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the complete joke that is optical recordable media...


lost_soul

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So, this weekend I ruined half a dozen disks while trying to back up some of my files. It was the same situation each time. Disk burns okay, ejects, starts to verify and spits out errors. I think I get one good burn for every three blank disks I try. One of them recorded without errors, and then the system couldn't read the disk at ALL. lol

 

Worse, Linux locks the drive and you can't get it to eject without rebooting. The machine just tries and tries to read the disk. Who was the bright individual who came up with that idea? It made me laugh because I saw someone on a Mac forum who was having the same problem (drive door locked and all). I was soooo tempted to just pry the drive open.

 

We really need a good replacement for optical disks for recording data. Hard drives are too complex and can fail easily, and it would take over 200 successful burns (out of about 600 disks) to back up a modern TB hard drive.

--- War does not decide who is right, war decides who is left.

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Sounds like the problem may not even be the discs (although they could be an anecdotal off brand with extremely poor quality).

 

While burning X00 discs does sound bad, if you're doing it over time disc by disc it would be less of a hassle. You fix your as of yet unattributed problems, you will have a much lower failure rate (assuming you don't scratch up the discs or otherwise keep them in poor condition). And of course one failed disc is a lot less pain than a failed 1-3 TB hard drive. You do it for stuff like video that could be redownloaded in case of failure, or use multiple discs in conjunction with other backup locations for important documents and photos. Maybe you use 25 GB blu-ray discs (if you have a drive) which in some deals has reached 3 cents per GB, putting it on par with hard drives. As far as optical disc capacity goes, Blu-ray XL discs come in 128 GB read only, and 100 GB rewritable flavors, although they are obviously not cost effective yet. If you still want an optical disc replacement, external HDDs are still the best solution. I'm not sure what you mean by "too complex". Considering they are rewritable and you can just drag and drop files in, they are much easier than burning discs. Failure rates... run a test on it to make sure it doesn't fail immediately. Beyond that most hard drives will last for at least 3-4 years, and some data suggest a 50% failure rate by 7 years, which is a long time considering the capacity could rise by more than 10x during that period. Buy two of the same capacity and use RAID or just manual mirroring of data. Of course prices have jumped because of the flood, but that is temporary. I got 2x2 TB for about $140 back in 2010, hopefully we return to those levels or better soon. Since then we've seen 3 TB, 4 TB, and Seagate will supposedly debut a 5 TB drive this month.

 

http://drivebytes.anodal.org/

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Your particular problem's either with a cheap CD-R batch or your burner, half a dozen botched discs is not a normal failure rate.

But the core of the argument is true, even if some of the more expensive optical media (azo or gold/phtalocyanine) claim being able to resist for more than 50 years, I don't really believe it. A few years have proved that life expectancy of optical media was largely overestimated at first.

 

The fact is that today, besides tape, we have no way to store securely data offline for any large amount of time.

Magneto-optical storage was a fantastic idea, able to withstand time much better than optical discs. It's a real shame that they're not being actively developed anymore.

Still, I've repurposed my old Hi-MD recorder for the most important back-ups, but even 1 GB discs get filled too fast when trying to save large amounts of data.

 

As for live recording of data, flash or HDD of course.

Edited by Briareos H
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lost_soul, have you tried to burn your disks with the lowest speed possible? I do this to prevent any write errors I had in the past. This way, I have to wait for half an hour to finish a disk, but the error rate is really low (when measured afterwards).

 

Also, you could consider using a cleaning disc for your drive lens. Who knows, maybe it has a (dust) particle on it.

My Eigenvalue is bigger than your Eigenvalue.

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So, this weekend I ruined half a dozen disks while trying to back up some of my files. It was the same situation each time. Disk burns okay, ejects, starts to verify and spits out errors. I think I get one good burn for every three blank disks I try. One of them recorded without errors, and then the system couldn't read the disk at ALL.

 

What brands of disks and drive are you using? I have experienced similar in the past when using super-cheap unbranded media, while under the delusion that media was all one and the same, but have never had problems with decent disks from Verbatim or Panasonic.

 

Worse, Linux locks the drive and you can't get it to eject without rebooting. The machine just tries and tries to read the disk. Who was the bright individual who came up with that idea?

 

Yes, that annoys me too. If I'm watching a DVD and there is an error, I do NOT want it to stop and lock up for twenty minutes trying to read that one damaged sector. Just skip it and move on, thanks.

 

Your particular problem's either with a cheap CD-R batch or your burner, half a dozen botched discs is not a normal failure rate.But the core of the argument is true, even if some of the more expensive optical media (azo or gold/phtalocyanine) claim being able to resist for more than 50 years, I don't really believe it. A few years have proved that life expectancy of optical media was largely overestimated at first.

 

I actually use DVD-RAM for backups. They are expensive and slow, but supposedly have a much longer lifetime than the dye-based recordable media (and can be re-written a lot more times too).

 

lost_soul, have you tried to burn your disks with the lowest speed possible? I do this to prevent any write errors I had in the past. This way, I have to wait for half an hour to finish a disk, but the error rate is really low (when measured afterwards).

 

Be careful with that though, since under-speeding high-speed DVD media can sometimes result in a lower quality burn. I generally use 8x to burn DVD media (even if it's rated for 16x), but using 1x or 2x would probably not be a good idea.

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I actually use DVD-RAM for backups. They are expensive and slow, but supposedly have a much longer lifetime than the dye-based recordable media (and can be re-written a lot more times too)

Just for the record, there is a new type of optical-disc technology called M-Disc, which is ultra durable and was developed by Millenniata. It can be read by regular DVD-players, but you have to use a special burner to write them. They say those disc have a rock-like data layer and that you could actually boil the disc without harming it. You can get a writer by LG and the discs in the shop on their homepage.

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Sounds like a bad batch of discs, had a few of them, worst was a batch of 50 cd's that couldn't be written too, cos silver under plastic had a hole in it that ran thru the whole batch.

 

Am currently using RiVision dvd -R and out of 100 discs I've had one failure.

Edited by stumpy
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could be a bad batch of discs. could be bad drive, they go bad very often, they don't last very long at all. I've "burned" through quite a few of them, and I do have quite a bit of experience with it!

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I agree with Komag. Either bad discs or the burner is tired or dirty. I stick with Verbatim, Sony and Imation (in that order) for discs, always '-R' whether CD or DVD. I have had horrible luck in the past with discs from any manufacturer whose name starts with the letter 'M'... they all tended to be much better at making analog audio tape back in the '80s ;)

For burners I use LG or LiteOn, typically. But my LiteOn DVD burner recently gave up the ghost while the LG lives on.

For a burning front-end, I stick with K3B, but have used Gnometoaster as a substitute in the past with good results.

System: Mageia Linux Cauldron, aka Mageia 8

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Be careful with that though, since under-speeding high-speed DVD media can sometimes result in a lower quality burn. I generally use 8x to burn DVD media (even if it's rated for 16x), but using 1x or 2x would probably not be a good idea.

 

With a software like Nero Burning ROM, there is only so much you can under-speed a disc. Usually they have information embedded that tells the drive how fast their writing speeds are (as in 2x, 4x, 8x, etc). So far, I was either lucky or the discs/drive did as they should.

 

I still have only a lowly DVD +/- RW drive, as I don't see any sense in buying a Bluray drive. After all, external 2,5" drives (that don't require any external power source) have broken the 1 TB barrier.

My Eigenvalue is bigger than your Eigenvalue.

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for large storage, I use external drives. I have a lot of home video, almost a TB, that I keep backed up on three external TB drives (triple redundancy), two of which are always disconnected from everything until backup times comes along.

 

It won't protect against a house fire though, but I've yet to find affordable online backup for that volume of data, so it will have to do for now (and I'm not about to take trips back and forth to the bank every couple weeks just to use a safety deposit box, but I may actually start doing that in the future)

 

I plan to upgrade the size of the drives as needed and replace them as they age as needed

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Famous last words but I don't really believe that the off-site backup is critical for home users. The vast majority of your data loss is going to come from device failures, not the house burning down. Maybe flooding is a more common threat. Aren't there reasonably fire/flood proof containers or vaults that you can purchase? Keep your tertiary backup in there. Alternatively you could purchase some online hosting or back up service and set up something that is both encrypted and inaccessible for important documents and files.

 

Interesting side note, despite the recent "cloud craze", consumer hard drive sales have been strong, even during the recession. And of course if people stop buying storage en masse and move to data centers, those places still need HDDs to store on.

Edited by jaxa
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This is actually a brand new SATA DVD writer though. The disks are quite old, not sure what brand they are. I should borrow a blank disk from my mom and give it a try. I also tried lower speeds and I still got failers. One prorgram I have always had great luck with though was Nero.

 

As far as floppies go, someone finally found a good use for those drives. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmoDLyiQYKw

Edited by lost_soul

--- War does not decide who is right, war decides who is left.

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The problem with using Cloud storage is always that you have to use strong encryption for all your data - unless you want any other party (be it intelligence services or the storage provider or just plain cyber criminals) to read all your files. Fortunately, Europe is very cautious regarding the over-hyped Cloud. Hope it stays that way.

My Eigenvalue is bigger than your Eigenvalue.

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The vast majority of your data loss is going to come from device failures, not the house burning down. Maybe flooding is a more common threat

 

Don't forget theft or seizure by authorities/law enforcement (justified or otherwise).

 

The problem with using Cloud storage is always that you have to use strong encryption for all your data - unless you want any other party (be it intelligence services or the storage provider or just plain cyber criminals) to read all your files

 

That's a good idea in any case. Physical machines or backups can be stolen too. If you want to protect your data properly you need to be using strong encryption for your hard disk and any backup media. Fortunately Linux makes this very easy nowadays.

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If you want to protect your data properly you need to be using strong encryption for your hard disk and any backup media. Fortunately Linux makes this very easy nowadays.

Windows (and supposedly OS X) does too. A cryptographer-software you are probably thinking about right now too is called "Truecrypt" and it is available for all these OSs. You can easily encrypted file containers or even whole partitions with that tool.

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