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best medium for long term storage


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Yeah, I can see that as I think even in terms of pressed CD's, if I recall correctly, my 7240s is pickier than my Liteon drives when it comes to reading them. but I do seem to notice that the 7240s is a bit snappier in general.

but yeah, I think in a basic sense if a burn on known quality media passes the 'verify' with ImgBurn, and especially if it can be read by a handful of drives without any obvious issues, chances are unless there is more obvious degradation it will still be readable 10-20+ years from now.

but I just did another burn/scan with iHAS-324B and this time it's close enough to the high quality burns I have been seeing for a long time on media I have had for a long time now ;) ; so there might be a bit of quality variation on these discs, but probably nothing too major. but short of 'maybe' those couple of suspect sections already mentioned the quality of my burns I think one could say is 'good enough' at the least, especially on my 7240s/iHAS324B burners...

...but even my 1673s is probably not outright horrible given it's scan (which I already posted above) compared to one disc that actually failed to verify the data (which are the Verbatim DVD-R 16x Azo's I sent back to Amazon), which is this one...

I 01:36:04 Verifying Session 1 of 1... (1 Track, LBA: 0 - 2292719)
I 01:36:04 Verifying Track 1 of 1... (MODE1/2048, LBA: 0 - 2292719)
W 01:41:17 Failed to Read Sectors 2215488 - 2215503 - Reason: L-EC Uncorrectable Error
W 01:41:27 Failed to Read Sector 2215493 - Reason: L-EC Uncorrectable Error

that was on the ImgBurn log, but here is the KProbe scan that matches it (because as you can see given what the ImgBurn log said, it pretty much matches up with the KProbe scan in that the failure was late into the disc which is where the spikes of PI (which PI's are already over the 280 limit which I think is official spec) and especially PIF's are at (so this might give me a ball park idea on when a drive will error in ImgBurn and in this regard even my 1673s drive is noticeably better)...

KProbe - FOD89 720p iHAS324B 8x 4-15-22 ERROR READING DISC - AMAZON RETURNED Verbatim DVD-R Azo 16x.png

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Well I just looked through the 50-pack at the surface of each the remaining DVD+R's in that 50-pack and had about 5 scratched discs in total (like scratches I would think are of obvious concern) in that initial 50-pack that was already opened when I bought it. hopefully the other three fair better.

but on two of the discs, I tried burning a 3519MB file to it, which basically failed to verify as I kind of figured it was going to fail given the severity of the scratched area on the disc (as with a flashlight on it you can't really see the usual recordable area underneath) and the data reached that area of the disc. but on my 3rd attempt, on a disc that had scratch issues, but was a bit closer to the outer edge vs the other two, I tried again and this time it succeeded because the data written did not reach that point on the disc (as I looked at it with my eyes when done and it just barely avoided that scratched area) and the funny thing is that particular disc was pretty much the best KProbe scanned disc so far (granted it was only 3519MB (so about 1.2GB shy of a full disc burn), but had that scan standard held for a full-burn, it would have been the best so far (see attached picture)) as total PIF's were closer to that more elite range and even the PI's are pretty much in that elite range also given the 2.26 average etc.

but on those two discs that I said failed to 'verify' due to obvious heavier scratches on outer area of the disc etc... you could see during the burn process that it proceeds like normal working it's way up to 8x on ImgBurn and once it got late into the disc you could see the iHAS324B burner shifted burn speed to around 6x, which is not normal, and I kind of figured it was going to fail once I seen that happen and after it finished the write process, then during verify, ImgBurn failed to verify the disc, so that disc was outright dead. the other disc was similar to but during write it took a rather long time to finish the 'synchronize cache' part etc and then during 'verify' it failed as I assumed it would during the part of the disc with the heavier scratches.

although one disc I burned, which appeared okay visually (so no obvious issues as far as I could tell by looking at the disc), and did past ImgBurn's 'verify', had about a stable 450-500 PI/6-8 PIF area for roughly the first 10% of the disc(and not much beyond this the burn looked pretty good, as usual), which is the worst I had seen from the iHAS324B burner so far as all others it's done have been basically pretty good to great. but I am confident it boils down to MCC 003 disc quality fluctuation as that just happened to be a so-so disc right from the start.


so I guess in summary... given my experiences so far, at least using my iHAS324B burner at 8x write... while the 'MCC 003' old stock I got seems to be largely good quality (at least based on the 15+ discs I burned so far from that initial 50-pack), putting aside the 5 scratched discs in that initial 50-pack (of which I still have two unburned and can probably safely use as long as I don't fill the disc to near the edge)), I pretty much only ran into one suspect disc so far even though it does pass ImgBurn's verify and I can copy data from disc back to hard drive okay enough (even the small amount of burns on my 7240s I would say are more towards Thumbs Up than Thumbs Down, but the iHAS324B is probably the safest to use when burning these discs out of the few DVD burners I got). because I have not gotten any outright failures with ImgBurn's 'verify' besides what is obviously a scratched disc issue in why it failed.

p.s. I might just hang onto that 3519MB disc that failed just as a reference for future burns if I happen to run into other scratched discs in the remaining, unopened, Verbatim DVD+R 8x (MCC 003) media. because it will probably give me a ball park estimate on how much data I can burn before the burn process will hit the scratched area of a random disc in the future.


but here is the disc scan I mentioned that's pretty much now the overall best so far (but only 3519MB, not full 4.7GB)...


KProbe - D66 - iHAS324B burned at 8x on 4-22-22.png

Edited by ThaCrip
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I figured I would make another post as here is a link (from September 2006) that talks about scans with KProbe (which is basically designed for Lite-On DVD burners from what that article also says which I only have used KProbe myself on my Liteon iHAS324B(2011) and Liteon 1673S(2005) burners) and how to interpret results... https://www.myce.com/article/home-pi_pif-scanning-who-to-believe-238/ ; but just to list some of the highlights from that article...



Use this as a guideline for good discs:

-PI (Parity Inner): No larger areas on the disc should exceed 280 PI-8 errors, do not worry too much about high single spikes that exceed 280.

-PIF (Parity Inner Failures): No larger areas on the disc should exceed 4 PIF-1 errors, do not worry too much about high single spikes that exceed 4.


but with that said the article also mentions another good point in regards to PI's (as up to 280 PI's apparently are still within official spec), which ill post...


According to our tests the specified max PI-8 sum of 280 for good discs seems to be a good guideline, as some readers have problems reading discs when the PI-8 errors is over 300 and most players starts to have problems when the PI-8 error level reaches 600 or more.


so based on that even though some of my discs are so-so in regards to "PI", at least so far, they seem to have stayed to about 500 or so tops on the worst ones even though I did get a really high single spike (or so) to 800 on that 7240s drive, but I have not seen over around 500 on my iHAS324B so far on these Verbatim DVD+R 8x (MCC 003) discs and even when I do see that 500 range PI's it seems to always be near the start for maybe the first 5-10% of the disc and then starts returning to normal/safe levels and even the PIF's have not been TOO bad in my burns so far even though occasionally I do get a burn that's exceeds the '4' recommended limit of that article (and sometimes my burns are more on the top notch side of things to). but keep in mind that's probably more of a 'safe' max limit for PIF's as I am sure you can go beyond that a fair amount and still have a working disc that will 'verify' on ImgBurn (i.e. so your data is not corrupt). I just don't know how far you can go before your on the edge of ImgBurn not being able to pass it's 'verify' in regards to PIF's. but given that disc I posted in a previous post in this topic that actually had corrupted data on it from a bad burn that failed to pass ImgBurn's 'verify', looking at the PIF's on that might give us a ball park figure as I figure if your PIF's are not close to that range and are closer to the known 'high quality' range, chances are your discs will remain 'good enough' for the foreseeable future especially if these Mitsubishi Chemicals discs (Azo/DataLife Plus and the like) are quite stable as time passes with little to no degradation.

but anyways back on topic... it appears when they say 'players' they are referring to standard DVD video players, which I suspect are generally more picky(?) than a decent DVD burner is for the computer (hence, a computer DVD burner can probably read discs okay that might fail on a standard home DVD video player). because, at least so far, on all of the discs I have burned, putting aside the two heavily scratched discs being the fault for ImgBurn not being able to 'verify' the two discs, none had any problem reading the data written on the disc. even ones with PIF's that are not really in that 'optimal range' (i.e. 4 or less) as pretty much on all of the 'MCC 003' discs I have burned so far, the ones with the highest PIF's are still readable and those are generally in the 6-9 range tops (on either of my iHAS324B or 7240s burners) with the exception of my 1673s burner on the single disc I wrote with 6-16 PIF range at their general worst points of the disc.

but I suspect, given the age of these 'MCC 003' discs I have (which my best guesstimate is they are around 17 years old now (probably from around the mid-2000's since it seems the 16x DVD+R Azo (MCC 004) discs (and the like) have been around/standard since probably at least late 2000's or so)), and they still burn pretty well, and even the occasional disc that does not burn top notch, I suspect if it's still decent enough to this day (as in passes ImgBurn's 'verify'), it will probably last for the foreseeable future.

so I guess in terms of the general topic of 'best medium for long term storage'... assuming one does not get a bad batch or have really weak burns that are on the edge of failure etc, chances are Verbatim (Azo/DataLife Plus) or Taiyo Yuden should be one of the safest choices for long term storage even though you 'might' be okay with other media to.

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I just decided to see what would happen if I copied one of my previously burned MCC 003 discs recently, that is of suspect burn quality, back to the hard drive with my 7240s and iHAS324B burners and while both ultimately worked, as I confirmed with Linux's 'sha256sum' hash check as both matched my original file on hard drive, so there is no data corruption (which is most important), you can tell the 7240s has issues reading that disc where as the iHAS324B does not as the iHAS324B basically went full speed the whole time (I suspect it must have better error correction than the 7240s(?)). because on the 7240s drive when copying the file back to the hard drive the speed at which it reads fluctuates up and down and this is obvious given you can hear the drive speed up and down throughout the transfer along with the transfer rate shown in the Linux Mint file manager. because while I did not time the transfer, I know a full DVD+R (or -R) should take right around 5 minutes to copy the data from the disc back to hard drive if it's reading at max speed (at least that's the best my 7240s and iHAS324B drives can do at their best), and I am sure that was a fair amount longer than that (guessing... probably at least 7min+) given it never reached the speeds it normally would as you could hear it try to spin up here and there but it does not last long and slowed back down, but at least it does not read the disc TOO slowly either. but the transfer rate was nothing TOO slow even though you could see near the end area of the disc, it was at it's slowest transfer speed, which is when the PIF's, based on KProbe scan, were the worst. like ball park transfer speed when it dropped to it's slowest speed late into the disc (which is typically when it's at it's fastest under normal circumstances) is probably 4-5MB/s at best. but I would say most of the disc was floating around 9-10MB/s as you could see it was doing about 9-10MB/s and then occasionally it would try to speed up, it would gain a bit more MB/s briefly, and then drop back down etc.

basically the single 'MCC 003' disc I tested in the above test was burned on a Liteon 1673s burner at 8x as it's the 1st picture posted on the 1st page of this topic (i.e.  https://forum.imgburn.com/topic/26594-best-medium-for-long-term-storage/?do=findComment&comment=169108 ) ; because as you can see there, while this disc could be worse, it's got plenty of total PIF's (41.5k) and late into the disc it really ramps up with higher peaks, and while read speed fluctuated on the 7240s when reading that disc, you could see it was at it's slowest near the end which is inline with the higher PIF's.

so I think stuff like this gives credibility to these KProbe scans and the like. because on other discs that had pretty good burn quality, the 7240s reads the disc at basically max speed the whole way since you can hear the drive buzzed up and transfer rate slowly climbs up as it reads further into the disc, like expected. I just don't know the rough point in which the 7240s drive will begin to have at least slight issues reading these MCC 003 discs. but any of my KProbe scans that are anywhere near 'higher quality' it will likely read it at full speed as expected.

but as long as this disc (and ones similar) does not noticeably degrade in say 5-10 years, it will probably still be working decades from now. plus, like I say these discs were probably made somewhere around the mid-2000's from my best guesstimate, or probably no newer than the late 2000's, which probably means they are at least 13+ years old but I would guess closer to around 17 years old.


p.s. but I think on the bright side, short of me missing something, that disc I tested is probably my all-around worst disc of those working (like I mentioned before only about 4-6 discs might have been suspect burn quality on some level), especially in terms of total PIF's and probably even general peak PIF's. because even a moment ago briefly playing with a disc that reached 828 PI briefly at the very beginning, did not have any obvious read speed issues that I noticed. so short of that brief 828 PI spike, the rest of the disc is pretty good burn quality. so I suspect unless the PI's get really crazy, and as long as PIF's ain't too bad, the discs will probably remain of 'good enough' quality for the foreseeable future.

Edited by ThaCrip
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I just noticed recently that my Liteon 24102b (Dec 2001 mfg date) CD burner can actually scan CD-R's with KProbe properly as it shows a steady stream of C1 info unlike my Liteon iHAS324B DVD burner which works well for only DVD. but from what I can tell there is not much info on what exactly the C1 errors should be but it seems you want 0 C2 errors and all of the discs I burned recently seem to be okay as none of them had a single C2 error.

but the best scan from the Verbatim CD-R 100-pack (CMC Magnetics media code) I got in April 2022, from the 7 CD-R's I burned so far (all burned on my Sony Optiarc 7240s with v1.04 firmware at 16x), is this one (see attached picture).

the worst one I have seen so far had a total of 54.6k C1's (64 C1 peak (so far I seem to be about 30 something peak for the typical disc currently)). so if that's a ball park indication of how the rest of the Verbatim CD-R's from the 100-pack will burn, I am not worried about burn quality at the end of the day. on a side note... I had a 10-pack of Nashua 1-16x certified discs which was probably bought in the 2000's decade and for comparison 2 out of the 3 discs burned so far here have about 164k total C1 errors (with peaks being 111/114), so right around triple my worst Verbatim CD-R's so far, and have the CMC Magnetics media code to.

hell, I even got some old generic 'Precision' branded discs that are probably at least 18 years old (I am pretty sure they are no newer than 2004 when I bought them) and scanning one recently that I burned Sep 16th 2019 only had a total of about 2.8k C1's (the other two of the same discs where in the 9k to 11k range) but the media code for these is 'Prodisc Technology Inc'. so these actually scanned a bit better than my recent Verbatim CD-R's I bought in April 2022. either way, like I was saying, I am not really concerned about burn quality on any of the discs I checked. even some of my about $0.50 a disc Mitsui (Mitsui Chemicals Inc media code) (which are probably about 20 years old now when I bought them even though the disc I scanned I burned a month or so ago) scan a bit worse (about 66k total C1's) than the Verbatim CD-R's.

but I noticed a moderator on the MyCE forums say something in the ball park of keeping C1's to no more than about 200 per second is a bit more 'optimal'. but then they went on to say they have some well over that standard and are still okay. so it seems the data on CD-R scanning is not as clear where as for DVD's people have a better feel of where things should be. but in terms of that standard of 'no more than 200 a second' for C1's... just as the discs were scanning I would say just looking at it with my eye as it's counting up during the scan that things were generally less than the '200 a second' standard as sometimes you can tell it's easily under that standard (a good thing) while others might be close either way of that standard and my weaker discs (Nashua branded) were probably over that standard as you can see it counts up much more rapidly.

but with all of that said... I suspect CD-R's are less picky than DVD-R(+R) discs in general. 'if' that's true... if someone has a more very limited amount of data backup, it might not hurt to back up some of that on CD-R in addition to the usual DVD media to further lower ones chances of losing that data.


bottom line... in short, I am not worried about my CD-R burn quality ;)

KProbe - OzzyD2of2 - 7240s burned at 16x on 4-17-22 - scanned on 4-30-22.png

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About going up from CD and DVD and increasing the likelihood of errors, you are packing more data into basically the same amount of area when you go up to DVD.  So, the likelihood of error on DVD does increases versus if you did it on CD.  Sort of like video tape.  You can cram a lot more movie on a VHS tape if you use SLP 6 hour mode, but the video quality greatly suffers over time.  As does the likelihood of tracking control problems.

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On 5/1/2022 at 3:43 PM, dbminter said:

About going up from CD and DVD and increasing the likelihood of errors, you are packing more data into basically the same amount of area when you go up to DVD.  So, the likelihood of error on DVD does increases versus if you did it on CD.

Yeah, I get the gist of it on paper. like CD(700MB(or 0.7GB)) to DVD(4.7GB) to BluRay(25GB), as more storage space is available in the same area, it seems as things become more complex, issues are more likely to arise. since CD compared to BD there is basically a 35.71 times the storage space per disc difference.

I was doing some more KProbe C1/C2 scanning of my old CD-R's and pretty much everything I scanned so far ain't that far apart on disc quality. so if that's a ball park indication of CD-R vs DVD-R/+R in general, CD-R is probably a bit safer. but with that said... given DVD holds 6.71 times the storage of CD-R, unless someone has only a very limited amount of data backup, DVD is more practical overall. but what ill probably do is backup a more very limited amount of family pictures (maybe a very limited amount of videos) on a small amount of CD-R's as this will offer that much more additional protection from data loss given my usual Verbatim/TY DVD backups (and hard drive stuff).

because I was scanning a couple of CD-R's that were burned in 2001(Samsung 650MB 12x CD-R) and 2002(Mitsui), which are probably the oldest optical media that I still have, and they scan similar to CD-R's I burned recently etc. but like I said in the past I do still have a few Verbatim CD-R 650MB/74min in a jewel case, brand new, which has a 1997 date on the back as these are probably THE oldest recordable discs I still have in my possession, but I just keep these mostly as a relic at this point. but the oldest media I still burn would be those Mitsui discs which, given what I said in the "p.s." section below, I know are a full 20+ years old.

so I guess for any random person reading this... while DVD will generally be a bit more practical, if you got a very limited amount of high importance data one wants to backup, I might suggest putting it on CD-R over DVD if you have to choose between the two. although better yet, just make backups on CD and DVD media along with hard drive as this way, short of a natural disaster, your chances of losing the data would be slim.

p.s. so I know for a fact all of those Mitsui discs I still have (probably around 50-75 discs or so not used yet) are all no newer than Feb 2002 since I wrote 2-28-02 (Feb 28th 2002) on the disc. even that Samsung one I burned, while I did not directly write a burn data on it like I usually do, given the naming of the CD-R it's probably burned on Apr 22nd 2001.

Edited by ThaCrip
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It's sort of like BD-R.  If it's just data I'm backing up, even if it fits on a CD-R/RW, DVD+-R/RW, or DVD +-R DL, I'll use a BD-R.  BD-R lasts much longer since it doesn't use organic dyes.  It uses metal oxide.  So, it won't decay as fast.  And BD-R is relatively cheap now.  However, if you want to play an Audio CD or DVD Video/Audio disc on a Blu-Ray player, you must use the appropriate writable media for it.  Otherwise, thanks to Sony, the player design won't recognize the type of disc inserted.  It goes by the media type.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I did recommend M-Disc in my initial reply, but there is one mitigating factor that may turn someone off to using them: cost.  M-Disc are a tad bit expensive, particularly when compared to the price for BD-R.  However, there is the initial cost of having to pay out for a more expensive BD burner if you're going to use BD-R.  And you will need a BD drive to read the discs back.  With M-Disc, as long as your device supports DVD+R, it will read it.  So, M-Disc is a bit more "universal."

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The show stopper issue for M-Disc is cost and does not appear to offer a significant enough real world difference in longevity over regular optical media to matter given the quality regular stuff will likely last decades at the least.

so lets just say as a ball park figure that standard optical DVD media last roughly 50 years before optical drives can no longer read that data. that's likely plenty enough time for most given us humans tend to last around 80 years on average (maybe around 100 years at best) and unless someone is quite young at this point, I suspect many (if not most(?)) of us into optical media backup probably have some age on us (since we are a little more old-school at this point in time) which means in say roughly 30-50 years from now we are going to be quite old, possibly dead (it's plausible I could be dead in 30-50 years from now from natural causes), and I don't really expect future generations to care much about optical media as time passes as it seems many don't really care about data backup all that much as even a fair amount of the ones that do have data they don't want to lose tend to roll-the-dice and hope their device does not fail them before moving to another device etc.

also, you got the 'SATA' standard... as long as this remains common on computer hardware that should make things easy enough to read back the data from optical media (CD/DVD) for the foreseeable future. but say the SATA standard fizzles out in 10-20 years from now, it will be just a matter of time before it becomes more difficult to find hardware to read the data on the CD/DVD media. but I figure at the very least, optical CD/DVD media should still be a solid alternative for long term storage over hard drives through at least the current decade and probably the next, but after that (i.e. 2040+) who knows. because lets say they faze out SATA connections from general computer hardware in about 10 years from now, that would probably mean we should be safe enough at least another 10+ years beyond that point (like it not being too difficult to find hardware that will work with optical media), but after that who knows.

with BD media things tends to look worse... initial cost of the burner and media is a little steep (i.e. hard drives tend to be more appealing at this point, especially given DVD recordable media is still good enough as long as you don't have boatloads of data to backup), less drives out there in general that can read it (since just about any computer with a optical drive can read CD/DVD media but likely not BD), and potentially less reliable as CD/DVD media since your cramming in a lot more data in the same physical space etc.

also, another negative is BD media came around a bit too late, so it never really took off (since computers never really shipped with drives to read BD media), since I would say that optical media was pretty much at it's peak in the 2000's as much beyond that it seems to started to lose it's appeal with the masses, especially as the 2010's decade progressed, as I suspect by the end of this current 2020's decade it will be that much less used than it is currently. but hopefully they still sell enough CD/DVD recordable discs to keep them being manufactured for the foreseeable future. because I think that's another thing that will determine when optical media will start to really disappear is whether manufacturers continue making them or not. because if it gets to the point where no one wants to make them anymore, then it's time to start worrying a bit.

p.s. while I do have some additional side data that would be nice to backup on BD media, it's not enough of a benefit for me to justify the initial cost of the BD burner/media. so in the end I just stick to recordable CD/DVD media for some level of backups. I use CD mainly for standard audio CD's and DVD mainly for higher importance data backup at this point in time along with some level of other data I have that's small enough to fit onto a 4.7GB DVD (which is where the BD media would give me a solid improvement, but like I said, not enough benefit to justify the cost of the burner/media).

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