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Copying entire hard drive

By mmogano ·
Does it make sense to copy my entire hard drive including the Operating System (XP)(used space 15Gb) to a mobile hard drive via USB2 and would this provide me with a complete backup if my drive ever crashed?

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It's very nasty degradation

by Dr Dij In reply to Question

commercial CDs - software or music - are produced by molding to a metal master. they don't degrade for much longer.

burn at home CDs (and some software, esp low volume product, comes on these also) are created differently: the laser burns a dye layer to change color. problem is the dye leaks over to adjacent pits after a while, esp in cheap disks (and later in more expensive ones probably). cheap disks: 2-3 years, expensive ones: 5-10?

Far as I know there is no way to tell if cheap disk or not. If you are in a humid area such as Florida or Costa Rica, it can be much quicker: a hospital there found that mold grew on the dye later, probably making for interesting nature photographs but destroying their data.

I wish they would make a good archival data product. I would buy it. And 3 year old backups for things that don't change like a collection of digital photos - shocks you when you pop them in to copy back to HD and disk won't work.

color print? not digital, so there would be a bit of loss rescanning these. this kind of stuff adds noticeable blurriness to photos.

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Back in the day....

by JamesRL In reply to It's very nasty degradati ...

When I was working for Corel, we used to be told by the manufacturers of WORM optical drives that the media should be good for at least 10 years. Of course the technology had only been out for a few years at that point. I wonder by now whether they have been proven correct.


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James over here

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Back in the day....

The CSIRO is asking for copies of pressed Cd's that have been attacked by mold. Apparently the pressed Cd's are being adversely affected and are being destroyed in a much shorter length of time.

According to the Scientists here the humidity is causing the problems and a lot of the problems are coming about because of poor pressing of th currently Cd's and no doubt at some time in the future DVDs.


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by JamesRL In reply to Back in the day....

The WORM drives I speak of are not CDs. They are optical, but they aren't pressed in any way. They are in a protective casing as well. These were out before CDs became popular, but cost wise were very pricey, intended for archiving.

Corel used to write the drivers for some of the brands.


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by benducklow In reply to Question

Don't worry so much about degradation on CD/DVD media. I along with probably 98% of people have had CDR media well over 3 years and the media is just fine. There's a big thread on Slashdot about this topic.

Just my 2 cents

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I've had some go bad

by Dr Dij In reply to

I pulled out pix archives from about 4-5 years ago and most unreadable.

maybe because I used cheapest disks available?

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Image storage

by jardinier In reply to I would however

Thanks for introducing this topic, Col.

For maybe six months or more I drooled (lusted, craved) over what was at the time the top-of-the line digital camera -- Olympus with 10 X optical zoom. But the price was $AU 1,000.

So I waited and I waited and eventually the price came down -- to about $700. I was VERY pleased with my purchase.

However before I had taken it out of the box I overheard a man talking to his friends at the table adjacent to me in a restaurant, and I heard for the first time of the deadly 3 year limit.

So I questioned the man who was doing some repairs on my film cameras and he of course vindicated this alarming piece of information.

You will see in another post that I accused the manufacturers and distributors of digital cameras of working a great con on the general public.

Do you think any salesperson would have notified the purchaser of the impermanence of the images? I very much doubt it and from my experience I would guess most salespersons would be unaware of it themselves.

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How to overcome the 3-yr thing

by OKNightOwl In reply to Image storage

OK this is the first time I have heard of this 3-year limit for CDr's. What exactly gives? Does this also create an issue for data that is backed up on CDr's - I have some that are over 8 years old and still access the data without any problems. How about my DVD Library of Purchased video's & Family Video's transferred from Beta/VHS & 8MM to DVD? Please enlighten me!

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OK as Kodak says

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to How to overcome the 3-yr ...

They will only claim that Photo Data stored on Burnt CD/DVDs will be good for about 3 years without the loss of clarity. Now if you store the CD/DVDs in the proper environment a Temp controlled room with low humidity and no direct sunlight they will last longer. But for the general run of the mill person who just burns to a CD/DVD and throws them in what they think of as a "Safe Spot" the data can degrade within a very short time.

With my Work Copies of programs that I carry around with me I find that the Burnt CD/DVDs have a life expediency of about 6 months before that start to become unreadable and on one batch of CD media I found the backing material lifting off the media even before I began using it and these where not the c heap rubbish that are brought at the cheapest retail stores but TDK Media. Obviously a Bad Batch with that lot.

However what it does mean is that you need to be careful with any burnt CD/DVDs that you may make and if you have important data on them that is not easily replaceable burn them often and a lot don't wait for the media to go off and then moan about your woes and your lost data.

Direct sunlight exposure has a devastating effect on any burnt CD/DVD media and they will start to discolor around the outer edge but long before this happens the media will have become unreadable so unless you are regularly reading the media you'll not know until it's too late and you've lost your data. However in a Business situation where the media is kept in an Air conditioned room in the basement they will naturally last longer but even they have a limited life expediency of around 10 years as that is all that is recommended that they be used for without performing other backups with.

If you have copied Beta and VHS tape to DVD it would be a good idea to copy them every few years so you do not loose your existing movies as even the tape has problems with Print Through and other things that do degrade the Tape Media not to mention Magnetic Fields that play havoc with any magnetic storage media.

Col ]:)

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Commercial DVD Movies

by jardinier In reply to How to overcome the 3-yr ...

Col, do you know what the lifespan of these is?

Anyhow thanks again for introducing the subject of CD/DVD storage.

What would you say is the life expectancy of a video tape (Betamax or VHS)? I would think 20 years at least if stored correctly.

Yes I know the rule:

Store them high where it's nice and dry
And they'll keep as good as new
Store them low where there's no airflow
And they're sure to grow some mildew

Well I thought I had better check my collection of Betamax videos and alas, quite a few I had to chuck.

Unfortunately they have to be stored where there is room and this usually means low and near the floor.

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