you do and that only that which affects you personally matters.

I suppose that is no surprise. In times past great public works routinely were conceived to serve generations into the future, because it was the rational thing for humans to do.
Today, "if it doesn't extend past my lifetime, so what?".

Five, or even 10 years is a blink in the larger scheme.
Does anyone care what the picture is in 30 years? 50? 100?

25 posted on 08/24/2003 7:45:01 AM PDT by Publius6961 (californians are as dumb as a sack of rocks.)
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To: RadioAstronomer
I can even read 8" floppies and teletype punch tape still. :-)

And I still have a working Dual turntable and stylus.

How is that going to help the other 1.2 billion Americans 100 years from now?

26 posted on 08/24/2003 7:47:10 AM PDT by Publius6961 (californians are as dumb as a sack of rocks.)
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To: SonOfTGSL
!
27 posted on 08/24/2003 7:47:21 AM PDT by tgslTakoma
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To: Joe Bonforte
just wait a few years until your music CD collection and DVD's start to fail... they are meant to!
28 posted on 08/24/2003 7:48:39 AM PDT by chilepepper (The map is not the territory -- Alfred Korzybski)
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To: RadioAstronomer
BTW, I have a core stack also. I bet I can read the data off of it 20 years from now. :-)

Hmmmmmm.
What are you saying?

Did NASA lie when they reported that tons (literally) of data tapes from the past are now unreadable?

29 posted on 08/24/2003 7:49:08 AM PDT by Publius6961 (californians are as dumb as a sack of rocks.)
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To: Publius6961
How is that going to help the other 1.2 billion Americans 100 years from now?

It wont. Read post #23.

30 posted on 08/24/2003 7:49:24 AM PDT by RadioAstronomer
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To: Eala
Eala: could you comment briefly on the DVD-R and DVD+Rs?

Thanks

31 posted on 08/24/2003 7:50:06 AM PDT by JesseHousman
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To: FreedomPoster
You're the modern equivalent of a monk in a monestary.

Closer than you might think :-) I have over 6000 books at my house too (most technical). I love information.

BTW, thank for the compliment. :-)))) I loved that analogy. :-)

32 posted on 08/24/2003 7:51:08 AM PDT by RadioAstronomer
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To: Publius6961
Did NASA lie when they reported that tons (literally) of data tapes from the past are now unreadable?

Nope. I worked flight operations with NASA at JPL, and that was one of the great concerns.

33 posted on 08/24/2003 7:52:34 AM PDT by RadioAstronomer
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To: Publius6961
There have been extensive discussions in the last few years arguing that the only reliable archival medium is acid-free paper.

The problem is that a lot of what we are storing in now digital in nature. It just doesn't lend itself to any meaninfull paper storage. Maybe we ought to go back to the old style of recording, but on titanium instead of vinyl for important stuff. Edison records still play just fine.

34 posted on 08/24/2003 7:53:10 AM PDT by templar
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To: JesseHousman
Look here:

http://www.dvdrhelp.com/dvd.htm

35 posted on 08/24/2003 7:54:03 AM PDT by RadioAstronomer
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To: Eala
This doesn't make sense.

All of my 15 year-old music CDs still play without a hitch, so I cannot believe the medium itself is fundamentally flawed. I can believe that individual data bits might be lost (and not affect audio playback performance, due to error-correcting algorithms) and that would clearly be a problem with files that require absoutely full and accurate data bits. But for audio and image recordings especially, the CD medium seems to have proven its adequacy.

Now, the article suggests that perhaps the particular media sold to the consumer CD-R market is inferior. And maybe even some consumer CD-R hardware doesn't burn data consistently well. Still, for the permamant archival market, industrial quality recorders and CD media should get the job done, I would think.

36 posted on 08/24/2003 7:55:59 AM PDT by Kevin Curry
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To: chilepepper
just wait a few years until your music CD collection and DVD's start to fail... they are meant to!

That's why everything is digitized and stored in multiple disks and systems at my house :)

37 posted on 08/24/2003 7:56:21 AM PDT by Centurion2000 (We are crushing our enemies, seeing him driven before us and hearing the lamentations of the liberal)
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To: RadioAstronomer
Closer than you might think :-) I have over 6000 books at my house too (most technical). I love information.

As do I; about a third technical, the rest art, history, philosophy and literature.
But we both know that what happens to those after we depart is another matter altogether. Thank God for the Library of Congress. If that goes, the future are in deep doo doo.

(Sounds like the ideal subject for a good movie, no?)

38 posted on 08/24/2003 7:56:24 AM PDT by Publius6961 (californians are as dumb as a sack of rocks.)
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To: templar
Maybe we ought to go back to the old style of recording, but on titanium instead of vinyl for important stuff

How do we store and retrieve the data? Literally millions of bits/second are being recorded non-stop in millions of places simultaneously.

39 posted on 08/24/2003 7:56:54 AM PDT by RadioAstronomer
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To: Publius6961
But we both know that what happens to those after we depart is another matter altogether

I know. I too am glad for libraries. Should there be a major catastrophe, all knowlege will not be lost. Unlike what happened at Alexandria.

40 posted on 08/24/2003 8:00:08 AM PDT by RadioAstronomer
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To: templar
Maybe we ought to go back to the old style of recording, but on titanium instead of vinyl for important stuff. Edison records still play just fine.

What almost made me cry is the discovery that a Japanese company actually is producing a contact-free laser driven turntable that nobody can afford to buy at $10k a pop.

If mass produced and simplified by advancing electronic technology, I can foresee stamped media literally lasting indefinitely, and affordable to a larger segment of the world.

I sure as heck can't afford one currently.

41 posted on 08/24/2003 8:01:02 AM PDT by Publius6961 (californians are as dumb as a sack of rocks.)
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To: Publius6961
(Sounds like the ideal subject for a good movie, no?)

Ever read the book "Heiro's Journey"?

42 posted on 08/24/2003 8:01:46 AM PDT by RadioAstronomer
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To: Physicist
ping.
43 posted on 08/24/2003 8:02:45 AM PDT by RadioAstronomer
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To: Publius6961
How many reading this can read 5-1/4 inch floppies? Anyone?

I have a 486-66 machine that is still functional. Has 3.5" and 5.25" drives. It didn't come with the 5.25", I had to install it when I needed to use some old software about 6 years ago. I have a functional (I think) punched tape reader in storage.

44 posted on 08/24/2003 8:03:04 AM PDT by SC Swamp Fox (Aim small, miss small.)
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To: RadioAstronomer
I still have my very first VHS tape I ever recored back in 1981. It still reads fine 22 years later. :-)

Hmmmmmm. My first tape recorded was a Beta. I should drag it out and check it out. Circa 1976. Yes, I still have a Beta machine too.

45 posted on 08/24/2003 8:03:45 AM PDT by Publius6961 (californians are as dumb as a sack of rocks.)
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To: RadioAstronomer
Ever read the book "Heiro's Journey"?

No, but I'll put it on my list.
I do however, recall vividly Fahrenheit 451.

46 posted on 08/24/2003 8:06:05 AM PDT by Publius6961 (californians are as dumb as a sack of rocks.)
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To: RadioAstronomer
Literally millions of bits/second are being recorded non-stop in millions of places simultaneously.

A significant problem might be deciding what is worth storing and what is not. A historian and a scientist might have very different views as to what is and is not important.

47 posted on 08/24/2003 8:12:13 AM PDT by templar
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To: Publius6961
Yes, I still have a Beta machine too.

Now that I dont have! But I do have both Laser and Capacitive disc players!

Take a look at this site:

http://www.labguysworld.com/VTR_Links.htm

48 posted on 08/24/2003 8:12:14 AM PDT by RadioAstronomer
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To: Publius6961
No, but I'll put it on my list.
I do however, recall vividly Fahrenheit 451.

Both books caused me to think deeply about what could happen.

49 posted on 08/24/2003 8:14:09 AM PDT by RadioAstronomer
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To: Publius6961
"How many reading this can read 5-1/4 inch floppies? Anyone?"

One of my PCs still has a 5-1/4" floppy. hehe
50 posted on 08/24/2003 8:16:06 AM PDT by Texas_Jarhead
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